The Practice of Happiness
“Most Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” -Abraham Lincoln
Happiness is something that we all can have. You don’t need a degree, a trust fund, or to be a certain race or demographic group. Happiness is included in the God-given package of being human. That’s because happiness is part of our innate right to have free thought.
“Don’t worry, be happy” is how the old saying goes. It suggests that by worrying less we can achieve happiness. But there is a large gap in the mind between happy and unhappy.
What is true is that neural pathways in the brain strengthen with use. So the more positive we are the more positivity we beget and conversely the more negative we are the more negativity we beget.
Shawn Anchor, author of the Happiness Advantage states “You have to train your brain to be positive just like you work out your body.”
It really wasn’t until I started to dig deeper into the science of positive psychology that I became aware of how much of a choice happiness is.
For a long time, I simply figured that there were positive people and there were negative people.
By learning that happiness is a choice meant that if I wasn’t as happy as I wanted to be, then I could change that. That was powerful.
The other powerful realization I had was that the cultivation of happiness comes from the inside. Nothing on the outside matters more than what is happening on the inside…and…nothing on the outside could bring me the happiness I was looking for.
That’s when I decided to embark on my very own happiness project that I call “the postcard campaign”. It was so successful that decided to share it with my Facebook community. I will be posting the postcard messages through the month of September.
Here’s what you need to know to get more Happiness flowing in your life.
The Foundation of Happiness starts with three basic parts…By the way, I love that these three parts are the framework of Naturopathic Medicine. If most people took care to deeply nourish themselves with these three things there would be a lot more health and a lot less disease on the planet.
*Eating well – Real whole food from natures kitchen. (My cookbook is a great guide)
*Regular exercise – Our bodies are designed to be in motion.
*Adequate sleep – Our bodies are programmed with the sun. Down with the sun up with the sun.
I find it extremely interesting that the foundation for good health is identical to the foundation of happiness.
Once the foundation is in place then the next step is putting these six little habits into practice. Done consistently they will elevate your mind up through the rafters to the happiness state of mind.
*Express Gratitude – this is the quickest way to achieve happiness. By focusing on what is good it pushes the not-so-good to the sidelines.
*Be You – Say yes when something feels good and no when it doesn’t. Many women have trouble saying No. No is a vitamin. It does a body good.
*Look for the positive – remember the neural pathways? You want to build positive freeways in your mind.
*Have some fun – “All work and no play makes Jane a very dull person” …and a very unhappy one. Take time to be silly or sing or dance around. Remind yourself that life shouldn’t be taken so seriously.
*Connect – Happy people feel connected. Women especially need other women. Get out there and call a friend, participate in something at church or sign up for a 5K with co-workers.
*Connect with yourself – Take time each day to journal, meditate, pray, create, and set your intention for the day. This is time for you that nourishes you from within. I talk about this in more detail in my blog post titled How You Start Your Day Matters.
Cheering you on for a Happy and Inspired Life!
I’ve read this book a couple of times, check it out!: