Christmas happens in 11 days. Hannukah begins tomorrow at sunset. No matter which holiday you celebrate, there are simple steps that you can take today to ensure that you close out this year happier and open the new year with a joyful perspective.
The Dalai Lama teaches us that happiness ought to be our primary focus in this life. That’s tough to dispute, especially when the medical and psychological research has demonstrated so very clearly what we already know intuitively to be true — happiness feels good. When we feel happy, our mind and our heart are open and generous; we enjoy our own company and others gravitate to us. Sometimes however, we get stuck in a rut of misery and thinking that life is bleak, circumstances are hopeless, and happiness is not meant for us. Not true. Happiness is a choice, and here are the steps to follow to ensure you get yours.
1. Allow yourself time.
Especially at this of the year, we get anxious and eager to “get it all done” but that perspective adds a layer of stress that is not helpful. Pace yourself, pause and think through how long it will take you to do each task on your list, allowing yourself the opportunity to actually enjoy doing what you have decided to do. Don’t rush it.
2. Open your eyes with appreciation.
If you begin each morning by opening your eyes being thankful that you can see, hear, move, and breathe, you’ve gotten off to a great start to a positive perspective day. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving this a try.
3. Love the ones around you.
You’ve chosen to be around the people in your life; that means they hold value for you. Give into the urge to love them freely and let them know you are happy they are part of your world. Love begets love and that feels great.
4. Believe in the power of laughter.
There is something funny to appreciate daily, some little thing that is amusing that puts a smile on your face and lightens your load; seek it out. Consider what you find funny and get into it whether it is a comedic friend or a sitcom or a hilarious movie, indulge your funny bone and release those endorphins with laughter.
5. Understand the difference between relaxing and being lazy.
Very often we feel guilt when we kick back a bit to relax–forget the guilt and adopt the perspective that taking time to relax is taking time to replenish so that you can refuel and recharge so that we are more clear minded, less exhausted, and ready to be productive. Enjoy the relaxation time.
6. Schedule time for an appointment for you, with you.
If you look at your list and don’t see time for you to be taken care of with a relaxing massage or swim or nap or manicure or favorite book or whatever it is that is fun and replenishing, you need to put it on there. If you don’t schedule it, the chances of it happening diminish.
7. Be mindful about what you eat and drink.
If you wonder why you feel tired and crabby, take a moment to think about how you have provided genuine nourishment to your mind and body today. If you have not eaten and done it healthfully, you’ll pay the price. You wouldn’t fill your gas tank in your car with cola, don’t give your body the wrong fuel. Eat healthfully, drink what will hydrate and nourish you. Herbal teas, wholesome foods, avoidance of processed foods–this will prompt a shift in your physiology that will enhance your happiness factor as your digestive system functions more happily.
8. Respect that you need to sleep.
We need rest, restful sleep throughout the night when it is dark and quiet is the best because we need to have a time of recovery from the busy day. Ending the day with a hot soothing bath or hot steamy shower and a cup of Celestial Seasonings Sleepy Time Tea is a magical formula. Turn off the electronics for 90 minutes before the bedtime routine and then get in a good, well deserved snooze–you’ll have a much happier day.
9. Integrate physical movement into the day.
Our culture has evolved into a sitting marathon most days. However, our bodies love to move. However possible, find time to take a walk, stretch your muscles, and breath like you’re giving every part of your body a good dose of oxygen, you mind will love it as much as your limbs and your organs. You’ll also love the healthy pink glow you see on your face.
10. Find your core faith in something outside of yourself.
Life holds challenges for us each day, throughout the day. If everything is on our lone shoulders to carry and solve, it becomes burdensome. We need to place our faith in something bigger than we are. Whatever you label it–the Universe, God, Abba, Mother Nature, or Buddha, trust in another source and share your burden with it. You’ve got everything to gain by giving it a try.
11. Spend some portion of each day in the fresh air.
We have created a world of closed up buildings and vehicles for transport. What we need however is fresh air! Whether you can step outdoors easily or you need to visit a garden center or greenhouse, find a way to breathe in healthy air, look up and see the sky, touch a live tree, and smell some lovely part of nature, just do it. You’ll awaken your senses and feel happy as you experience a bit more of life in a genuine and visceral way.
Most of all, in each step, remember that the way you love yourself is the way you will love others–do it genuinely, healthfully, and happily. In Build the Strength Within, http://www.amazon.com/Build-Strength-Within-Create-Blueprint/dp/1590791479/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418668303&sr=1-1&keywords=dr+deb+carlin you’ll find the detailed steps to these practices alongside many more. Take a few moments and use the link to order your copy now. Remember, happiness can be yours!