Welcome to this week’s blog on the simple concept of happiness. Happiness really is such a simple concept, but many of us struggle to feel good on a daily basis and many of us feel like we are riding an emotional roller coaster.
Do you know that happiness and wellbeing is your birth right? Did you know you are already born good enough, worthy and deserving? In fact, we don’t need to wait to be happy as happiness is actually our natural state of living.
Many of us rely on things happening (I will be happy when I lose weight, get a new job or a new partner etc. etc.) or we wait around for someone else to make us happy. A really key thing to remember is that you cannot rely on anyone else to make you happy. It is not your partner, kids or anyone else’s responsibility to make you happy, you must make your own happiness and this is YOUR responsibility.
Seriously, nobody is coming to save you so if you want to shake your life up a bit and get happy then you can start by making a few simple changes to your day.
When you wake up in the morning, what do you say to yourself? Do you start a momentum of negative thoughts? Well if you do, the likelihood is that these thoughts will gain even more momentum and you could be setting yourself up for a negative day.
Instead, why not try focusing for 60 seconds and building positive momentum each morning? Yes, it takes discipline but if you make it your intent to have a good day, be happy and have fun, this momentum will also start to build. How about declaring that you are going to have a great day and wonderful things are going to happen to you? Remember, whatever you think about you create so make sure you think positive happy and hopeful thoughts!
Another great happiness technique each morning is to focus on a few things in your life that you appreciate. These are different for everyone but appreciation is a great way to build positive momentum.
Finally, a word of warning. If you don't feel like taking steps to make yourself happy, get honest with yourself and ask yourself what are you getting from staying unhappy? Do you get to stay a victim? Do you get to stay small in your comfort zone?
Want to know how to bust your excuses? – check out my 5 Tips which were recently featured in That’s Life Magazine.
Only you can put an end to the cycle of inaction, says life coach Lisa Phillips
COUNT THE WAYS
'Think about a specific area in your life where you're not getting what you want
Then write out the top five excuses that hold you back. Now, beneath each excuse, write what you could do to bust it. Get into the habit of replacing excuses with a thought that will put you on the right track.' Lisa says.
HAVE AN EXCUSE JAR
Every three you come up with an excuse and rationalise your actions, stick some money in the jar. This will help you realise just how often you're doing it'
EYES ON THE PRIZE
If your goal is to be healthier, for example, imagine you've been living a healthy Life style for six months. How will you feel? This can be a huge Incentive and helps silence those excuses.'
'If, say, you're trying to eat more fruit and vegetables, put a poster on your wall with "Healthy Eating" on it. Each day, if you have done what you're supposed to do, give yourself gold star. It makes you feel good about yourself, arid that all builds up.'
A great tip is to is look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself your excuses out loud. I know it might sound weird, but after you have done that about 10 or 20 times. You just think to yourself: 'Oh my God, I am sick of hearing my own excuses! Turn this around and look at where you can take your power back.
For those of us who have families to take care of, elderly relatives, are running a small business, career or generally just a busy life, looking after our own emotional wellbeing can quickly fall into the ‘I haven’t got time’ basket as we spend the majority of our time focusing on taking care of other people and making sure that they are ok.
The demands of life can really take its toll and particularly, if you are constantly running around in emergency mode, your mind and body may just end up paying a high price for putting the needs of everyone else, ahead of your own emotional wellbeing.
The good news is that we can easily implement some simple strategies to resolve this. The more difficult part comes with your own commitment to put your own health, before the health of anyone else.
In my coaching practise, I still get shocked at the amount of people who come to me burned out and exhausted believing the needs of everyone and everything are far more important than their own personal needs. These people often find it difficult to implement boundaries between their work and career life. If you continually do this, you will only end up exhausted and resentful.
Start by changing a few small things in your day like making sure you take regular breaks, eat regular meals and practise saying No to other people. Tune in to your own needs and learn to honour them as well – without feeling guilty. Also try to give up the need for perfectionism and stop setting yourself ridiculously high expectations of yourself. Aim to do your best and that is sufficient.
Another major factor of stress is worrying. Come on, let’s get honest here, does worrying change anything? Seriously? NO! Now having the odd worry is just human nature but if you are one of those people who is a worry wart with constant thoughts of what could go wrong then this is a bad habit which needs to be stopped. In fact, worrying is never useful. Our worries often snowball and our imagination run away with us with thoughts of imagined threats and terrible things happening. The more you worry, the bigger your worries become. Some people then even worry about all the time they have spent worrying!
Here are a few simple ideas for reducing worry:
A key part in looking after your own wellbeing is also your self-talk. Often, we are in the habit of being more positive with our friends than ourselves so it is worth spending some time ensuring that you are also being positive towards yourself and not constantly beating yourself up for not being good enough.
You are thinking negatively when you put yourself down, criticize yourself for errors and doubt your own abilities. However, when you feel energized and good about yourself, this will also spread to everyone around you. It is not so effective to give encouragement to those around us but spend the rest of your time being critical and negative towards yourself.
A great way to deal with negative thoughts is by first becoming aware of them and how they affect you. Negative thoughts can lead you to feel bad about yourself, and make you anxious, stressed or hopeless. Try using these thoughts as a cue for action to think more positively. A great way to do this is by taking a few minutes to think about all the positive things you have in your life.
Also try repeating positive affirmations such as ‘ I am doing the best that I can’ or I cope with everything easily and effortlessly’. I am a huge believer in the first hour of your day will set the theme for the rest of the day so make sure you use the hour after you wake up to say nice things about yourself and tell yourself that you are going to have a successful day!
Another one of my favourite tips which can be useful for both carers and their clients is to write a list of 50 things which make you happy to commit to doing at least one thing a day from this list. Now the list does not need to be full of expensive ideas but it could just be simple things as burning some nice smelling candles or having a nice warm bath or treating yourself to 10 minutes relaxation time.
Lisa appears regularly in the Media, on TV, Radio and Print.