July 4, 2011

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

Jul 4
Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians and Happy Fourth of July to my American friends! I had an absolutely wonderful weekend with my family and hope all of you got a chance to enjoy yours as well. The long weekends are always a great time to relax and just enjoy life – something we don’t do that often enough. Sometimes, with the daily hassles of life, we forget to just be happy. In an ode to long weekends, here are my five steps to being happy!

Remain Optimistic! Just remember that the glass is always half full, not half empty. It’s the same amount of vodka in the glass either way so you might as well enjoy it.

Researchers have found that optimism increases both persistence and commitment during the phase of action toward a chosen goal and improves the ability to tolerate uncontrollable suffering. They found that an optimistic explanatory style, in which a person takes credit for successes but views failures as anomalies, promotes persistence in the face of difficulties in a wide range activities. It’s all mind power so get out there and be optimistic – you will be no worse off, I guarantee it. In fact, that optimistic thinking might just lead you to greater challenges and greater success. You really do create your own reality so make it a good one.

Rid the Negativity! You know the aunt that just can’t help but make that snide remark every time she sees you? Stop seeing her!

In order to live a positive and joyful life you must rid yourself of negativity that is currently detracting from your happiness. As hard as it can be, there is no good that comes from being around people who constantly bring you down and you just need to let go of them. Be mindful that you are given the freedom to hand-pick the majority of people you enrich your life with and you have no obligation to remain loyal to those who only bring negativity into your life. Compare the benefit you receive from each person to the amount of negativity he/she brings into your life. Your potential to achieve greatness can be limited by the negative influence of opinions around you. At the end of the day, remember that you really do deserve to be happy so choose your circle carefully.

Repeat Affirmations! “You are healthy, happy and fulfilled in life.” You’ve read it and now, you need to put that on repeat.

You absolutely, 100%, need to get in the habit of constantly feeling and expressing affirmative thoughts. Affirmations are positive statements that describe a desired situation and should be repeated constantly throughout the day. In essence, you hope to impress these onto the subconscious mind and trigger it into positive action. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the affirmations, they must be repeated with attention and conviction. Research suggests that nearly 90% of our thoughts are negative and accordingly, it is no wonder we easily lose sight of our happiness. Take active action to change that and your world really will open up.

Share the Happiness! Have you ever been negatively effected by a nice compliment?! Has a stranger’s smile ever ruined your day?! I didn’t think so.

In order to be truly happy, not only do you need to be positive with yourself but you also need to be positive towards others. It is important to share your wealth of happiness with the world. The easiest way to go about achieving this is simple – just be nice. Tell your coworker she looks nice today. Smile at a stranger. Hold the door open for the elderly lady behind you. Tell your parents that you love them. People appreciate positivity and the more you are sharing it with others, the more you are practicing and reinforcing happiness in your own life. Surrender to the NOW! Let go of the past and forget the anxiety about tomorrow. Enjoy today while it’s still here because trust me, it’ll be gone soon enough. Unfortunately, most of our time is spent in the past or the future, rather than the present moment. And as a result, we end up missing the today. You need to infuse mindfulness into your daily life. By simply paying attention to the daily details of today, you can transform the ordinary into an extraordinary. By embracing today, you can truly experience happiness as it comes.