Tuesday, June 26, 2012

In Pursuit of Happiness

"Happiness in not something ready-made.  It comes from your own actions." ~Dalai Lama

We hear so much in the media about how NOT to be depressed.  There are articles, news segments, and even commercials for various antidepressants.  But, what about how to be happy?

"Happy" people, generally, have a certain set of characteristics that not-so-happy people do not have.  The good news is that many of these traits can be cultivated.   Some suggestions to improve your happiness quotient are listed below. 

Decide how much energy something is really worth and then resolve to give it only that much energy and time.

Practice an attitude of gratitude.  Learn to focus on what you do have rather than what you do not have.

Practice random acts of kindness.  It feels good to help others. 

Learn to go with the flow.  The more easily you adapt to life situations, the happier you will be.

Learn to get into the flow.  Find activities that mentally challenge and engage you.

Learn to change your state at will.  Do not stay stuck in negative emotions. Control your emotions or they will control you!

Laugh.  Sometimes, laughter really is the best medicine.  Learn to laugh every day.

Smile!  Research has shown that the very act of smiling changes chemicals in your brain - even if you have to fake it! 

Just do it! Take positive action toward your goals. Learn to conquer procrastination.

Face your fears.  Pushing through what scares you is life-affirming.  Even if you "fail", you have succeeded in giving it your best shot!

Surround yourself with positive, uplifting, inspiring people. Let toxic people go or limit your interaction with them.

Love yourself - flaws and all.

Develop a strong social network. Cultivate an outgoing personality, if necessary. Focusing on others is more fulfilling than staying absorbed in your own life and problems. This will, also, bring opportunities to you.

Learn to forgive. Holding grudges leads to feelings of hatred and resentment. If you continually think about a perceived slight, your immune system will be suppressed! Negativity is more costly than we realize! Forgiveness is really for you, not the person being forgiven.

Move that body! Exercise increases endorphins, making you feel really good! Studies have shown exercise to be as effective (if not more so) than antidepressants. Perhaps, the added sense of personal achievement and self-worth can account for this. Plus, your immune system will be enhanced and you will look better, thereby increasing your confidence. Sounds like a win-win!

Eat right! Processed foods have negative effects on our bodies. Chemicals affect our hormones, which affect our health,  moods, emotions, and ability to think clearly. Eliminate "white foods" - i.e., those foods containing white flour, sugar, or white rice. Avoid "enriched" products or those with ingredients you cannot pronounce. Aim for a diet based on whole proteins, healthy fats, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Choose organic versions of the foods you eat the most.

Control the things you can control. So much in life is beyond our control. First, learn to accept that fact. Otherwise, you will be fighting a never-ending battle. Discipline yourself to take charge of what you can. Be sure to take care of your personal space.

Reward yourself for a job well-done.  All work and no play is a surefire recipe for burnout.

Set S.M.A.R.T. goals.  Striving for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely goals makes life worth living.

Engage in lifelong learning.   Learning new things stimulates the mind and helps you grow as an individual. 

Schedule time for yourself.  Make the effort to really understand who you are.  Your confidence and happiness will improve as a result!

Sleep right.   Establish a sleep routine.  Go to sleep and wake up at the same times each day.   Restful sleep allows the body to detoxify and heal itself.  It improves mood, increases immunity, and enhances mental and physical performance.  It may even help you stay thin by reducing cravings and giving you the energy to exercise!

I realize that some of these suggestions may seem easier said than done.  Be sure you have the support you need and deserve to help you achieve more happiness.   

Feel free to contact me at 732-842-3515 or coachjenna@FormulaForExcellence.com.  I am here to support you!

Wishing you excellence in mind and body!

Best regards,

Coach Jenna

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