Chasing Happiness

We find ourselves chasing happiness. Not realizing it is right in front of us. The only way to find true happiness is within ourselves. It is about acceptance, appreciation and gratitude of who we are and what we have.

Trying to find happiness through external sources(success, life dreams, money, objects) will just lead to stress, anger, frustration, jealousy among other negative emotions. You try to seek happiness, but end up seeking sadness instead, because expectations are trying to be met.

Happiness isn’t something to obtain. It is always there, just like all other emotions. You never seek sadness, but it finds its way to appear. Happiness can also appear once you find peace within yourself and life. You just have to learn to appreciate the things around you, and be content with how things are.

Happiness isn’t static. It shouldn’t be the main goal. Like all emotions, it comes and goes. There will be times you won’t be happy, and that is okay. Don’t beat yourself up for not being happy. It just ends up making you feel worse.

In the end, happiness isn’t something to seek, it is just there. You just have to learn how to allow it into your life. There is no need to search for it.Awareness, appreciation, satisfaction, understanding, acceptance, and positive thinking all can contribute to happiness.

Nordic nations seem to have the formula correct. They are consistently listed as the happiest countries. Why? Because of their satisfaction of the simple things in life. They aren’t the richest. They aren’t particularly career driven. They don’t seek money, and they aren’t materialistic. They just want to live their lives, enjoying the beauty and experiences of the world. They live life in a comfortable environment as freely as they can making connections with the people around them. It seems this is the right formula to ensure happiness. This can create a longer lasting happy mindset, rather than the short-term happiness from external sources.

 

 

Be Appreciative. Be Positive. Live A Happy Life

I wanted to write this post to share my new mindset of being positive and appreciative. I should make this one of my goals for 2020. I kind of started to do this last year, along my journey with mindfulness. I really like to practice this a bit more this year.

I think this is a great mindset to have. It has made me a much more happy and content person. I like to focus my energy on the positive, and be appreciative of life. I don’t want to be consumed by negativity. I see myself being more at peace, calm, and happy now that I decided to see the bright side of life. I am in control of how I perceive things. I can either choose to be angry, bitter, sad, or miserable, or I can choose to be joyful, appreciative, calm and happy. I choose the latter. We should all choose that path if we want a satisfying and peaceful life. I want to focus my energy on positivity.

I have gotten a mindfulness book this Christmas. There are many wonderful exercises I can do to be mindful. It had me do a lovely exercise of dish washing, but it allowed me to be appreciative of the task, and focus my energy on the moment of the task. How the water felt, how my hands felt,etc. It allowed me to appreciate that I can walk, and use my hands to do the task. I also appreciate that I have clean water, and cleaning supplies to do so as well. It made me see this tedious task in a different light. It made me appreciate it more. If you can learn to appreciate simple tasks like that. It makes you much more appreciative of the whole scheme of things. It makes you appreciate life more.

Work has been difficult at times. I have been exhausted from all the work we have, and overworking myself. I can choose to focus on the disorganization, or the fact that they need more workers, or the fact that I am exhausted from the work and overtime.

But I choose to put my energy on the benefits of having the job. Money to get the things I want, and to experience the things I like. Health benefits that have been useful to me recently, especially Dental. Also, the lovely paycheck I will get from Overtime to help pay off cards and loans I need to pay off. Also, the lovely coworkers I have. That make work a bit more enjoyable. I actually do like my job, but it can be overwhelming at times. I also decided not to overwork myself as much to get things done quicker. I will do what I can, but nothing more. I shouldn’t give more, than everyone else. I tried that practice out Friday, and it made work much more easier and enjoyable. I felt much better.

In the end, it is the choice of the individual how we choose to perceive things. Either we focus on the good or the bad. Either we choose to be miserable or content. It is up to you. I chose happiness and peace of mind. Now I mentioned happiness isn’t stable, but with this mindset you will have a happier mindset. There will be more happiness, rather than sadness. You can be able to enjoy life much more.

I always try to remind myself, why be sad, when you can be happy. Who needs to be negative. When you can be positive. There is enough negativity in the world. I want to spread positivity. Grant it, we will get sad, that is life, but if I can control more happiness in my life. I will do that as much as possible. Always choose happiness over misery when you can. Life will have its bumps. Life will have its struggles. We just got to learn to combat it with positivity and appreciation, and the coping process will become much smoother.

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Release Negative Thoughts

Waking up to negative thoughts is never a way one wants to start their day. There are two choices. Let the negative thoughts consume the body and mind, and have it ruin the rest of your day, or reframe, accept, and release the thoughts, and have a more joyful day.

Being mindful can help you become aware of these type of thoughts, and find ways to release them, so the negative thoughts will not get out of control. You can tell yourself that you will not let these thoughts get the best of you. The day will be a good day. Accept what is, and if you can not accept it, than a change must happen. In the end, you control your happiness.

You can also try a meditation practice where you take a breath in(inhale), think about the negative thought. Immerse yourself in the thoughts, along with the feelings, and reactions it creates. Then release(exhale) the negative thoughts out of the body. This can be a helpful practice in releasing negative energy from the mind and body.

In the end, try not to let negative thoughts win. It is about having the best day possible, no matter the circumstances. Your happiness, and peace of mind depends on it.

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Create Positives to Negate the Negatives

Some things may not go as well as you may like in life. There may be things in your life that has created negativity. It may be out of your control, which can be tough to deal with. It can also be in your control, but hard to make changes, which causes a mental struggle. Negativity will find its way into your life. Unless you are able to purely practice detachment, this is reality. We can’t avoid it. The thing we must learn to do is finding ways to cope with it.

The thing one must do is to try not to let the negatives consume your entire life. We tend to overgeneralize the problems in our lives. We don’t see things in pieces, but as wholes. If we are struggling in one aspect of our lives. We tend to see it as our whole life as falling apart, but that isn’t reality.

This is where we need to find the positives. We need to create the positives to overwhelm the negatives, so that it isn’t the main focus. Now the most important thing is to be in the present! If you are not in the present, nothing can get done. Next is figuring out what positive thing you can create, or do.

I will use positive things I have been doing as examples. Recently, I have been waking up earlier, so that it can give me more time to do the things I want to do. I have also been cooking more recipes that I have wanted to do for a long time. I have also decided to not use my phone, or be online as much, so I can focus my energy on writing, gaining knowledge, and reading. These all have been positive benefits in my life that have uplifted me. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Accomplishment!, that is important to us. If things aren’t going well in other aspects of your lives. Find things in your life that you can accomplish, and achieve to balance out those negatives in your lives. This will give you time to focus more on the good things, rather than putting your energy on negativity.

The is a whole world out there to be explored. There are plenty of things you can learn and grow from. There are plenty of things to experience. There are plenty of things to achieve. It is up to what you can do with it, and how to find it. Don’t put your energy on the things you are struggling with. Put it on the things you benefit from.

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Be Kind to Yourself

Silencing negative self-talk is very important for your well-being. It is easy to see oneself in a negative light, but it does not benefit you at all to think that way. These thoughts will hold you back in life. It will cultivate negativity, misery, and stress. This is why you need to be more mindful, caring, and compassionate towards one self. Perceive yourself in a positive light.

     Try saying 5 positive things about yourself. I want you to try to see yourself in a positive light. Be mindful of the negative self-talk, and switch it to a more positive self-talk. I am sure you are not horrible, untalented, suck at life, not smart etc,. Believe you are smart, strong, motivated, talented.

     Once you start seeing the positive. Confidence will follow. You will feel better about yourself, and be motivated to do things for yourself, and do things that make you happy. If you don’t think you deserve anything, or you feel worthless. Most likely life won’t be as satisfactory as you want. No one is perfect, but there are plenty of positive things about yourself that you should embrace and explore.

     Think to yourself, ‘I am not perfect, but I am the best I can be.’ Focus on improving yourself, and not comparing to others. Have confidence in yourself. Stop the negativity, and hate towards yourself. That does you no good. Negativity brings more negativity. It cultivates a self-fulfilling prophecy. These negative thoughts are mental, not facts.

     It is not about being perfect, and thinking you are better than others. It is about seeing yourself in a better light, and not putting all your attention on the negative. You are amazing, unique, fantastic, creative, intelligent, passionate etc,. Show some self-love and appreciation.

Exercises to Create Happiness

There are specific activities, suggested by Achor and others in positive psychology, which tend to make people happier and Dr. Pierson suggested picking one and committing to it daily, as a “happiness workout.”

  • Meditate for eight minutes a day, which helps rewire your brain for greater happiness, less stress and improved immune functioning.
  • Journal for two minutes about a positive experience you’ve had.
  • Look forward to something.  Make a plan for something positive.
  • Consciously do something kind for someone.  Write a positive note, email someone you care about, or do volunteer work.
  • Surround yourself with positivity.  Put up inspirational quotes, hang pictures of people you care about, or go outside for 20 minutes.
  • Exercise.  Even ten minutes of exercise daily can have a positive impact on your mood.
  • Push past your comfort zone.  The more you do something novel, the happier you are.  Experience new places, new food; take a class in something.
  • Spend money on experiences, not stuff.  Spending money on activities, especially involving others, produces positive emotions which are more meaningful and last longer than those created by buying things.
  • Exercise a “signature strength.”  When people use a skill they have, it generally lifts their mood.  Research suggests that using a character strength, such as creativity, curiosity, humor, judgment, or kindness, creates even greater happiness.
  • Express gratitude.  Write down three things for which you are grateful daily.
  • Allow yourself to be imperfect.  The happiest among us are those who know perfection is un-obtainable and who allow themselves to be “good enough.”
  • Learn to sit with uncomfortable feelings.  Negative emotions are a part of life. Learn safe ways to release them or sit with them, knowing you can stand it.  Over time, your ability to withstand day-to-day negative emotions will expand.
  • Expand your sources of support.  Connection with others is crucial to physical and emotional well-being.  Even brief encounters with others—an email, a smile, an exchange of a few words, can help both parties feel more alive and happy.
  • Practice and make it easy to do the good stuff.  As you develop new habits, you rewire the brain. Put the desired actions as close as possible to the path of least resistance, and make it harder to do the things you don’t want to do.

Morning Mindfulness Tips to Start Your Day Right

Mindfulness activities to brighten up your day

  • Meditation
  • Being Mindful of your morning routine-Immerse yourself in all the activities one does in the morning
  • Sit still and relax-try not to worry about all the things that need to be done, it will get done eventually, just take a step back, and calm the mind
  • Light some incense
  • Think positive thoughts before you walk out the door
  • Look at inspirational, positive quotes to start your day
  • Yoga
  • Journal writing

-Write down whatever comes to mind after a good night sleep

-Write down things you appreciate

-Write down positive things about yourself, your life, and your job

-Write down your goals for the day, or even the future

  • Take a walk outside, or take a couple of minutes to enjoy the view from your window
  • Read, or do an activity that may stimulate the mind
  • Look at inspirational, positive quotes to brighten your day

 

Try your best not to rush out the door in the morning. How you start your morning will reflect the rest of your day. If you are rushing. You may want to get up a bit earlier, so you have time to do these activities, and relax the mind before heading out to the stressful and busy world. It is important to start your day right.

Some Motivational Quotes

Hello! Just wanted to post some quotes to bring some positive thoughts and mindfulness into your day. Remember positive thoughts and mindfulness are the gateway to a peaceful and happy life. I really like the first quote, because we will all feel down at times, and that is okay, but you must remember to refocus your energy on positive things, so that you can get back to your life and figure out ways to make your life better. The second quote is seeing life as it is, nothing more, nothing less. Mindfulness at its best. Seeing reality will set you free. I hope you all have a good night or day!

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8 Ways to Spiral Into Negativity

Negativity can always find its way into our lives. An article by Kristen Lee Ed. D., LICSW in Psychology Today discuss 8 ways of thinking that can put us on a path to negativity. They are called “downward spiral thinking types.” It is important that we find ways to avoid these type of thought processes, so negative thoughts don’t control our lives and happiness. I will list the 8 types below.

  1. The Preemptive 911 caller- “Something happens, and you see it as a total emergency. When your amygdala is in full force, it’s likely you are only able to see red and hear alarm bells going off. You spin into a place where you see reality as being nothing but a full-on crisis. Panic sets in, and everything gets blown way out of proportion(Lee, Ed.D., 2018).” Over-blowing the severity of the situation tends to happen. We see things much worse than it really is. It is important to step back, and see the reality of the situation.
  2.  The saboteur- “Difficulty strikes, and you automatically engage in self-sabotage, taking everything personally and blaming yourself for the occurrence of events, even those over which you have no control. Your thoughts interfere with reasoning, and instead you beat yourself up incessantly, diminishing your sense of value and worth(Lee, 2018).” We are our worse enemy. Try not to put too much blame on your shoulders. Blaming-yourself, or anyone- doesn’t solve anything. This will just spiral you into a state of depression, and you don’t want that! You should lift yourself up, so it can be easier to solve the problem in your life.
  3.  The zero-shades-of-gray thinker- “When looking at a situation, you only see extremes or absolutes. You define things in black-and-white, all-or-nothing terms. Your view is that something is either this way or that, and it’s hard to see the possibility that it could also be a both/and situation(Lee,2018).” Life isn’t black and white. It is a world of grey. Always look at all point of views, and perspectives.
  4. The labeler- “You look at behavior and label it in negative terms. Even though it’s hard to deal with, you believe it is a universal defining trait versus a behavior or situation that needs modification. This trap can lead to self-labeling, as well as judging other people(Lee, 2018).” There are many layers to humans. We shouldn’t judge someone based on one situation. There are many reasons why a person does what they do, but it is easier for us to make snap judgments, which can lead to negative thoughts.
  5. The tunnel visioner- “When evaluating what’s at hand, you only zoom in on the negative details, ignoring anything that is positive and worth appreciating. When something goes wrong, you have trouble identifying the things that have also gone right. Downward-spiraling tunnel vision focuses on deficits and injuries rather than lessons and strengths(Lee, 2018).” It is much easier to focus on the negative, than the positive. I struggle with that myself. It is hard, but we need to find ways to see the positive for our own well-being and happiness.
  6.  The broad brusher- “You paint a very broad picture, make loose connections between past or present instances, and create sweeping over-generalizations to describe what’s at hand. You use phrases like “I never,” “This always,” and “Everyone” to make big assertions of what you see happening(Lee, 2018).” Generalizing is never a good idea. When you say things like ‘I never,’ or ‘ This always.’ I am pretty sure that isn’t accurate. I am sure it never, or always happens. We just overlook the times it worked.
  7. The superhero- “Your cape is always on, working hard to never let anyone down. You pride yourself on doing all and being all, at all costs. You “should” and “must” yourself to the nth degree, but when something goes wrong, you come crashing down, and your self-esteem goes plummeting. When you can’t save the world, you experience extreme disappointment(Lee, 2018).” Perfection is the goal, but an inaccurate way of thinking of oneself. You are not perfect. No one is perfect. Accept your flaws and weaknesses. Accepting you’re not perfect will improve your self-esteem, self-worth, and happiness.
  8. The imposter- “Because you constantly engage in social comparison, you magnify the positives you see in everyone else, but downplay your own strengths and talents. You think you’re going to be found out, and that you really don’t belong at the level where you find yourself. You worry that people will soon see through your façade and come to their senses on the trust they’ve placed in you(Lee, 2018).” We all compare ourselves to others, but doing this leads to negative thoughts about ourselves. We forget to realize that the people we compare ourselves to also have their own struggles and problems. No one has the perfect life. It may seem that way, but it is a facade. The important thing is to focus on the positive things in your life, not in others. We all have positive things in our lives. You just have to try not to overlook them.

We all have done things on the list. It is hard to escape these thoughts. There are many ways to spiral into negativity. It is important that we find ways to avoid these downward spiral thinking types, so that we can live a happy and fulfilling life. Positive thinking is key.

Lee Ed, D., K. (2018, Mar 10). The Amazing Power of The Upward Spiral. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/rethink-your-way-the-good-life/201803/the-amazing-power-the-upward-spiral