The suffocating feeling of stress that can linger for days – whether in your job or your personal life – may actually be a decision that you have made, rather than external influences making you miserable. It may be time to look at the rules you have set yourself and see that you are not trying to exceed your own high expectations.
Happiness is a choice, just as unhappiness is a choice. It’s up to each individual to make sure their actions and thought patterns are in line with the things that make them happy. But the question is: how can you achieve this?
The trick is to set your internal rules so that it is easy to feel happy and very difficult to feel miserable. This technique will keep you centred as a person – all you need to do is set aside an hour of your time and do these three easy steps to make it happen.
Being as honest as you can, answer the following questions and write it down:
What has to happen for me to be happy?
What has to happen for me to be unhappy?
These questions can be made specific, if you wish to focus on a part of your life that doesn’t seem to be going well, simply be adding “at home” or “at work” on the end.
These are your rules.
Now you know your rules: examine them. Have you made it easier to be happy or miserable?
Now create a new set of rules that would make it easy for you to be happy and difficult to be miserable. For example “I enjoy going to work each day and seeing the people I work with”, “It upsets me a natural disaster threatens my home” etc. As you can see, the new rules don’t have to be particularly realistic – the key is to write rules that would make you happier if you really believed them.
Now you have your new rules, type them up and print them out to put them where you can see them. Try to memorise them. Having your rules visible while you’re doing other things will re-program your mind to believe the new rules. It’s that simple.
Remember, when you’re happy – everyone else around you will be happy – and your popularity with rise. No one wants to be miserable, but happiness is something that needs to be worked at. This is such a simple task – why not start today?
Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment. Dale Carnegie
One of the most self-destructive feelings we can have is frustration – particularly if it has been around for a while about the same issue. Unfortunately there’s no quick fix to this – especially it involves falling out of love with someone from a previous relationship, generally it’s faster to fall in love than to forget someone.
So, while you’re dealing with these feelings for someone you feel you should be over, how can you at least let go of this frustration with yourself?
Change your perception – Try to see the end of a relationship as a lucky escape and an opportunity for you to jet ahead (even if it hurts)
Cry – It will release your negative feelings and the harmful chemicals hat build up in your body due to stress
Distract yourself – Channel your discontent into an immediate positive action e.g. get involved with charity work
Better yourself – Take time to better yourself. Learn a new skill, avoid dwelling on the skills you never mastered
Count your blessings –Be aware of the present moment and the things you do have control over
Think how far you’ve come – List your accomplishments and work towards building on them. You will have to let go of the discontentment eventually to make space for this self-satisfaction
Challenge yourself – Ask yourself what you miss about that person or thing. Keep questioning it until you get to the bottom of it
Exercise – It’ll decrease stress hormones and increase happy endorphins
Express yourself – Find a creative outlet: blog or paint your frustration away
Grieve – Allow yourself to feel it fully and grieve completely
Vent – Enable yourself to rant about it for a certain period of time before you confront anyone to diffuse hostility and plan a rational confrontation
Visualise – Imagine the anger melting away as an act of kindness to yourself
Take responsibility – Take back the power by taking any responsibility that you can. Focus on what you could have done better
Make a decision – You have three options: Remove yourself from the situation, change it or accept it. Each option will create happiness … holding onto anger/bitterness/resentment/frustration never will
Learn from it – Identify what you learnt from the experience
Be realistic – Remember the good and the bad, exactly as it was. The past is never perfect – acknowledging this may minimise your sense of loss
Let go – Loving yourself means letting go.
Shift your focus – Be aware of when you begin thinking about it, so you can shift your thought process to something more pleasant: like a passion or hobby.
Imagine life 10 years from now – Will this person or issue still be affecting you then? Why or why not?
Take back your control – Make your feelings a decision.
Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful. Norman Vincent Peale
Our mothers told us: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”. Over time this message has disintegrated, and more often we are seeing negativity creep into our conversations – socially and at work.
There are several reasons for speaking positive, and they all lead to having a positive impact on our own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of the people we are talking to. I am also going to give a few tips and tricks for how to speak positively, once you’re in the mindset it can be easy, but sometimes a situation may be going pear-shaped with someone else’s negativity and knowing how to turn that around is a really important skill to have.
Why speak positively – what’s in it for us?
1. It actually takes more energy to speak negatively than it does to speak positively. When we’re negative about someone or something it brings us and everyone around us down, but when we speak positively, it lifts everyone up and builds confidence and rapport.
2. The more positive you are, the better you look to those you communicate with. If you’re dissing someone or something, it only makes one person look bad and that’s you. It will also create a barrier between you and the person you’re communicating with as they wonder if you’ll speak about them in a similar way.
3. It has been scientifically proven that speaking positively will make you feel good, and will also positively impact the person you’re communicating with – double win!
4. The way you speak and the words you choose tells people a lot about you: your attitudes, beliefs, feelings and expectations.
How to speak positively
- Avoid negative thinking. If you think negatively about something in particular, make it off-limits when you’re talking to people
- Think about the good things that someone or something does, or find the positive in the conversation and mention it with a smile. For example, you’ve struggled dealing with a company before and now you need to work with them. Your manager mentions they have new management. Smile and say: “I’ve had trouble dealing with them in the past, but hopefully the new management has changed things for the better – let’s do it!”
- Concentrate on your choice of words. Avoid using negative words such as no, don’t, can’t, won’t, not, isn’t etc.
- If you have something positive to say – say it!
- When someone is steam-rolling with negativity, it can be hard to turn the situation around. The best way to do it is find something that they have said, agree and then go a bit further with why their thought was positive. Always try to speak with a smile, especially if you’re dealing with someone difficult, it will soften the situation!
Remember: speaking positively is a skill – it needs to be practised and constantly worked at – but it’s worth it!