Make Happiness Top Priority

 

thumb_img_0793_1024What would change in your life if you decided make happiness your top priority?

Edwin Edebiri, thinks that happiness needs to be our default position and has declared himself the Chief Happiness Officer. Listen to his Ted- ex talk here. Happiness as a Default Position
He speaks to a core belief that happiness is a state you deserve to enjoy and everyone can find happiness. I agree that happiness is a state of mind that improves when you pay attention to what does make you happy. What I like about his talk is the idea that self-compassion or the ability to forgive your self is a key component to happiness.
I pulled a few ideas that appealed to me from his talk.

How to make Happiness your priority in life
1. Decide to be happy
2. Smile more and learn to laugh at yourself
3. Create a gratitude list, include what makes you happy
4. Create a list of all the things that make you unhappy and seek solutions
5. Eliminate some things that that contribute to unhappiness
6. Be active and make healthy choices for self care
7. Create a dream list and take actions towards your dreams
8. Play
Is it really that easy to become happier?

There is research that supports that idea of happiness linked to attitude and your focus on need satisfying goals. Remember that these are goals that nourish and support you, not just achievement goals.
Goals that nourish you can be long-term projects that you work on over time. Happiness comes from taking good care of your self in small ways.

What makes me happy?
I have small things that make me happy: hearing a bird sing, riding my bike instead of driving to the store, connecting with people on a summer walk, swimming and a quiet start to the day drinking tea. Consider the small things that you find pleasure in. What does make you feel good? It can be an activity or something you view or appreciate. When you pause at the end of every day and create a gratitude list, it gives you a reason to be happy. In hectic times the only thing we really can control is our attitude.

Look at the ideas above and find what fits your needs. Try one or two of them and see what happens.  Really it can be that easy to enjoy happy moments.
Need some other ways to check your happiness level? Schedule a call with Coach Gwen

What do I Believe

What do I believe?

This is a question that many of us don’t slow down long enough to think about. We get busy doing things and moving forward reacting to events and situations as they occur. Let me explain the value of having clarity on your core values and what you believe.

Our internal beliefs guide our daily decisions, even when we don’t think about them.  If I have a core belief that working harder is the best way to get ahead- than I work long hours without thinking about it. That belief in hard work may override any concerns about having a balanced life outside of work.

Where do beliefs come from? Our beliefs are built on experience and information gathered from other people and situations.  Our beliefs can be based on the past and no longer relevant or helpful in the present. Some beliefs come from hearing repeated information that is not accurate. Can you think of some beliefs from childhood that are not useful to you today? How do you start to pay attention to your current belief system? My favorite method is to use an journal. A journal that asks you to pay attention to what is working or not working in your life, will give you some ideas on where to make positive changes.

creative-writing-reflective-journaling

Keeping a journal is a proven way to help you increase your awareness on how beliefs impact your actions on a regular basis.

What helps you sort and redefine  beliefs is the ability to open your mind to different perspectives. Learn from other view points. Be curious. Ask questions. Understand that there are a variety of perspectives on any given subject. Gather all the knowledge that you can. Then make decisions based on your own conclusions.  Ask yourself how your beliefs serve you? Where do they hinder or create obstacles for you?  When you have a basic set of operating beliefs they can make decisions easier.  Your actions and decisions feel right to you when you are operating based on your beliefs. If you are uncomfortable about a decision, explore what is really  bothering you. Here are a few of my basic beliefs.

  • I believe that I am responsible for my own happiness
  • I believe that it is my responsibility to speak up for my own needs and concerns
  • I believe in treating other people with kindness and respect
  • I believe that self care is critical to personal development and professional growth

I challenge you to create your own list of beliefs – then reflect on how they guide your actions.

Keep the beliefs that help you and toss out the old ones that just get in your way. Try an online journal for free with Spiral Coaching.  What you get is a private space for your own self development or an innovative way to interact with  Coach Gwen.

Sign up for a Free Journal

Why Solitude is Important

Have you ever just craved some quiet alone time?

Little girl with a book

I have had two clients last week who brought up the issue of needing some more space and time to themselves. The hectic pace of their lives and the sheer volume of interactions with people in their own home were becoming an irritation instead of a joy. This brought up the discussion of the effect on not getting quiet time as an adult. This I understand. I was the kid who climbed up into a tree to read- so no one would bother or interrupt me. My mom understood this need for quiet time- because she pretended not to notice where I was- even with all three of the family dogs sat patiently under the tree waiting for me. Now I understand the term introvert and how well that fits me.  According to Susan Cain one our of every two or three people out of the population are considered introverts.  Cain has a TED talk and a book-Quiet- on The Power of Introverts. Yet how many quiet spaces are there in your work environment? Most of our work spaces are designed for interaction and extroverts. In a busy household with different schedules and tasks that need doing- where is the quiet conversation? If solitude is part of what matters to you- then finding the time to be quiet is important to your ability to cope with the rest of the day.

What are the benefits of solitude? Solitude allows you to unwind and rest your brain. The absence of stimulation allows your brain to slow down and stop processing information. Solitude gives you time and space to consider your own needs and choices- rather than just going along with the group. It is easier to focus and concentrate on a specific issue or project with no outside distractions. You think more deeply about a topic when you are alone. I consider solitude the antidote to too much outside stimulation. I avoid big box stores partly because of the noise, lights and general level of activity there. Am I a hermit? No. I like social settings with friends where you can talk and interact. I am not as comfortable in a loud, crowded environment where you have to talk over loud music. Solitude for me is a choice that allows be to replenish and recharge my brain, my energy and my emotional levels.  If a quiet space fits your needs- then make choices that give you that space to recharge.

  • Schedule time alone
  • Walk outside at lunch for a change of environment
  • Swimming- or exercise outside can provide solitude
  • Get up early
  • Meditate
  • Pause before you start on weekend projects- enjoy your morning coffee outside

I have found the simple solution for me is to drink one cup of tea alone in my office without doing anything else. Just sitting and doing only one thing is enough to provide a calm  start to my day. This week – be aware of where you can find moments of solitude and enjoy them for what that quiet moment gives back to you.

If you have trouble finding a calm space- contact me for more ideas.

What do you believe about your fitness level?

Are you a fit person? Are you a person who thinks you are awkward and physically challenged?

What internal messages to you give yourself every time you try something new that is physical?  What messages can you give yourself to support the pattern of being a physically fit person?

For any physical activity or skill, your mind is in charge of your body. It makes sense. First if you start a walking program, your mind has to make the decision to start the activity. Then it is your mind that places that activity on your schedule and reminds you to get moving.

When something is very important your mind will focus on it and give you positive reinforcements that this is what I want and need to be doing.

To be successful with any fitness activity you have to believe that you have the ability and resources to accomplish the activity. If you first believe you can be an active fit person you will be successful in getting there.

Now your actions need to follow that belief by setting up a realistic schedule for starting and staying on a fitness program.

For starting a walking program you need to commit to walking everyday for a specific amount of time. The biggest mistake I think people make is setting up impossible goals for the first week, then quitting because they didn’t make those goals.

For your success, take one action every day. Be consistent with that action. Pay attention to the small results and how you feel about accomplishing that one thing every day.

Give your self credit every day for the one thing you did to more you towards better health. Then repeat that action again tomorrow and build on it.

Become the fit person you want to be, one day at a time.

Keep moving and have fun with it.