Welcome back to the third installment of my free 7 life-changing tips series!
It is my hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed the first two articles/videos so far, and have been able to find a few things that have helped you make those breakthroughs you have been looking for. Remember, often times those BIG SHIFTS that we are all aiming for are often just around the corner, waiting for just one more little nudge in the right direction.
I am especially excited to share this one with you, because I think it will be one that adds a great deal of value to your life. Isn’t being happy every day something that everyone wants? Whether you’re looking to use this positive emotion as a tool to help you utilize the law of attraction, or are just excited to simply live a more happy life from moment to moment, I am here to tell you that this is indeed a realistic possibility. Below are 7 of the most helpful and profound tips that I have personally learned in life, and used to help others find that joy they are looking for in abundance.
#1 Accept When You Are Not Happy
The very first step to being happy is to accept when you are not happy.
This may sound backwards, or FEEL backwards in the moment, but what is the opposite of happiness? Resistance. Or lack of acceptance. You can’t be happy if you are not accepting what is now. And if what is now is you feeling unhappy, you’re going to have to first accept it before you can turn it around.
Many people struggle with the Buddhist wisdom surrounding suffering, and their acceptance of it. Believe me, they’ve got it figured out, and you can see that just from the jolly grin on the Dalai Lama’s face. We DO suffer, we do feel emotional, physical, and mental pain, which can equal “unhappiness”. But you may be surprise what happens when you accept this pain. You might even find that it stops being so…painful.
#2 Flex the Gratitude Muscle
Gratitude is one of the most powerfully vibrating emotions in the universe. Gratitude is an acknowledgement of the blessings and abundance that you already have, and is an affirmation to yourself that you are already abundant, already successful, and already enjoying the great life that you have. One of the greatest discoveries of our time is that emotions like gratitude (really all emotions) are habits. More specifically speaking, emotions are a certain pattern of electrical signals and impulses, resonating through a particular pathway of the brain. Any time you feel a certain emotion, the electrical charge is running through that particular corresponding neural pathway. The more you run the charge through a pathway, the more pronounced and structured it becomes, and, in turn, the more natural, automatic, and habitual it becomes.
This works both for and against us in terms of our emotional state, but the good news here is that if you have a hard time generating a feeling of gratitude, it just means that you are not quite used to feeling that way. You just need to flex the gratitude muscle! The more you use it, the more habitual, natural, and automatic it becomes, until one day you find that you are just a naturally grateful person, enjoying all the many benefits of being that way.
One of the best ways to flex that muscle, and reinforce a new neural pattern of gratitude is to write a gratitude list. This can take you less than 10 minutes in a day, and can literally change your whole life around. The longer you can remain in a state of gratitude each day, the better, but it is even more important that it is done daily, so even if you only have 2-5 minutes, it is still well worth doing. Simply sit somewhere with a pen and paper, where you can be uninterrupted, and list as many things as you can think of that you have to be grateful for. It doesn’t have to be big. It could be that the sun is shining, that you have a roof over your head. I can’t tell you all the times I feel grateful just to have a furnace in my house during the winter months!
I do recommend actually writing a new list each day, but if time is short, you can also re-read a list you’ve written the day before. Do this daily for 21-30 days and you will notice a greater ease in naturally feeling grateful. Keep it up and you will change your life for the better!
#3 Counteract Negativity With Positivity
I have the pleasure to work with someone on a regular basis that is such a great example of this. It doesn’t matter what you throw at her, she will always, without even thinking, find something positive to say. Not only is this great for her, but it is incredibly beneficial for me and everyone else to be around her when times are tough.
Just like gratitude, this can become a natural, automatic reaction. It definitely is for her. When you are first learning, and something undesirable happens to you, simply ask yourself this question: “What can I find in this situation that benefits me or someone else?”
This is one of those big differences between happy and successful people, and people who are constantly unhappy, or stuck in a rut. One person’s tire goes flat on the side of the road. They think to themselves “This is the last thing I need!”, angrily get out of the car, sweat and toil in the sun on the side of the road putting on the spare, only to find that their jack is not working. They get snappy with their wife and kids that are in the car with them. A person finally stops by to help them, and they are on their way. Later a friend asks them how their day was. Their reply is “It was a miserable day. Nothing went as planned. My tire went flat, I had to sweat it out on the side of the road in the heat, I hurt my wife and son’s feelings because I was so moody with them, I ended up wasting several hours of my time and didn’t get the things done that I’d planned on getting done.”
Now let’s say the exact same situation happens to someone who has learned to find the positive side of things. When their friend asks them how their day was their reply might be “It was great! My tire went flat out of nowhere today. Surprisingly, it was something I really needed. It gave me some time to sit and just talk with my wife and son, you know, just take a break and enjoy them. I caught up with how my boy’s doing in school, and was able to show him for the first time how to change a tire. We were also very fortunate to meet a very nice person, who stopped and helped us with the jack. It’s nice to know that there are still good people out there that will help a stranger in their time of need. And the best thing, I found the perfect reason to not have to do those budgets that I was not in the mood to do today anyways.”
Do you see what I am getting at here? Even in the worst of times, something beneficial can be found in it. When you learn to look for this positive side of it, your brain and mind will actually become more accustomed to seeing it, and eventually the whole world will take on a more positive hue.
So, again, in times of struggle, ask yourself “What can I find in this situation that benefits me or someone else?”
#4 Shift the Focus to Other People
This is something that I will personally do when things get really tough, and I am having a hard time overcoming negative emotion. When things seem so bad that you cannot find the light, forget about yourself! Go out and help the less fortunate. Visit your grandparents or parents in the nursing home. Donate your time at the animal shelter. Call a friend or coworker you know that has been struggling lately. Buy a card or write a note to that friend that you haven’t seen in a while. Give a stranger a genuine compliment.
It is truly amazing how good you can feel from helping others, and serving life. This works for a few reasons. For one, when helping others, you often times get a new perspective in seeing what they are going through, and realize that you actually have it pretty darn good. You also get to enjoy those warm feelings that come from knowing you have made a difference, that you matter, and that your existence on the planet is beneficial to others.
Make service a regular part of your life and you will reap these benefits even more.
#5 Surround Yourself With Positivity
Nowadays this is easier than ever before. There are hundreds of thousands of facebook pages, pinterest pages, email lists, and websites that will send you something funny, inspiring, uplifting, or heartwarming every day. With access to the internet on smart phones, you can set it up to receive a positive message, email, or picture every hour if you want.
Hang something on the wall in one of the main rooms in your house that makes you and others laugh. Make sure you have a surplus of positive music on your ipod or in your CD collection. Alternatively, turn off the radio if it is playing something sad or negative. Personalize your work space with things that put you at ease. Do or say something silly, or ridiculous, or funny every day. Carry pictures of loved ones in your wallet, and look at them when you need a pick-me-up.
Build yourself an environment of happiness, laughter, and love! This really is quite easy to do. Every little thing counts. Much of this comes simply from being aware.
#6 Utilize Your Body’s Feel-Good Chemical
In a world of mind-over-matter philosophy, it can often be overlooked how much your physical body can help you to be happy. Having balanced bodily function, good digestion, and a natural function of the body’s glands and hormones makes a HUGE difference in how you feel. Your body is deeply intertwined with your emotional/mental state at all times.
There are many things you can do to stimulate the brain to produce more healthy, happy endorphins and neurochemicals in a balanced way. It only takes a very small amount of physical exercise to do this. You can do a few short reps of weight training, take a brisk jog around the block, go on a short hike, etc. My personal favorite means of producing happy neurochemicals is listening to brainwave entrainment (this comes with a whole range of other added benefits). For more information on brainwave entrainment check the articles in Knowledge and Resources or click here to browse our premium audio packages.
What you eat and drink also plays a huge role in this. You don’t need to be a health nut. Simply adding more raw, organic fruits and vegetables to your diet gives your overall mood a big boost. Drinking plenty of clean water is also a big step. Start with the basics of healthy eating and go from there. The right multivitamin or multimineral can also go a looooong way. There is a whole range of various mental/emotional ailments that can be fixed simply by giving the body a vitamin or mineral that it may be lacking. (these statements have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA, if you are suffering from a mental health disorder, it is best to contact a qualified and licensed health care professional.)
#7 Walk Your Path
Each one of us has something that gives us meaning in life. It could be something we are striving to accomplish, or become. It might be spiritual, or professional, or intellectual, or all of the above. It doesn’t matter what it is, but regardless of who you are, it is crucial to your true happiness that you find your path, and walk it. My path first started out as a goal to heal myself from all my emotional pain and limitations, it progressed from there to finding out the truth about life, that led to seeking enlightenment and spiritual progress, as I continued to walk this path, I developed a hobby of helping others walk similar paths.
My life-path is everything to me. Even in the worst of challenges, I always have the comfort of knowing that it will soon be time to sit and meditate, like I’ve done for most of my life. It will always be time to learn something new about myself, or enjoy some sort of internal work I have accomplished to make my life easier, or help me enjoy myself or other people a little more. In times of pain or struggle, I will always be able to draw strength from the knowledge that I am moving in the direction I was meant to move, and that each day brings me closer to my ultimate destination.
Your life path, or purpose, doesn’t have to be something dramatic. It could be being the best Mom or Dad you can possibly be. Even amidst those tough parenting situations, you can draw your strength from knowing you are learning how to best help and love your son/daughter. Your purpose could be to exceed the company standard at work. This adds a whole new dimension to your career and work life. Your purpose could be to help animals that are homeless, to discover and get to know your local mountain range or canyon, to understand how to better relate to the opposite sex, to see the world. Or maybe it’s a few of these and more all rolled into one!
If you do not feel like you have a purpose or a path in life, finding it is the single most important step you can take towards being happy. Ask yourself these questions:
“What interests me?”
“What is most important to me in life?”
“What really gets me excited?”
“Who are my heroes or who do I look up to?”
“Why do I like the things I like?”
“If I could have/do anything that I wanted, what would I be doing?”
“If I were retired, and had all the time and money in the world, what would I do to pass the time?”
These are just a few good questions to get you started. There are several different methods for discovering your life path, ranging from highly practical to completely far-out.
And once you find that path, walk it. When you stumble, keep walking, when you stray off the path, find it and keep walking. Nothing will bring you greater happiness or joy in this lifetime.
In summary, I want to leave you with an important point. Everything I have described above is quite simple, requires little to no money, and can be started RIGHT NOW. So take action! It doesn’t need to be hard at all to be happy. For some, it may take some practice at first, but this is our birthright. We are literally designed to feel good, and to have a constant sense of satisfaction, joy, and gratitude in our lives.
Another point I want to make is that none of this advice involves material gain. You don’t need to make more money to be happy. You don’t need to have the perfect relationship to be happy. You don’t need more “stuff” to be happy. These things are nice, but happiness is truly something that comes from inside, and can be cultivated with nothing more than your mind and intention.
I offer this with love and a hope that it will aid you in finding the happiness that you deserve.
P.S. If you are new here, I encourage you to take a look at the first two articles from the series – 7 Life-Changing Tips To Heal From Your Past and 7 Life-Changing Tips To Drop Destructive Habits. This series is a free complementary coaching to my Complete Change Your Life System, and aims to equip you with in-depth knowledge that you can easily implement and benefit from immediately!