Happiness can be a surprisingly fickle thing. Sometimes, a new routine or a new perspective can revitalize your life and sense of well-being. Other times, change presents a challenge to our happiness. Learning how to make your joy and energy resilient to the drain that life’s changes sometimes leave us feeling is a key to safeguarding your happiness.
All too often, we forget that happiness is a skill, and that being skillful takes practice. Here are 5 small things you can do every day to practice your happiness skill-set and safeguard your joy.
The first few moments of your day can set the tone for the rest of it. So, start each morning with a quiet moment, an affirmation, a journal entry, or any other activity that helps you tune into your feelings and intentions for your day.
Your focus channels your power. Unfortunately, we often focus on what makes us unhappy rather than what brings us joy. Make an effort to recognize what’s going well in your day and be present to the things you enjoy.
This may seem like a no-brainer but it’s actually something we often overlook. What brings you the most pleasure and happiness? Time alone or time with others? A home-cooked meal or take-out and a movie? Becoming conscious of the things you most enjoy means that you will choose them more often.
To yourself, your partner, your child or co-worker. Make a point to express your gratitude for what’s working in your life. Showing your appreciation will immediately make you and the person you’re thanking feel more positive. And, by expressing gratitude for the things the people around you do, you reinforce the positive behavior as well as the positive feeling.
Slow down and savor the good parts of your life. Pay attention when you’re eating something delicious. Choose to really listen to your friend while they’re talking. Take the time to notice what’s around you on your daily walk or drive. The more you can use your five senses to be present to what you’re experiencing, the better.
Life is always a mix of things. No matter how bad a day seems, there’s always something in it that’s positive. Use the list above to help you focus in on the good that’s present in life’s simple, daily events. These simple things can add up quickly and drastically increase your happiness.
There was a time when the boundaries between work and home were fairly clear. Today, however, work is likely to invade your personal life — and maintaining work-life balance is no simple task. This might be especially true if you’re concerned about losing your job due to restructuring, layoffs or other factors. Still, work-life balance isn’t out of reach.
Start by evaluating your relationship to work. Then apply specific strategies to help you strike a healthier balance.
Married to your work? Consider the cost
It can be tempting to rack up hours at work, especially if you’re trying to earn a promotion or manage an ever-increasing workload — or simply keep your head above water. Sometimes overtime might even be required. If you’re spending most of your time working, though, your home life will take a hit.
Consider the consequences of poor work-life balance:
Fatigue. When you’re tired, your ability to work productively and think clearly might suffer — which could take a toll on your professional reputation or lead to dangerous or costly mistakes.
Lost time with friends and loved ones. If you’re working too much, you might miss important family events or milestones. This can leave you feeling left out and might harm relationships with your loved ones. It’s also difficult to nurture friendships if you’re always working.
Increased expectations. If you regularly work extra hours, you might be given more responsibility — which could lead to additional concerns and challenges.
How to strike a better work-life balance
As long as you’re working, juggling the demands of career and personal life will probably be an ongoing challenge. Consider these ideas to find the work-life balance that’s best for you:
Track your time. Pay attention to your daily tasks, including work-related and personal activities. Decide what’s necessary and what satisfies you the most. Cut or delegate activities you don’t enjoy or can’t handle — or share your concerns and possible solutions with your employer or others.
Take advantage of your options. Ask your employer about flex hours, a compressed workweek, job sharing, telecommuting or other scheduling flexibility. The more control you have over your hours, the less stressed you’re likely to be.
Learn to say no. Whether it’s a co-worker asking you to spearhead an extra project or your child’s teacher asking you to organize a class party, remember that it’s OK to respectfully say no. When you quit accepting tasks out of guilt or a false sense of obligation, you’ll have more time for the activities that are meaningful to you.
Leave work at work. With the technology to connect to anyone at any time from virtually anywhere, there might be no boundary between work and home — unless you create it. Make a conscious decision to separate work time from personal time. When you’re with your family, for instance, keep your laptop in your briefcase.
Manage your time. Organize household tasks efficiently, such as running errands in batches or doing a load of laundry every day, rather than saving it all for your day off. Put family events on a weekly family calendar and keep a daily to-do list. Do what needs to be done and let the rest go.
Bolster your support system. At work, join forces with co-workers who can cover for you — and vice versa — when family conflicts arise. At home, enlist trusted friends and loved ones to pitch in with child care or household responsibilities when you need to work overtime or travel.
Nurture yourself. Eat a healthy diet, include physical activity in your daily routine and get enough sleep. Set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy, such as practicing yoga or reading. Better yet, discover activities you can do with your partner, family or friends — such as hiking, dancing or taking cooking classes.
reposted from the Mayo Clinic Online.
Knowing what you want is only part of the process in living the life that you dream of. The transformation really begins when you can start to translate what you want into radical honesty in each moment – honesty with yourself and with everyone in your life.
Once we have connected to our deeper self or core, it is only then that we are even able to access our own truth. Otherwise, “our truth” is nothing more than our egos petulant desires. When we are connected to this deep truth it gives us signs and signals about what is and is not in alignment with us. Our job is just to listen to these signals and act accordingly. When we do, our life become infinitely more fulfilled.
One of the best cues that we have about whether we are living our truth is our emotional state. However, to find truth from our emotions they need to be about the current moment and not based off of reliving something that happened in the past. This is another reason why we need to be clear about our stories so that we can tell the difference between them and our in-the-moment experience. When we are aware of the feeling of liking something it is in alignment with our deeper truth. When we are aware of our feelings of discomfort it tells us that something is off, that we are somehow not in alignment with our deeper truth.
The most important part of all of this is listening –listening to yourself and then adjusting when what you are doing is not in alignment with your deep truth.
The challenge here is that when we speak our truth it may bring us loss. We see that loss and our ego might say that we have made a bad choice -that there is a penalty for living your truth. This is not really the case. For example, when you speak your needs in relationships you risk not having them met. When you are honest with yourself about your work not being satisfying, you may realize that its time to look for new work. The power of your truth is that when you speak it and live it, transformation really does happen and at times that means letting go of the old so that you can have what your are really desiring.
This week on Real Answers radio I will be speaking about the power of your truth to change everything around you. Learn how to speak and share your heart with the world even when it is challenging and tap into the profound strength that comes from this practice.
Making a positive impact in the world starts with our everyday actions and with a deep sense of caring for our own lives. Here are 10 simple and profound steps you can take today.
1. Be kind and generous: In every moment of every day it is possible to change someone’s life. Sometimes, it is as simple as just being kind. Whenever you have an opportunity to go the extra mile for someone – take it.
2. Be clear about what does and does not work for you: People cannot work with you if they do not know what you are all about. If you are always compromising yourself, you will not be as effective. Be honest and direct about what you are willing to take part in.
3. Be your full self: Holding back because you think that is what others want is not helpful to anyone. You would not be who you are if it was not needed. Expressing yourself authentically may cause waves at first, but in the end it will surround you with the people and circumstances that truly reflect your inner experience.
4. Let others be their full selves: The same goes for anyone else. If you think others need to be different, you are wrong. Let people be who they really are. If you don’t like it, figure out how to work with it. One of the most generous and healthy things we can do is just let others be themselves.
5. Say thank you: People love to be appreciated. Let them know when you are grateful. When you do, you are more likely to keep receiving these positive things.
6. Look for ways to give back: Don’t lose track of making a contribution. No matter where you find yourself in your life, you can give back in a way that helps others.
7. Tip well and tip often: If you have money — and some might argue that this is true even if you don’t have money — make sure to support the people who Support the things you believe in: Purchase what you want to support. Spend your time doing what you want to support. Talk about the things you want to support. You get the picture?
8. Care for your health: It is hard to be our best selves when we are under the weather or treating our bodies badly. When we are not taking care of our physical self it spills over to the rest of our life and then to the others around us. Conversely, when you care for your body you not only are inspiring example to others, you will have more energy to give back.
9. Really listen: Most people are not listened to enough. Pay attention to them and let them know they are important. When you really listen to others you increase your connection and consequently your appreciation of others.
10. Focus: Know what you want to create and how you can help others. Then do it. Most everything else is a waste of time.
Want more ways to make your life and the world around you change for the better? Write me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a time to talk about what next steps are right for you!
There are rich people who are miserable and poor people who are happy and there are people who are terminally ill who seem more alive than the healthiest person… So what is the secret to happiness when the things that we seek or seek to preserve don’t necessarily insure our happiness?
When it comes down to it, how we feel each moment-to-moment, is the greatest asset we have. It is the only thing we should use to measure our life and our work.
But quite often, I hear people say that they go hours and even days without knowing how they feel. They have so much to do that they are on autopilot for all or most of it.
Is this you?
Have you had enough?
I know that this last year pushed me to the point where I was not willing to settle for feeling badly and waiting to feel good.
I was no longer going to be with people that did not feel good to be with. I was no longer going take advise from people who were just pretending to “have it all,” and, I was no longer going to make choices that limited my sense of fulfillment or had me living someone else’s version of success.
And, it was the best thing I ever did.
So how about you? Are you ready?
The secret is that there is nothing in your way. It is so easy to find a circumstance that stands between you and your fulfillment but all you need to do is decide.
Decide that your happiness is the most important thing you will ever have and claim it. Decide that anything that is not your happiness should be discarded.
Let’s start a revolution! Let’s end suffering! Let’s be free.