Happiness…

Courtesy of weheartit.com

I found this picture and it makes me think of happy times.  I grew up in Florida and I was married on the beach, so it is one of those places that feels like home.  The sound of the waves crashing into the shore, the birds chirping, the sound of kids playing and laughing, and the ever flowing water.  Remembering these things instantly makes me happy.  So, how does it happen?  Where does happiness come from?  How can we all get a slice?  I did some research and it looks like happiness means something different to all of us, but a recent study shows 56% of happiness comes from mental attitude, 25% from love, and incredibly only 4% from money, the other 15% comes from accomplishments and creative activity.  So, if it’s true – that the majority of my happiness comes from me, how can we all

feel happier today?

Suggestions for optimal bliss:

Create order and routine in your life.
Studies show that children feel more secure when on a routine schedule. They sleep better and are more well-behaved. If it works for kids, makes sense for adults, right? Look at your schedule and plan out specific daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Make it stick by putting it on your calendar and executing those new planned behaviors. Using a calendar is helpful as a reminder and a progress tracker. Something as simple as housework, exercise, children’s events, and date night may be easier to accomplish if you have already built-in time for this activity. It is really about creating the habit that produces efficiency and reduces stress. Think about when you are traveling a new route to work. At first, you are paying attention to everything, your hands are tight on the wheel, your GPS may feel like your life line. After a few weeks, you may feel more relaxed while driving, your death grip on the wheel may have loosened, and you may no longer need the GPS. You may arrive at work one day and not even remember the drive. Our brains are efficient like that. I am sure we have all had at least one thing we were not quite sure we would master, but after a little practice and patience we got it! Of course life happens, and you cannot plan for everything, but you can develop some strategies to reduce stress, increase calm and nurture happiness.

Surround yourself with people who love you and boost your energy.
We have all been in contact with that person who emotionally drains us. It feels like all the color is sucked out of the room when they walk in. Limit time with these people, or if possible, end the relationship. If you are putting way more thought, time and energy into a relationship with little or no reciprocation, evaluate how significant they really are in your happiness.

Do things you enjoy for work and play.
We may not all have our dream jobs, but you can find a way to add value to the organization you work with which may mean a more meaningful work experience for you.  That may mean getting to know your customers, coming up with ways to build sales or grow the business, it could be training others or taking on an added responsibility that is interesting and challenging. Either way, find the good part.  You can always work towards finding that dream job, but having a great reference from your current employer will make ascertaining the new position a lot easier.  Passion for a vocation may be hard to define.  If work isn’t where you dream, take your leisure time to spark your passion.  Think about those activities where you are absolutely in the here and now – you aren’t thinking about tomorrow or an hour from now, you’re not drumming up old memories, you are fully participating and engaged in the moment and loving it.  I have these moments with clients.  A session can fly by and because I was so engaged in the experience all that existed was the space of time as we lived it.  It is an incredible metaphysical atmosphere that arises when working in a position that offers you full accessibility to the present.

Give yourself a break – don’t sweat the small stuff.
We are pretty hard on ourselves. Take the time to pause to appreciate and acknowledge yourself for all the cool stuff you do.  In the moment a situation may feel all-encompassing, like the end of the world, but if you can break away and stand outside of the situation you may be able to gain a more accurate perspective that will help you solve the problem or better the situation.  Richard Carlson wrote, “Don’t sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff. ”  It may not feel like it, but moments of time pass us by before we know it.  The events that happen fade away and leave us with a choice.  To learn a valuable lesson and move on, or to stay where we are and get lost in the past.  There may be better ways to do things, different decisions that can move us more quickly toward our goals, but if we get so caught up in beating ourselves up for mistakes that have occurred, we may become stagnated.  As stated, take a breath, give yourself a break, heed the lesson and move forward in a better direction with a resolve to do better!

Take care of yourself – mind body and spirit.

You know the drill, I have mentioned this many times on my blog.  Get enough rest at least 6-8 hours per night.  Eat well – if it doesn’t come from the ground or eat from the ground, it may not be a great option.  Find quiet time – even electronics need a reboot every now and then.  We have to find ways to recharge our batteries, shut off our minds and connect with our spirit.  Feed your soul by connecting your mind and body through guided relaxations, breathing exercises, yoga, music, or even a bubble bath.  The point is – practicing self-care, where we are spending time with ourselves without judging ourselves is incredibly important for the spirit and health of your overall well-being.  To some that may seem hokey, while others know exactly what I am referring to.

Finally, here is a fun chart that sums up the basics.  Found on www.mindbodygreen.com courtesy of happinessinyourlife.com.  How do you build your happiness?  Please share your comments on creating a state of happy!

Picture courtesy of www.mindbodygreen.com

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