Since this week’s Daily Positive Points is focusing on Happiness, I thought it would be a great idea to list some ideas for creating a happier life. Sure, there are lots of ideas, books, research, seminars, and education on happiness but I wanted to focus in on what specifically works for me. When I am down or struggling, there is a formula that use to help me get my “stink out” so to speak.
When I was rewriting my children’s book, STINKIN’ THINKIN’ STINKS, I discovered that the troubles facing our youth was very overwhelming and started to get me down. For example, when I was researching information about bullying and adolescent suicide, I was simply shocked and speechless. I simply felt bad, dirty and sad with story after story that could have been prevented. I would find myself in funk quickly and I didn’t realize it at the time. I learned that I needed to reset myself after doing research like this in the future. The end result is the formula below.
5 Steps to Happiness
1) Get Quiet – When I am down or getting run down, one of the things that has a major impact on my attitude and happiness is getting in a quiet place and cleanse my thoughts. It is more like a data dump to make way for positive thinking. It is easy to say but sometimes harder to do. If my mind is racing out of control, I go to step #2.
2) Exercise – Anytime you are feeling any emotion that doesn’t feel good, you are certainly impacting your happiness. I find that going to the gym to work out helps me clear my mind and get out the anger and frustration. After it, I am much more relaxed and can open my mind to receive good thoughts. Once I am there, I can change my focus to positive thoughts and return to a happier state.
3) Track Positive/Negative Thoughts – Tracking positive and negative thoughts has been one of the most useful tools I have ever used. I even have exercises on this website to do this. I have said for many, many years that you can’t fix something if you are not aware of it. These exercises help you become aware of your thoughts so you can do something about them.
4) Gratitude – When I am not experiencing happiness, I often find that I am focused on the wrong thing. One great exercise I do when I become aware of this, I create a “gratitude circle” in my mind’s eye. This helps me get out of my own head if you know what I mean. It goes something like this: I close my eyes and start giving thanks to my immediate family (my wife, son, daughter-in-law & dog) and I envision it as a circle. I then expand the circle out to my family and my wife’s family. Each time, I keep expanding until it goes out of the city, state, country, continent, the world and then the universe. I always feel much better about my current circumstances.
5) Kindness – My absolute go-to step for creating happiness is kindness. I have discovered over the years that when I deliver kindness, I feel better and am much happier. I offer a Kindness Challenge once a quarter to help remind everyone to practice kindness for a certain length of time. However, this challenge is really to myself to remind ME to do kindness. Often during these challenges I will ask myself, “what kindness have I delivered today?” This resets my thinking of helping others and I feel great after committing random acts of kindness. Try it, you’ll not only like it, you will LOVE it!
If you want live a happier life, try anyone of the 5 steps I use. In fact, why not try them all and see how you feel? Please post your comments on this page or send me a message via the “Ask Sweetie” barrel.
With peace, happiness and gratitude,