What Do Happy People Do?

Last week I talked about three things happy people do, remember it was:

  • They don’t dwell on the past
  • They focus on the here and now
  • They recharge

Believe it or not, there are 4 more things they do.  Have you every searched “things happy people do” on Google?  OMG!  There is a ton of stuff.  I have scanned a lot of it and it really comes down to just a few things said in a different ways.

So here are a few more things happy people do and those who aren’t happy 24/7 don’t do:

#4. They don’t spend time with toxic people

We all have had or have people in our life who are toxic.  The ones who say things behind your back. Or are constantly putting you down.  Maybe they promise to change but it just never happens?  Being around people like this over a long period of time, will bring you down. Happy people don’t let this happen.  They quickly recognize a toxic person when they see one. Me, not so quickly.

Here are some tips to help you recognize a toxic person, and what to do about it:

  • Notice when someone puts you down. Are the words they use positive or not. Body language can also tell you how someone feels about you. Don’t feel good around them? Gradually close them off.
  • Notice when someone constantly cancels on you (leaving you feeling bummed)  If someone doesn’t want to spend time with you, and they are constantly cancelling on you, it might be time to direct your energy into something or someone else.
  • Be aware of those who take advantage of your kind nature. I’m happy just going along with things most of the time but some people will use you for it.
  • Don’t let people take advantage of your generosity – whether it’s time or money, don’t let people take advantage of you.  It is okay to say no. What’s the worst that can happen?
  • Spend time with those who make you feel cherished, valued and happy

#5. They value their self-worth

We are all human, so at some point in our life, we are going to have negative thoughts about ourselves. Happy people control these thoughts, or at least recognize when their self-worth is low. They know the moments will pass, and at the end of the day, they are just thoughts.

When your mind starts to wander to thoughts of low self-worth, or doubting yourself, spend time focusing on the good stuff. REMIND yourself of the great things you’ve done, or take yourself away to a happy moment in your life.  Being happy is all about choosing to be happy. Lacking in self-worth can be controlled just as easily as controlling your thoughts.

#6. They keep things simple

How have you felt after you cleared out your closet, or tossed/donated items you didn’t need anymore? Awesome, right? That’s the beauty of keeping things simple. “Clutter in the house clutters the mind”

“It is simple to be happy, but it is difficult to be simple”.

Our lives are complicated and busy.  I don’t know about you but I long for things how they used to be.   So how do we keep things simple? Here are a few ideas:

  • Toss old stuff away. If you haven’t used it in the last 6 months, are you ever going to need it, really?
  • Keep some time in your schedule clear – you deserve some time off
  • You don’t need to be busy to feel validated. Being busy and being productive are two very different things
  • Looking for a solution, and can’t find it right away, come back to it tomorrow. Obsessing over things for long periods is not going to get you a solution.

#7. They smile often

Yes, smiling makes people happy. When you smile, your face lights up. When you’re on the phone and you’re smiling, your demeanour changes.  EVERYONE looks and feels better when they smile.  Happy people tend to smile more. Consider this quote from Scientific American:

“It would appear the way we feel emotions isn’t just restricted to our brain—there are parts of our bodies which help to reinforce the feelings we’re having,” says Michael Lewis, a co-author of the study.

Our emotions can be affected by our physical body, too. Feeling down, stressing – SMILE!  It might just do you a bit of good, and help you improve your mood (even just temporarily).

Are you a happy person 24/7 or do you strive for it?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Don’t Worry – Be Happy

Did you start humming the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”?  I do every time I see or hear this line.  Have you ever wanted some of the “pink kool-aid” people who are alway happy take?  You must know someone who always seems to be happy, I have one or two people I know like that.

When I am not having a MS flare up (of the depression kind), I am pretty much a happy go lucky kind of gal.  Yes, I have times of sadness, anger, frustrate – don’t we all? I mean if we didn’t have a variety of emotions we would be “like a wet noodle” or a “block of stone”.

I will be the first to admit, on days when depression hits I enter a black hole where there sees to be no way out.  It can last for an hour, a day, a week and sadly there are times when it can last for longer.  You know those times when even the simplest word will make you cry.  Key the song “Cry Me a River”. LOL.  Thank you to “Modern Day Girl” for inspiring this post.

1. They don’t dwell on the past.

I know I do especially on a bad day.  The shoulda, coulda, woulda kick in and the path into the black hole gets deeper.  What happens when you start with the stinkin’ thinkin’? Things get worse instead of better, right?

So how do you stop yourself from dwelling on the past? Remember “It takes 21 days to make or break a habit”.  So you need to change your mindset.  Your mind is a powerful thing and you can control how you think, and it’s not hard either.  When you focus on the here and now, it becomes easier to get rid of the old bad habits.

FIRST, recognize you’re dwelling on past situations. I know, easier said then done.  When you spend time being more aware of your thoughts, it is easier to change your mindset. Like a new habit, once you start it becomes easier over time.  When you’re aware you are dwelling on thoughts of the past, you can work on ignoring them, or replacing them with focus on the here and now.

2. They focus on the here and now

When you get rid of the thoughts from your past, you can dwell more on the here and now.  I have been told meditation helps and will teach you how to focus on your breathing and what is around you.  I haven’t mastered this yet but I haven’t given up.    Here are some ways meditation and yoga (still need to try this) can help:

  • When you’re focusing on the past, you’re distracted.
  • We miss moments in our lives which may have been the happiest.
  • When we let our thoughts control us , we feel unbalanced
  • When we’re aware of our surroundings, we feel more empathetic towards others, have high self-esteem, and can reduce impulsivity (reducing mental health issues – Psychologytoday.com)

So, if meditation and yoga aren’t for you, find a way to focus on the here and now.  Journal your thoughts.  Take a few minutes to “zone” out.  I like to sit outside and watch the clouds float by, imagining it is all of my past floating away.  I guess my own form of meditation.

3. They recharge

Recharging is something we all need to do.  For happy people, it is part of the every day life.  Not sure what this means? Well, it means different things to different people. Think about what you like to do in your spare time? I know, what spare time, right?  I’ve been there.  The truth is having a chronic disease has helped to me identify when I need to recharge.  It is usually a SMACK but I am learning to stop and rest.  Maybe one of these will work for you:

  • A good book and a cup of coffee
  • A nap
  • Exercise of some kind
  • Drawing
  • Writing/scribbling
  • Painting
  • Spending time in a spa
  • Eating chocolate in front of the TV
  • Pretty much anything that makes you happy

The truth is, we live our lives in overdrive, always rushing to the next thing.  Our bodies need time to relax and recharge. How happy are you when your schedule is jammed full with no time for fun?  Probably not very, right?

If you feel like you don’t have time for yourself, make time. I know it’s hard, believe me I get it.  I was a single mom working full-time but you need to schedule time.  Maybe when the kids are napping, grab the book you’ve been meaning to read. Or on your lunch break at work – read your favourite magazine (whether online or paper).

Happy people value their time and know cultivating happiness is important.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Stop The Comparison Game

12414868-Stop-sign-illustration-Stock-Vector-noWOOHOO!  It is the weekend, okay, the start of it and it is Feel Good Friday!  The day when we squash those inner gremlins who want to keep you from being happy…

When was the last time you compared yourself to someone else?  Over the years, I’ve compared myself to others when it came to school, looks, money, my business and more. The first step in stopping the “comparison game” is to acknowledge it.  The truth is everyone has done it at one point in their life. The difference is what happens after the comparison…

Some people compare themselves to others to determine their personal value which usually ends up with us feeling like crap, right?  Negative thoughts bring more negative thoughts.  Or do you play the comparison game and get inspired.  Does it motivate you to change your situation?  Honestly, this doesn’t happen to most people and in the end results in more negative thoughts.  Either way, by comparing yourself to others, you are holding yourself back.

Sure, you may not be able to reach a goal as quickly as someone else or it may require more hard work, but it doesn’t mean everything is impossible for you. Everyone is on a different path, and there are people who are better or worse off than you.  Instead of comparing your path to those around you, why not focus on what you can do to make your dream a reality.

Here is how you can stop comparing yourself to others…..

#1 – Realize comparisons are often negative and most of the time they do not help.

As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  Be happy for others and instead of feeling jealous be happy for their success of others.  Good things can happen to other people, it doesn’t mean your life is any less important or any less of a success.  By being happy for others, you’ll learn to accept yourself and let more positivity into your life.

#2 – Be motivated, not competitive.

Be inspired by other’s success or happiness. The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone, think about how you could possibly do something similar (if it’s what you truly want to do). Use others achievements as inspiration for your own life and goals.

#3 – Take a break from social media.

This is tough in today’s world so why not “stop following” those who you play the comparison game with.  I am still friends with some people BUT I don’t check their news feed for snipits of their wonderful life.  Social media can be fun but you are just seeing carefully selected pieces of someone’s life.

#4 – Be confident.

I compare myself to others because I tend to lack self confidence.  While I’m not as confident as I would like to be, I am getting better.  Gaining confidence can help you too.  Yes, you can learn to be more confident.  When you are confident, you will learn how to stop comparing yourself to others because you believe in yourself.

#5 Be positive and happy with who you are.happy dance

No matter how life may be going for you, I believe a positive outlook can help to improve your life. It’s all about being grateful for what you already have. Everyone experiences sadness, anger, being scared, etc., and sometimes it can be difficult to see the positive or to be happy in spite of the circumstances.  Negative thoughts keep you feeling stuck with the feeling like there is no way out of your problems, and zero options. While being positive helps you realize you are able to do things, you are in control of your life, and the little things will not kill you.  You will be able to move on and deal with stressful situations better.

#6 – No one is perfect.perfect1

Accept your past and present, realizing you can make changes for the future if you truly desire to do so.  You may be at the beginning of the journey while someone else is at the middle or end.  You don’t know what they’ve been through, so you can end the comparison game.

 

These things are sometimes easier said then done.  Pick one and focus on it if you can’t fathom doing them all at once.  Find YOUR dream, then figure our YOUR action plan.

How could you stop comparing yourself to others?

 

Are You a Happy Person?

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It’s Friday…for some it is another long weekend because Monday is Martin Luther King Day.  For me it is the first Friday I am off – the first weekend of no part time job. There are a lot of mixed feelings but I have faith it was the right decision at the right time.

So, let me ask you – were you born a happy person?  I mean the person who always has a smile on their face, and never seems to let things bother them?  Did you know half of your happiness is genetic, attributable to your personality and temperament while about 10% is due to circumstances. The rest is about YOUR intentional choices.  The ones you make every day. You all know I LOVE Valerie Burton, right?  She shared in one of her books about the habits happy people have in common.  The best part is, if you practice these habits, chances are you will see a boost in how you feel every day.

Here are five things happy people do daily:

1. Spend time with people they enjoy.

Did you know you are as happy as your relationships?  We need people to be happy because we were made for connection and love – and it happens through relationships. When you serve people, connect authentically and allow others to impact you, your life is richer and more meaningful. Let’s practice being  intentional by having a conversation, look the friend or co-worker in the eye and really listen. Are your relationships filled with turmoil? Make a plan to calm the drama. The stress is a threat to your health and your happiness.

2. Focus on what’s right in front of them.

Are you a multi-tasker?  Are you always on your cell phone – Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, or texting?  Chances are you are NOT living in the present moment. Happy people don’t dwell on the past or get overly focused on the future. They value the power of the present, which means they have fun. When working on a task, they get into the “flow,” and time seems to fly by because they are engaged in what they are doing. It is no wonder people who love their jobs are twice as likely to be happy than those who don’t, according to a Gallup poll. Are you doing what you love or do you love your job?

3. Do something to help someone other than themselves.

Doing a random act of kindness isn’t just a trendy suggestion, it is a way to be happier. Serving others is a happiness trigger. Whether you believe it or not, it is the core of what we are all here to do – love. When we focus on helping others, it redirects our focus from our own problems or challenges, and helps put our lives into perspective.  Check out our Give Back with Me page.

4. Express gratitude.

Gratitude is powerful. It keeps you from taking things for granted. Let’s be honest, we all take something for granted even if we don’t mean to.  Gratitude strengthens relationships. It feels good. So say thank you and mean it. Why not add to your “thank you” why the other person’s gesture was meaningful to you. When you count your blessings, write them down or share them with a loved one. And reflect on why you are grateful. It expands the positive emotion you feel when you are grateful.  I have started a gratitude journal.  Every night before bed, I write one specific thing I am grateful for so I go to bed with happy positive thoughts.  It has made a difference on how I feel when I wake up in the morning.

5. Redirect their happiness-sabotaging thoughts.eva-meme-jpg

How often do you beat yourself up for something you did – not sticking to the diet, forgetting to do something or maybe you broke something?  Negative thoughts bring more negative things.  The reality is happy people don’t dwell long on unhappy things.  Yes, they do acknowledge their negative feelings but they are also less likely to dwell on them, wallow in self-pity or blame others for their misery. They slam the door on Negative Nellie and Doubtful Debbie. Instead, they ask, “What’s within my control to change?” They change what they can and do their best to work around the things they can’t change.

Do you do these things every day?  Why not pick one of the habits you don’t do every day, and try it every day for a week.  It takes 21 days to form a habit so if you can do it for a week, them keep going.  I know you can do it….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Get Happy!

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Happy Monday morning!  I know many of you are dreading this day.  I mean who wants to go back to the J-O-B, right?  You got an extra hour of sleep with the time change this weekend so you should be relaxed and happy. I know it is a far stretch for a Monday morning but work with me….

Are you letting your emotions rule this morning?  Are the ruling emotions, the ones making you feel yukky or less productive?  I mean how productive can we really be when we feel yukky!

So,why not kick start this Monday with some things to change you mood, so you can “get happy.” Pretty much instantly.  Yes, even on a Monday morning headed to work.

Studies show we are more productive, create better relationships and have more success when we are happy. If you are struggling to be productive or to get the results you want, try getting happy first!

Try these life hacks to ‘get happy’!

  • Start your day happy.
  • Do something first thing in the morning which makes you happy.
  • Dance to your favorite music
  • Talk a walk
  • Spend time with God
  • Exercise
  • Smile

What starts your day ‘right’? images

Take a time out.3802280a

Finding yourself frustrated, angry or down? Stop and do something to ‘snap you out of it’.
You will be far more productive if you stop and ‘get happy’ than if you try to slug on through.

Check your environment.

Does clutter stress you out? Clear out one room and go there!
Did you know citrus, orange, lemon, and grapefruit, bring out positive chemical reactions in your brain? Try using essential oils in these scents. Put them on your pressure points or diffuse into the air. Go to the real thing, eat an orange and leave the rind on your desk.
If it makes you happy to be outside, move your phone and computer to the deck and work outside!  Whatever is making you uncomfortable, change it up!

Be around happy people.

Who makes you feel good whenever you are around them?
Be intentional about who you spend time with, and know who you can call to lift you up. Commiserating may seem like a good way to support others, but it won’t help them be happier.  Take a few minutes to create a happy list. These are the things you can do to “get happy.” When you are feeling unproductive, pick one and do it! Happiness is good for your soul.

So go ahead, get happy!

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!