Archive for the ‘Finding Happiness’ Category

How To Create Your Own Happy Reality

July 29, 2010

Think about the happiest people you know. I’m not talking about appearing to be happy because of their material possessions. I’m talking about a true, calm, genuine sense of happiness. Who do you know that while everything in their life may not be perfect, according to them, they are comfortable, self-assured and genuinely happy.

Now, think about the words you hear from that person’s mouth and the conversations you have with them. Are they positive? negative? derogatory? worrisome? trusting? meaningful?

How is it that some people just seem to have it together, while others are pretending?

I believe that unhappiness comes from confusion, lack of clarity and lack of knowledge about how to change our thinking patterns.

I also believe that happy people choose to be happy and are conscious of their thoughts, actions and words. This doesn’t mean they have to be in a constant state of peace, love and happiness. Sometimes they they have to enforce their boundaries and clearly communicate disagreements; but in the big picture, their actions, words and thinking are all aligned for the reality in which they choose to live, happily.

So, where do we begin? How do we create our own happy reality?

1. Create an inventory list of everything for which you are grateful. Everything, including each family member, your home, special friends, health, possessions, education, job, hobbies, environment – things that are presently a part of your life including wisdom and lessons you’ve learned from past experiences. If you’re over 18, this could be a very long list.

2. Create a list of what you’d like to improve in your life. Be honest, is it a relationship, finances, job, skill, hobby, sport, fitness, health?

3. Review the list of what you want to improve and put a star next to any item that will make or break you in the very near future.

4. This is where you might want professional help depending on your circumstances, but for any starred item, be creative and think through solutions and options that are available to you. Identify what you can control and what you can’t control. Don’t rush this part. You need to open your mind and think through all of the possibilities. Some solutions may just be the way you think – if it’s a health issue, research mental exercises to see yourself healthier and living the life you want to live.

The Mayo Clinic released an article stating health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

The ways in which you can help yourself may not be obvious, so take your time.

5. Now, look at your alternatives. While they may not be exactly how you want to live now, can you live with them? Is there a way you can survive with your ideas? I’m hoping that you’ve found a way to view what seemed like a “no way out” to “I can deal with this.” See, it’s all how you think about it. It’s all what you believe.

6. For all of the other items on your “wish list,” prioritize them. For each item, set up a doable plan to make progress. Even a tiny bit of progress on a regular basis makes a huge difference.

Warning: don’t expect yourself to work on too many new things at one time. This is why we prioritize. Start with one thing, after 3 weeks of making a little bit of progress, see if it makes more sense to add something else or to allow more progress before you add another expectation.

Warning #2: The warning doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t write out a plan to make progress. You need to put everything on paper – having it in your head isn’t good enough. Getting it out on paper will improve your chances of making progress, even subconsciously. Refer to this article which cites examples from Harvard Business School and Yale.

7. Be real. You know yourself better than anybody knows you. Think through what you’re willing to do and what you’re not willing to do. You’re you. Look at your wish list with action plans and ask yourself, “am I willing to do this?” “Do I have to do this?” “Is this going to add value to my life?” If you decide that some items should be eliminated, cross them off.

Now that you know where you are, what you are grateful for, and how you want to improve your life, can you settle into your life? Can you appreciate all that is good, or even great? Can you be happy for what you have and what you know, and happy for a plan to make your life even better?

Try. Try to be more aware of negative thoughts, words and actions that interfere with your happiness and how others perceive you. Try to look at the positive – i’ve been accused of looking through rose colored glasses…and your point is? Choose to see the bright side, to appreciate what you have and what you know. Choose to find ways to improve without beating yourself up. And, most of all, choose to be happy.

Resource:┬áLearn from Deb Battersby – EmMatrix teaches that there are no negative emotions, all emotions serve us in a positive way.