Practicing Happiness

on Jan 22 in Uncategorized by

marie 1

 

It’s a busy world I know, but if all the research suggests that many of us are starving for happiness wouldn’t it be a great idea to start choosing to focus on getting more of it in our lives. There are many ways to start bringing more happiness into your life and I could write a list that would go on for days. Instead I have chosen to share with you 5 simple habits that have had a huge impact on my life and the life of my clients. If you choose to bring these habits into your life and practice them on a regular basis I guarantee that they will increase your happiness level. Happiness begins from within.

Gratitude

Gratitude is expressing appreciation for what we have in our life right now. Gratitude is something you can decide to fill your cup with everyday. Psychology Today says “Studies show that gratitude not only can be deliberately cultivated but can increase levels of well being and happiness among those who cultivate it. In addition, grateful thinking and especially the expression of it to others is associated with increased levels of energy, optimism and empathy”.

I begin and end every day with practicing gratitude. Today I began my morning with these simple gratitude’s, “I am so grateful that the sun is shining, I am so grateful to have my wonderful family here with me, I am so grateful that I am feeling healthy, I am so grateful that I have the strength to deal with the challenges life is giving me, I am so grateful for the opportunities that are coming to me.” Practicing gratitude gives me peace, it brings me joy and as I stand up to face the world I feel self empowered. It is said that finding things to be grateful for increases ones happiness level for the next 24 hrs. If you continue to put gratitude in your life for 21 days it has the capability of increasing your happiness state for the next 6 months.

So what are you grateful for in your life? Write it down, share it with others and commit everyday to making gratitude a happiness habit.

 

Strengths

We are happiest when we are performing at our best. When we are using our strengths we usually feel like we are doing good, we feel more energized and often feel like we are making a difference. People who regularly get to focus on what they are good at in their places of work and learning, experience positive emotions, have high self esteem and vitality for life. When I work with my clients to discover their biggest strengths and put them into practice in their lives they all tell me that they feel much more fulfilled and happier.  So get clear about what you are good at make a list of your strengths and commit to using your strengths a happiness habit

Journaling

Keeping a diary of your positive life experiences has been shown to offer many psychological benefits. A happiness study conducted by researchers concluded that people who wrote for 3 minutes once a day for 30 days about a positive experience in their life saw 50% drop in doctor visits. Not only did their health improve, studies suggested their immune system improved too. Positive journaling is a really useful tool for many of my clients as they shift from living with negative, stress filled thought patterns to choosing a positive, happier way of being, thinking and doing.

Think about the last few days. What positive things have happened? Who has been a positive influence in your life? What have you done to be a positive influence in others lives? Write it down and commit to making journaling a happiness habit.

Exercise

There have been so many studies done on the wonderful effects that even gentle exercise can have on how good we feel. As anyone who knows me would tell you I am not a gym person but I ensure that I get at least 30 min per day of some form of exercise in my life. As soon as we begin to exercise endorphins are released make us feel good and increase are happiness quotient. Decide what you will do to increase your level of exercise. Now, get up and do it. Commit today to making exercise a happiness habit

Spiritual practice

Having a spiritual practice in your life that you enjoy doing can hugely increase your happiness. Whether it is prayer, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, mantras etc, daily spiritual practice can help you connect to being fully present in your life. I lead a very busy life managing my family and my work and so for me it is essential to help me create my balance to have mindfulness as part of my daily routine.  When time is short, I simply bring to mind my gratitude list to centre myself and I just stop and concentrate on my breath.  I am breathing anyway so it does not take much effort to simply stop for a few seconds and focus on me. I can do this easily and effortlessly throughout the day, after I have dropped the kids off, while sitting in traffic as I’m in the elevator going to meetings. Just focusing on the breath going in and out has the ability to allow the mind to calm and relax and create space for ease and happiness. Commit to making your preferred spiritual practice a happiness habit

Answer this question:

Out of 10 how happy are you right now?

Spend some time practicing one of the above or if you really want to be happy, all of the above today and for the next 21 days then answer the question again,

Out of 10 how happy am I ? 

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