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Let It Go !

Whoever said “money can’t but happiness “is shopping in all the wrong places !!! Polls havre shown that wealthier people generally are in fact happier. What else do people THINK makes them happier sex ? friendships/? holidays? health ? It is true that these factors can influence how happy someone is. But when Psychologists study happiness they usually find it is a STATE OF MIND. A person with nothing or who has had a series of disappointments can be happier than someone who has it all. So how do we alter someones state of mind ?

I came across an old study carried out by Dr N M Bradburn it concentrated on the positive and negative effect and why people were predisposed to be one or the other. He concluded it was partly due to their circumstances in life but mostly down to their personality.

Extroverts were far more likely to be optimistic while introverts demonstrated far more negativity . Therefore we have to “develop a talent for happiness”. Many programmes exist to increase extroversion and reduce neuroticism. Also in the eighties and linked into this study was Dr Michael Fordyce a pioneer of happiness studies produced his own set of fundamentals, a programme of changes that can increase your happiness levels . These 14 points can push your personality into a more extrovert direction. This programme has considerable success right up to today. So I wanted to share the 14 exercises with you today because you must value your happiness but pursue it actively and constantly

1.Be more active and keep busy.Happy people get more out of life because they put more into it. Engage in a wider range of activities that you enjoy

2.Be productive at meaningful work.Happy people find meaning and purpose in the most mundane task. They are purposeful, productive and get things done.Set goals and objectives.

3.Get better organised and plan. Happy people are more organised. Make lists, accomplish and feel a sense of achievement.

4.Spend more time socialising. Happy people cultivate a social network and large groups of friends. When times are tough they seek out people rather than cut people off.

5.Develop an outgoing social and healthy personality. Happy people have a positive view of themselves and their abilities. They accept their own frailities and failures without dwelling on them or letting them get in the way. Accept and know how to take care of yourself. Embrace activities that play to your strengths and build your confidence. Happy people smile more, good humour is contagious so only hang out with other happy people. Join a club or activity that you enjoy so you can meet new people.

6.Close relationships are the number one source of happiness. Happy people are responsive and nurturing to the needs and hopes of those they love and value. Equally recognise a close relationship that no longer makes you happy.

7.Stop worrying. Worrying makes us feel bad. Happy people waste less time with it distracting themselves with something more enjoyable instead. Write down what you worry about for a week then in a month or so review your worry diary its my bet that most was needless worrying and most things went away or did not come to fruition.

8.Lower your expectations and aspirations. I know right ! Tricky one this of course you must set goals and standards but don’t set the bar too high or you will be constantly disappointed. Happy people don’t compare themselves to others.

9Get present orientated. Live for today. People who live in the past are depressed , those that live in the future are anxious. By living in the present is the only way to be truly happy. Focus on now.

10.Develop positive, optimistic thinking. Gratitude diaries are very effect for this. write down 3 things every day that you are truly grateful for. Happy people are definitely more optimistic seeing the glass half full and not half empty. Next time you note that you are being negative turn it upside down to look at the positives in the situation. Leave “thought check” post it notes around the house so when you catch site of one check your thinking if you are thinking negative thoughts turn them into positive ones. This is a great drill in developing positive thinking and training yourself. I always extract the positives from every problematic situation. Surround yourself with radiators never drains.

11. Eliminate negative feelings and problems. Happy people enjoy looking for solutions to problems rather than dwelling on them so don’t allow negative feelings to fester.

12.Be yourself. Happy people tend to come across as authentic and genuine and true to themselves. They are comfortable with who they are and communicate it.

13.Don’t bottle things up. Happy people know when and how to ask for help if they need it. Bring problems into the open bottling things up is a recipe for poor mental health.

14. Value your happiness. Happy people work at being happy. They do things that make them happy , hang out with the people that make them happy. Happiness is a priority and they recognise when they are not.

So try this for yourself. Fordyce proved over many years that you can actually help yourself a great deal. To a large extent happiness is up to you. Material factors are important in your life but how you choose to think about them is more important still. Whether you are balanced towards a negative or positive outlook largely depends on your personality, but your outlook can be definitely changed. Fordyce has shown over many years that happiness is something you have to work at , it is certainly not something that happens while you are looking the other way. Happiness ‘drills’ need to be practised on a regular basis.

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Make Yourself Happy




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