Different Ways to be Happy & Spend Your Me-Time

Small ideas with big results! Try baby steps and don't forget to reward yourself. Just one tiny change can make a difference to the way you feel about yourself and others.

Get Happier

First give up expecting to have happiness without sadness, or ups without downs, then you can get on with living and loving life.
Give up unrealistic expectations by understanding the true definition of love, fulfilment and perfection. In all your relationships, understand that it’s impossible to be positive about them all the time. Comparing our reality to the ‘happily ever after’ romantic ideal is the cause of all our unhappiness!
There’s a reason that, just before you say ‘I do’, they ask: ‘… for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health’ – because that’s what you’re going to get! Sometimes we feel ‘I love you’; sometimes it’s ‘I can’t stand you!’.
Sometimes it’s ‘Be with me’, and at other times it’s ‘Give me my space’. This is the dance of love – it’s not one-sided bliss. It’s up and down, in and out, positive and negative. And that’s as good as it gets! So the fact that half the time you don’t like your partner, your children or your job is the reality – that is love. Embracing both sides is what makes it ‘unconditional love’.

◆ Stop being so self-righteous. You probably have the same trait or do the very thing that bothers you. They might be stingy with money and you might be stingy with time. The world is your mirror: consider what it’s reflecting about you and you’ll gain valuable insight that will bump you off your self-righteous pedestal.
◆ Make requests. This one simple act can change your life. Ask for what you want, whether it is acknowledgement, affection, a promotion, an increase, help, assistance, or a break! Stop expecting people to anticipate your needs or read your mind. Help people to help you so you don’t simmer with resentment when they don’t.
◆ Be present in the now, rather than worrying about what may happen in the future. The only thing we know for sure is what is happening to us in the present.
◆ Identify one action that you can take today to feel more in control of your life. It can be tiny – cleaning the car, doing the filing, throwing out old clothes; anything that is quick, easy and gives a sense of action and achievement. If we feel empowered, we feel healthy and strong and less stressed.
◆ Be grateful. Every day, look around you and identify what you are grateful for – the sunshine, the fresh flowers on your desk, the sound of the birds, the coffee you just drank… Being grateful makes us happier by encouraging us to appreciate what we have in life.
◆ Be mindful. When you are in the shower, be mindful of the sensations of the water on your skin, notice when your mind is being pulled into your ten o’clock meeting, or what to feed the kids, and take your awareness back to the sensations in your body. When you are eating, just eat: our minds can be so distracted that we miss the tastes, textures and sensations of our food. Practise slowing down your eating.
◆ Let go of guilt. As weird as it may seem, ask yourself whether you are your own worst enemy in that you do not believe you deserve to be happy and to have life go well for you. Let go of any guilt associated with being happy and embrace it.
◆ Take a baby step. If there is something you want to do or become, why not think about taking one small baby step towards it? It will give you such a sense of accomplishment and joy that it can fuel your desire to take the next step. If you want to start a business, what is the one small step you can take to get your first client without drawing up a business plan or having a business card? Just step into yourself.
◆ Be kind to someone. Scientists have found that the nicer you are to the world, the nicer the world is to you. So make someone’s day.

Quicker fixes

◆ Buy flowers. New research from Harvard University shows that even people who say they’re not ‘morning people’ report feeling happier and more energetic after looking at flowers first thing in the morning.
◆ Exercise. The health benefits of exercise for your body are clear but what about your soul? Exercise boosts your sex life, lifts self-esteem, builds your immune system, strengthens your brain and lightens anxiety and depression.
◆ Borrow it. Hire a DVD or video that makes you laugh.


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Be more energetic

◆ Think of your energy as a fire inside you. When you are about to do something, consider whether it is going to feed the fire by adding wood to make it burn stronger, or if it is going to act like a bucket of water and drown your fire. Your inner flame is your energy, and you need to nurture it.
◆ The more you standup to your inner critic, the more positive and energetic you’ll feel.Don’t berate yourself and say ‘I’m so lazy for skipping the gym’. Rather change your thought to: ‘I used that time well, I’ll go for a walk tonight.’
◆ Don’t stay up late to cram more into your day. We tend to view sleep as wasted time and a luxury. Aim for seven to nine hours a night, or whatever amount leaves you feeling fresh and alert the next day.
◆ Leave your curtains open tonight. Research from the University of Washington School of Medicine shows that waking up with natural light – known as dawn stimulation – improves energy, while a loud alarm can leave you stressed.
◆ Don’t start your work day with e-mails, rather check out a funny website. Researchers say that a moment of mirth increases the body’s secretion of immune-boosting growth hormones and endorphins and leaves you raring to go.
◆ Eat yoghurt or take probiotics. They’re important for immunity, the production of small amounts of vitamins B12 and K, and enhanced absorption of the nutrients in the food we eat. They also provide protein and calcium and help to ease bloating and digestive cramps.
◆ Have a courageous conversation if something has been bothering you. An unfinished conversation will zap your energy. Getting honest will equal getting energy.

Read useful health tips here.

Read useful healthy living tips here.

Learn how to get guilt-free me time.

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