Self-talk your way toward happiness

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[Image credit: digitalart]

I’m over half way through my 30-day happiness challenge and still going strong. It has become a game I play each day as I seek out those things I can see or taste or touch or hear that make me happy. I also find I’m more present in every moment, savoring it as if it’s a favored piece of chocolate. The topic of happiness has been coming up wherever I turn, too. And whether it’s Pharrell Williams singing on my car stereo, or the media promising it holds the secret of happiness, there’s always the same disclaimer: happiness begins within ourselves. Which goes back to living with intent. With that said, one article I read shared a few thoughts we can start employing today toward happiness:

1.      Whatever I’m going through will pass.
2.      I am never alone.
3.      Every dark (or slightly dirty) cloud has a silver lining (somewhere).
4.      Slow down, breathe and tackle one thing at a time.

What is your self-talk mantra toward happiness?

Living with intent

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Living with intent

[Image credit: samarttiw]


In my post A recipe for happiness, I list three essentials to happiness in life: something to do, something to love and something to hope for. With that in mind, I began my 30-day happiness challenge a week ago, each day seeking out one thing that makes me happy. I’ve discovered that 1) it requires me to live my life with intent—purposing to keep my eyes open and look for happiness; 2) it’s sometimes hard to pick only one thing that makes me happy  (not a bad problem to have) and 3) the “things” I attribute to my happiness aren’t always tangible. One morning I volunteered my time and I was “high” with happiness all afternoon and evening. Another day I spent several hours networking at a writer’s convention. What I look forward to the most upon waking is first I set my intention to be happy, and then I allow that attitude to carry me throughout the day.

In what ways do you live with intent?

No judgment allowed

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No judgment allowed_pakorn


[Image credit: pakorn]

A few days ago I ran into a couple of yogi friends and the topic of judgment came up. It seems that for yogis, the way of life on the mat is similar to life outside of the hot room. So how we treat ourselves and react to uncomfortable circumstances, during any given practice, is likely how we treat ourselves and react in “real life.” If we’re critical when we stare at our reflection for 90 minutes, then we’re probably critical of ourselves in our workplaces or with family and friends. Yogi or not, I think if we remember to approach each day (and practice) with an open mind and heart, rather than self-imposed expectations, we’d become more forgiving toward ourselves—and others. And rather than compare our journey with that of the person next to us, it’s important to accept, without judgment, that we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be. This is when we’re free to grow.

How do you keep judgment from getting in the way?

A recipe for happiness

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Recipe for happiness


[Image Credit: digitalart]

Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are
Something to do, something to love,
And something to hope for. ~ Joseph Addison

With April 1 around the corner, so are two 30-day personal challenges I’ve set up for myself: make a different salad every day and do something [new] each day that makes me happy. I’ve been reflecting on the latter and drafted a quick list for starters. Although subject to change—depending on my mood and the circumstances—here’s what happiness looks like to me:

1. Iced green tea latte with soy.
2. Volunteer my time.
3. Practice Bikram yoga.
4. Read something for fun.
5. Plan a trip.

The beginnings of a simple list, really. One that makes me realize how easy it is for happiness to become a regular habit. As long as I have something to do, something to love and something to hope for, I’ve got my recipe for a lifetime of happiness.

What are your essentials to being happy every day?

Asking for help

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Asking for help

[Image credit: digitalart]

Asking for help is not something that comes naturally to me. For example, at work I’ll routinely wait until I’m drowning in deadlines before raising my hand and begging for a lifeline. And after four weeks of suffering through labored breathing and laryngitis, I finally saw the doctor for help managing my allergies and asthma. When I am unable to work through something on my own, I feel like a failure, although I know that is the furthest thing from the truth. When we acknowledge our need, we validate our humanness and connectedness with the world outside ourselves. I think we’re inherently designed to help others carry their load and vice versa. It draws us closer and, I believe, ultimately strengthens us for the task at hand. Who doesn’t want to feel needed … valued … worthy? Even an encouraging word may make all the difference in the world to someone who doubts their ability to tackle a mountain.

Is there someone who could use your help today?

Make every day International Happiness Day

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International Happiness Day

[Image credit: digitalart]

This past week I saw some Facebook posts about International Happiness Day. I started thinking if I’m the only one in charge of my happiness like the “experts” say, then why not celebrate happiness every day? When I feel like I’m not happy, maybe what I’m feeling is discontent so I don’t get too comfortable where I’m at. That way I’ll continue striving to better myself and seeking ways to contribute to my little corner of the world. Happiness, I believe, is contagious. The happier we are, the more our joy spills over and affects others. Beginning on April 1st (to coincide with another self-imposed challenge), I’m planning to start each day picking one thing that makes me happy and adding it to my list of tasks—no restrictions. It can include treating myself to a green tea latte to “paying it forward” with a good deed. I’ll call it my 30 days of happiness challenge. Stay tuned for updates.

What is one thing that makes you happy?

Running on empty? Do more!

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Fuel gauges

[Image credit: Salvatore Vuono]

I’ve been running on an empty tank for the past few months. Even with regular Bikram yoga practice, I’m weary and uninspired more often than not. I think, in part, it’s because I’m not exactly where I believe I should be. Yet I have a sneaking suspicion that, at the same time, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. However, that just means I’m uncomfortable enough to take stock of my life and acknowledge that what I’m looking at is only a small piece of the big picture. My remedy? I’ve started doing more (of the good stuff): traveling to the Midwest to visit family and friends, scheduling time to attend a local tourist attraction and my first volunteer stint for a non-profit, preparing for an upcoming writers’ convention and my high school reunion, plus planning a getaway in the fall. I figure the more I invest in myself and others, the more likely I’ll fill my tank and become inspired again.

What keeps you energized and inspired?

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