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!

How to Feel Smarter and Stronger

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It is officially SUMMER!  That is what the calendar says, right?  The kids are out of school. We have heard for years that we are all becoming “coach potatoes”, right?  The more technology, the busier we get, the busier we get, the less time we spend enjoying nature and the great outdoors.  Funny, I always thought that it would be the opposite.  

Did you not that there are REAL health benefits from spending time in nature.  I don’t mean just opening the sun roof to your car and absorbing the sun.  I mean taking a walk or sitting outside and just breathing in the fresh air.  

There are awesome environmental benefits that are provided by trees and other plants. BUT do you take advantage of the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits available from nature?

Did you know that, “people today spend up to 25 percent less time enjoying nature than people did just 20 years ago.”

Remember how you felt after you took a break and spent a few minutes outside?  Didn’t you come back energized and ready to conquer the next challenge?  Statistics have shown that people that walked through an arboretum performed 20% better in memory and attention tests then those that walked on a busy street.  Okay, so maybe there isn’t an arboretum outside your home or office BUT there is probably a park close by.  Studies show that long stretches in nature have resulted in dramatic increases in our creativity and problem solving skills. Nature also improves our mood, and  generosity.

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Here are some of the other benefits from being out in nature:

  • Regain physical energy
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Reduce muscle tension
  • Decrease stress hormones
  • Heighten immunity
  • Lower heart rate
  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Better cholesterol

Why does all of this work?  Because we are actually programmed to spend time relaxing and resting, especially in natural environments.  We are meant to spend a substantial amounts of time outdoors so we can experience our Creator and restore our spirits.

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A long walk, gardening, sitting by the ocean — any activity let us disconnect from the crazy and get reconnected to our hearts is a plus mentally, physically and spiritually.  Nature is God’s reset button for our minds, bodies, and spirits. If you’re spending all day indoors, you’re missing the restorative power of nature.

How much time do you spend outdoors each week?

Slow Down, You Move To Fast

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Do you know what today is?  That’s right, it is HUMP DAY!  For me it means that I get to spend some time with hubby (who took the day off) AND to visit with some awesome women at Lydia Circle tonight.  I am also doing the last minute crunch as our cut-off for guaranteed Christmas delivery is tomorrow!  YIKES!  Gotta get those last orders in.

For many, it means that you are already counting down the days till the weekend, right?  So much to do and so little time.

 

“Can you believe it’s almost Christmas?” “Where has this year gone?”  With each passing year and as I get older, I feel like time speeds up. When I was younger, the days seemed to last forever? Back when I was a kid, my days were full — school, piano lessons, games with friends, playing outside, homework… maybe even an occasional nap. Now, I’m lucky if I get to even think about the idea of a nap.

So how, how do we get back to the days of fun without feeling the pressure of time rushing by? How can we feel fulfilled each day without feeling burnt out? How can we slow down?

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Be self-aware.

There are moments when you find yourself all-consumed by a digital rabbit hole. You know – social media.  Or, maybe it is episode after episode of a Netflix series.  Then before you know it hours of the day are lost.  It’s sometimes healthy to zone out.  The difference is that we need to have the ability to choose to do something different with our time. Self-awareness allows us to savor our time, minute by minute.

Hustle, don’t hurry.

How often to you hurry from one place to another.  Maybe you are hurrying through your career, your relationships, past your accomplishments or even where you are at this moment. When we hurry, we tend to run past things because we’re so fixated on leaving our current situation. Hurrying is moving for the sole purpose of moving. Hurrying means running away. Hustle, however, means you’re running toward something. Hustle is applying yourself. Hustle has a lasting goal. There’s a fine line between the two, so it’s important to remain honestly self-aware.

Unplug.

Unplugging is important – it gives you a chance to detox from the static of everyday life.  Most of us don’t do this enough.  Work, bills, a packed social calendar, technology…it’s all day, every day, and it can take its toll. Take just ten minutes during the day to unplug from the static. Use that time to explore your heart, ponder your feelings, ask yourself honest questions, set your intentions…meditate. It will give you a clearer sense of self and slow your pace.

Take time to slow down not only during this busy holiday season but all year long.  The results will be AMAZING!

How are you trying to slow down?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

LOVE

Today is a day to reflect, relax and recharge….As Christmas is only 4 days away, during the hustle and bustle of the holiday we tend to lose what is important.  Sharon Jaynes is writer with Girlfriends in God who always seems to touch my heart and help to focus on what it important.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.  1 Corinthians 13:13

1 Corinthians 13 Christmas Style ©By Sharon Jaynes

If I decorate my house perfectly with lovely plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights, and shiny glass balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals, and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties, and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of your way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure.

Take a moment today to hug the ones you love and tell them that you love them.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

#virtuouswomen, #love, #girlfriendsingod, #reflect, #relax, #recharge