10 More Ways to Boost Your Happiness (Part 3 of 3)
In this blog series I share some of the ways I boost my happiness no matter the situation or circumstance. Try these out over the next several days and see what happens. Click here to read Part 1 (#’s 1-10). Click here to read Part 2 (#’s 11-20).
21. Detach – In the end, this life is one big experience and nothing from this world will go with us to the next. If attachment causes some suffering, remember this and let go. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.” - Lao Tzu
22. Love thyself – Do what is “best” for yourself, this means listening to your higher voice within. Always think about the long-term results over the short-term ones. Also, this is the only way to know if your love is right love. By being both the giver and receiver simultaneously, you can know the intention backing the love and see if you ultimately get the desired result of that intended love (which is goodness). “Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it.” – Rene Descartes
23. Eat right – It may sound cliché, but we are what we eat, so we must be diligent in this area. While many people have known this forever (it seems like), more and more conventional doctors and scientists are coming to grips with the fact that what and how we eat is at the root of health and wellness. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates. “Health is the greatest of all possessions; a pale cobbler is better than a sick king.” – Isaac Bickerstaff
24. Practice yoga – Yoga was developed by humans many thousands of years ago. There’s a reason this practice is still around. For one, when you think about the fitness craze, the power and importance of meditation, and the positive effect of deep breathing, yoga’s efficiency HAS to be hailed. Yoga incorporates muscle strengthening and lengthening (for flexibility), deep breathing (for calmness), meditation and concentration (for awareness and focus), and sweating (for detoxification) all-in-one, just to name a few. “Yoga is the journey of the self to the self through the self.” – Unknown. “I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my soul.” – Rumi. “Yoga is 99% practice and 1% knowledge.” Pattabhi Jois
25. Minimize stress – Stress is a killer in our society. While stress in the mind interferes with creativity, focus, and concentration, it also manifests in the physical body as some ailment or disease. Memorize the Serenity Prayer and meditate on its meaning from time to time, you will not regret it. “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James
26. Be optimistic – To look on the bright side of things is energizing, versus the doom and gloom outlook which tends to depress our energy and deplete our energy reserves. “Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” – Mahatma Gandhi
27. Save money – There is a confidence that comes with building a nest egg for rainy days or financial hardships. Without this safety net, we may lose out on opportunities that require an initial investment, OR we have a fear or anxiety about job-loss. “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” – Benjamin Franklin
28. Invest in experiences over things – Things are outside us, and where they effect happiness, that happiness is short-lived. Experiences are internal and stay with us. “You are the sum total of everything you've ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot - it's all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.” – Maya Angelou
29. Be creative – Einstein is quoted as saying “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Creativity is the highest faculty on Bloom’s Taxonomy (revised by Anderson and Krathwohl). When Napoleon Hill (author of Think & Grow Rich) and other notables in the realm of success philosophy say “think” they are saying to exercise your ability to create/generate new mental images rather than just remember old ones; and when you do remember old ones, synthesize them into new and better ideas that produce new and better results. Thoughts become things, so create the vision in your mind’s eye of what you desire most. “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams
30. Give give give! – This may come as a shock, but giving to others and making them feel happy has the effect of making the giver feel happy. Turns out, giving is secretly selfish. So much for altruism. J “If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life.” – Unknown. “You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
10 More Ways to Boost Your Happiness
In this blog series I share some of the ways I boost my happiness no matter the situation or circumstance. Try these out over the next several days and see what happens. This is part 2 of 3. To go back and read Part 1, click here.
11. Nurture friendships – Humans need human connection. Our whole evolutionary history reveals our deep association with community. There’s nothing like having really good friends. “There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger and live just a little bit better.” – Unknown. “No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.” – Alice Walker
12. Organize & simplify – You’ve probably heard “as above so below” before. Well, a cluttered environment is generally indicative of a cluttered mind. “It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” – Bruce Lee. “Clutter isn’t just in your home, attic, garage or office. Clutter is also in your mind, and distracts you from the amazing thigs you are meant to do.” – Katrina Mayer
13. Be savvy with your time – Some say “time is money” but they are so wrong. Time is infinitely more valuable than money. You can lose your money and earn it back. Once you lose time, it is gone forever. “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” – William Shakespeare
14. Be proactive – Don’t wait for the train to wreck. Do what you can ahead of time to avoid the wreck altogether. It feels good to get things accomplished and to make progress. Next time you write a “to do” list, cross things off the list as you complete them. Then, observe how you feel. “The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do.” – Thomas Edison
15. Have meaningful and substantive conversations – People who can only have small talk are small people. Sure, small talk has its place, but we must move beyond tiny talks to the big leagues because the depth and range of our conversation is a reflection of the depth and range of our minds. The mind has an affinity for expansion. “The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.” – William Hazlitt. “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
16. Meditate – The mind has a tendency to be filled with noise of chatter. With all the noise, it’s difficult to hear the one voice we should be listening to. Meditation helps to the mind find quietness so we can hear better. “Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering the quiet that’s already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.” – Deepak Chopra. “The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” - Confucius
17. Play happy music – Make a playlist of all the songs you can recall that lift your spirits and put you into a good mood. Listen to it when you need a quick jolt of happy. There’s are reason that movies, TV shows, and commercials use music – it’s to evoke and emotion to get you to respond. You mind as well use this strategy on yourself to YOUR advantage. "The power of music to integrate and cure. . . is quite fundamental. It is the profoundest nonchemical medication." - Oliver Sacks. “Harmony sinks deep into the recesses of the soul and takes its strongest hold there, bringing grace also to the body & mind as well. Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, and life to everything. It is the essence of order…” - Plato
18. Pick up a new hobby – Learning new things is how to exercise the brain. When you learn new things your brain builds neural networks and pathways that correspond to your learning. The more you learn and challenge yourself, the more networks you form and the more they expand. Your brain loves this stuff! “Unless you do something beyond what you’ve already mastered, you will never grow.”– Ronald E. Osborne
19. Have a gratitude attitude – Being thankful for what you already have and the experiences you’ve been through (and the ones you’ll still go through) lifts your spirit and adds to the delight life has to offer. "Gratitude is the sign of noble souls." – Aesop
20. Share the joy – Joy doesn’t result from selfishness, so don’t be stingy with it. We are connected to each other, so sharing with others is like sharing with yourself. What a feeling! “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward
10 Ways To Boost Your Happiness
In this blog series I share some of the ways I boost my happiness no matter the situation or circumstance. Try these out over the next ten days and see what happens.
1. Intend to be happy – Happiness is easier to come by and more reliable when you mean to be happy rather than hoping something happens that will move you into a happy state. Choose to be happy. Make this your conscious intention. The more you exercise this, the more happiness you’ll experience. “A person is usually about as happy as they make up their mind to be.” – often attributed to Abraham Lincoln
2. Get outdoors more, especially when it’s sunny out – Science has identified Vitamin D as something the body produces when it comes in direct contact with sunshine. They’ve also linked depression to lack of Vita D. Science has managed to identify Vitamin D and give it its name, but you can be sure there are many other benefits of the sun that science has yet to identify – the person who does will be a Nobel Prize winner! “The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.” – Henry Ward Beecher
3. Smile wide – Try it out for yourself. Sit quietly somewhere with your eyes closed. Notice how you feel. Then smile and see what happens to your feeling and energy. Direct experience is the best proof there is. Even babies understand the language of smile. Ever wonder why? It’s certainly a clue to The Truth. “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” – Mother Theresa. “A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.” –Tom Wilson
4. Witness happiness in others – If you observe happiness with a loving heart, you will experience happiness vicariously. “Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.” – Marcus Aurelius
5. Balance routine with unpredictability – Shake up your life a little. Keep your mind fresh and alert by traveling a new route to work or making green smoothies you’ve never thought to try making before. The mind loves variety, as this is the spice of life. Apply routine when progress toward a goal is the mission. “Routine, in an intelligent person, is a sign of ambition.” – W.H. Auden. “Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.” – Robin Sharma
6. Dream big, then go after your dreams with all your heart – You are not meant to live a little, you are meant to live to the hilt. If you spend your life living small, you will eventually find you are disappointed in yourself. Self-disappoint is not a desired outcome. Chunk your BIG DREAM down into smaller goals, and celebrate checking them off along the way as you progress toward the BIG ONE. “Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.” – Les Brown
7. Have lots of fun – Laughing creates a biochemical change in the body that positively charges you. Singing increases red blood cell count. My wife once told me that it’s impossible to be upset and skip at the same time, so I had to put it to the test. One day I was a little frustrated and down, and she pulled me outside into the street and practically made me skip with her. I did and I’ll be darned if my frustration didn’t go away. How incredible! “In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.” – Gordon B. Hinckley. “Laughter is the only medicine without side effects.” – Shannon L. Alder
8. Exercise – Exercising the body also favorably impacts the brain, which makes sense. When you vigorously exercise the body, your blood requires more oxygen for the muscles of your body. Blood goes everywhere, so the brain profits too.
“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” – Plato.
“True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are united.” – Alexander von Humboldt
9. Take naps and get a full night’s sleep – Proper rest is something else the brain appreciates. During these periods, the brain has an opportunity to recharge, which is why you’ll wake up feeling refreshed, energized, and clear. “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” – Benjamin Franklin
10. Tell the truth – The last thing you want is guilt lingering and festering inside. Sure, it may not seem like dishonesty has much to do with your health and happiness, but it does. Your conscience is always at play and you should never do anything that goes against it. Besides, once you tell a lie and it is exposed, your integrity is forever in question.
“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche.
And remember that to tell the truth versus to tell The TRUTH is worth careful consideration. “Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind that I am of what is true.” – Robert Brault
Okay! Which of these are you already doing and which can you start to implement TODAY?
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