Have you ever wondered what is the secret to constant smiles and endless optimism? It’s easy to write such people off as simply born that way, or lucky, or fake.
But before you do, consider this. Happiness is a choice. We all get to choose whether to be happy. You can be just as happy as the happiest Oompa Loompa in the chocolate factory. You can also choose to be as miserable as the Grinch.
Yes, certain circumstances make it easier to be happy than others, but if you genuinely want to boost your happiness (which I presume you do, or you wouldn’t be reading this), read on…
Do more things that make you happy
Sounds so blooming obvious, doesn’t it? But it’s amazing how easy it is to get stuck in a life pattern doing very little of the things we love. Try this simple, one-minute exercise:
Draw a table with two columns
In the left-hand column write a list of things you love doing (or loved as a child)
In the right-hand column, write a list of the things you do every day
Add ten minutes of an activity you love to your day, or one session a week – it’s amazing the difference this can make in your life. It motivates you to get out of bed in the morning, gives you an emotional high and energises you in a more fulfilling way than chocolate ever will.
2. Put yourself first
In a world where we are expected to be able to run a sub-4 hour marathon and produce a five-tier, multi-flavoured birthday cake the same day, self-care can easily get pushed to the bottom of the list.
It can feel like we are not achieving that much as we sit and read Vogue whilst someone paints our toenails.
Don’t be fooled. Self-care is essential to reduce stress, build resilience, optimise your physical health and make you better placed to help others. It’s the old ‘put your own oxygen mask on first’ mantra… If you want to excel and achieve in life, you must start prioritising self-care.
Here is your permission. Go and schedule an act of self-care right now.
3. Be of service to others
The science behind helping others speaks for itself. It releases endorphins, and is followed by long-term improvement in emotional well-being and an increased sense of self-worth. Both of these will help you be less stressed, with all the wonderful health benefits that brings.
Truly simple things work, like an impromptu message for a loved one, smiling and asking how the person on the check-out is, or offering to get a colleague their lunch on a busy day. Start focusing on giving back to others without an agenda, and you’ll be amazed at what comes your way in return. As well as happiness in spades of course.
4. Drop your judgment
It’s easy not to realise how often we place judgment on things, people and ourselves. Why are X and Y still together? Why did I get lumped with this project, yet again? I should be smarter/thinner/more successful.
Stories of judgment are likely running through your head much more frequently than you think. How do these serve you? What would it be like to let them go? Imagine a world where you just let X and Y be in their relationship without concerning yourself about the outcome. Where you let go of any expectations for yourself and allow yourself to just be where you are.
Start catching yourself every time you make a judgment and let it go. If it’s helpful repeat the mantra “I see it but I release it without judgment”.
5. Choose to be happy
The fact remains that you can choose to be happy in whatever circumstances. Some of the happiest people I’ve met in the world, and particularly in Dubai, are those with very few material things.
Every day you get to choose whether you want to be happy.
If you choose not to be that day, ask yourself, how is this story serving you? Which part of your identity is wrapped up in feeling miserable or judgmental? How is it making you feel better or supporting a story you like to tell yourself? Then choose to let that part go. Change the story. Release that old identity. Choose happiness instead.
Working with me
If you have a negative behaviour pattern that you’d like help shifting, book your free hypnotherapy consultation session with me. Hypnotherapy is one of the most effective ways to change trigger-related behaviours.
My next Monday Meditation is 29 April, you can find out all the details and sign up here.
If you’re interested in working with me one-on-one, I have a few spots left for Dubai based clients before the summer. Reply to this email for more details.
UK people - I want to hear from you! If you’re interested in hypnotherapy or coaching, I’ll be taking on a limited number of clients over the summer. Reply to this email to express your interest. Please note the change of date for my UK Retreat.