Enhance Your Happiness
Psychologists define happiness as any pleasures and few pains.
How would you define
Task 1 The Power of Relationships with Ourselves and Others
Life is about relationships. The most powerful relationship is the one you have in your head! Is your internal voice a poisoned parrot or a nurturing coach. If you think you are unlovable, worthless, helpless scared or flawed then challenge these core beliefs, don’t accept the harsh internal critic. Work on this voice, it’s what keeps negativity going. Tackling this critical voice will change your world. It will transform your from low self-esteem so you become lovable, fearless, self-reliant, worthwhile and contented. Imagine and practice your inner voice as a coach and not as a critic on a daily basis.
Good relationships with others with close family members, friends, or others are important. Accepting help and support from those who care about you and will listen to you strengthens resilience. Some people find that being in sporting clubs, community groups, or other local groups provides social support and can help with reclaiming hope. Assisting others in their time of need also can benefit the helper. Check out www.volunteer.ie where you will received more than you give.
Task 2 Transform Powerful Emotions
We all get powerful emotions but some people struggle when they their fear, sadness or anger is so powerful that it overwhelms. Almost every time we have a strong emotion it’s driven by an irrational thought that we can change. Try this next time you have a strong emotion. Ask yourself what am I feeling? What am I thinking? Stop, take a deep breath and ask yourself is there another way I can think about this? What would I say to a friend who had this thought? Will this really matter in 1 years’ time? What would be the wise thing to do right now? How can I move from a mindless to a mindful response?
Task 3 Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of Being in the present. If low mood is about being stuck in a negative past and stress and anxiety is about being stuck in the future, then mindfulness is about now. The Present it’s the best gift we can give. There is growing evidence for the use of mindfulness in many areas; stress reduction, chronic pain, anxiety, treating depression and more significantly in preventing depression relapse. However we do not need an ‘issue’ to get the benefits of mindfulness.
When mindful, you work from the standpoint of compassion, curiosity and acceptance towards yourself and your experiences. Mindfulness offers many ways to deepen your awareness, insights that can anchor you in the present and help you to keep things in perspective. Courses are a great way to start. Check out the mindfulness based stress-reduction (MBSR) courses.
Task 5. Life begins outside your comfort zone.
Are you comfortable in your comfort zone? Too often people surround themselves in comfortable prisons, afraid. Afraid to express themselves; afraid to say no to the demands of others; afraid to take risks to meet someone and start a new romance, for the fear of no, afraid to change career, afraid to end a relationship or friendship that is wrong for you, afraid to say no to a bully boss, afraid of illness, afraid to let their children grow up, afraid of their emotional life. However you life will get stale or grow small as you are never really challenged. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. What are you afraid of? Remember change is constant, embrace it.
Try using this question to motivate you in 2016 – What would you do if I was not afraid?
Doing something out of your comfort zone;
What You Get When You Break Free and Try New Things
- You’ll be more productive. Pushing your personal boundaries can help you hit your stride sooner, get more done, and find smarter ways to work.
- You’ll have an easier time dealing with new and unexpected changes. Learning to live outside your comfort zone when you choose to can prepare you for life changes that force you out of it!
- You’ll find it easier to push your boundaries in the future. Once you start stepping out of your comfort zone, it gets easier over time.
- You’ll find it easier harness your creativity. Seeking new experiences, learning new skills, and opening the door to new ideas inspire us and educate us in a way that little else does.
- Build Your Resilience
Resilience is the ability to bounce back after adversity. Working on your resilience you will be able to have; a positive view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities; a capacity to make realistic plans and take steps to carry them out; skills in communication and problem solving and the capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses The primary factor in resilience is having caring and supportive relationships within and outside the family. Seek relationships that create love and trust, provide role models, and offer encouragement and reassurance help bolster a person’s resilience. Reduce the dose of toxic relationships they leak your resilience.
Nobody is responsible for your life except you. Take control. By believing that you have some control, your confidence will shift in the right direction. This means taking control of all parts of your life, particularly your physical and emotional health. Tackle things straight on. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t ignore or wish away your problems. Just do things today. When we shift the stuff that occupies our mind, we are more at ease and can more easily move on to new demands.
- Learn to say no
I bet there are many times you say yes when you mean no. It happens a lot. In 2016 develop your assertiveness skills and learn to say no. Saying no is an act of setting healthy boundaries while maintaining our integrity and often sanity. Now I am not down on saying Yes as this supports taking opportunities when they arise and allow an openness to life. But here is the thing, learning to say No allows you to say more yes’s to the things you want for ourselves.
Too often No is mixed up with negativity. However they are two different psychological states. Negativity is like wearing glasses that filter discontent, unhappiness and is an energy sapper. Negativity will only lead to you being unhappy. Negativity is an attitude, No is an action, of making choices that are goo for you that says “this is not what I want”, my choices, plans and projects take priority. “I am not in agreement with you”, essentially you are being your Real Self – a space that allows you to shine, grow and be authentic.
Finally make 2016 a year of compassion, curiosity and increased awareness. Mental fitness is more than the presence or absence of mental health and like any new skill, it takes effort and commitment to master. Imagine the prize a life where you are authentic, confident, thriving and emotionally well.