Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tips for happiness

I believe that everyone wants to feel happier -- sometimesthey just don't know where to begin. So here are tensure-fire ways to increase your happiness quotient - andachieve your goals more easily than before! 1. Don't expect perfection from yourself or anyone else.Don't forget this is planet Earth. And don't expectperfection in working these happiness tips, either. Leaninto them everyday, and your life can change. Progress isgood enough.2. Accept. Stop judgingWhen we judge ourselves, our circumstances, or other people, it leaves no opening to settle into and accept "what is." If your circumstances seem too severe to accept, try to resist less. And less. You will give yourself emotional space to move toward acceptance and change at the same time. Sounds like a contradiction, but that's the beauty. It isn't.3. Stay in the presentDo not waste time and energy regretting the past or worrying about the future. Worry is a drain. We might think that worry teaches us or motivates us, but calm presence is the best source of happiness, wisdom, and positive action.4. Be gratefulWhen we put our attention on all the good in our lives, thegood tends to increase. Remember to be thankful for thesmall blessings, the everyday things. At the University ofCalifornia at Davis, psychologist Robert Emmons found that those who wrote in a "gratitude journal" weekly experienced better health, more energy, and for patients with neuromuscular disease, less pain and fatigue. The more they found to be grateful for and the more detail they described in their journals, the greater benefits they experienced.5. Decide to be happyHaving the intention to be happy, regardless of currentcircumstances, attracts conditions that support you. The old saying that "like attracts like" even works with yourintentions. They act like a magnet and draw to you more ofwhat you are already resonating. If you want to be happy,make happiness your first desire.6. Be self-authorizedStop making choices based on what others believe you shoulddo, think, or be. Stay true to your own innate knowing ofwhat is best for you. Speak your truth in a kind manner. Let others be responsible for their reactions. 7. Choose how you feelWe often say that something or someone "made" us feel acertain way. And yet, as we watch people react sodifferently to the same event, we see with our own eyes thatpeople choose how they feel. Learn to pause. Take a moment to choose how you wish to react and feel. You may be surprised at how much leeway you have!8. Examine your beliefsOften things in our life we accept as facts are reallyself-defeating beliefs. Once you find these beliefs are nottrue, they will shift and dissolve. Beliefs influence everydecision you make.9. Expand your optionsAllow for more possibilities in the present and future,regardless of past experience. Drop the word "can't" fromyour self-talk. Allow yourself to dream big. On a weeklybasis, write down all your desires, and let the sky be thelimit. No one has to see this list but you!10.Create what you desireRather than putting all your energy into pushing away thethings you don't want, direct your energy into creating what you do want. Come up with even just one action step - and then the next - and start building the life you desire.Happiness is worth your time and attention because feelings affect every choice you make, every action and reaction. They, along with the hidden self-defeating beliefs thatunderlie them, create your life. They affect your brainchemistry, your immune system, your ability to fightdisease, and your longevity. They can make the differencebetween creating a relationship of mutual acceptance andrespect, or going your separate ways.So, go ahead, dive in. Don't feel guilty for wanting more.

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