Happiness is not a gift many of us receive and it is okay to not paste a battery operate smile on your face. It is okay to be a cynic, trying to make sense of the monotony around you.
Happiness is not a destination; instead, think of it like a journey. There are habits that will make the journey more enjoyable. The trick is finding the right habits.
This might sound cheesy, but the first step on the journey is to make those 14 facial muscles work and put that beautiful face to smile. Whenever you are in a muddle make sure you smile at the trouble first, before frowning and thinking about dealing with it.
Nobody has their life together all the time. No matter what Hollywood and Netflix tell you, none of us are fixed up all the time.
Instead think of happiness as surviving the smaller problems life throws at you and counting the smaller blessings in life: a bird’s song, to a vacant seat on a bus.
Here on this list are some habits that are sure to eventually lighten the frown on the brow of the biggest and bad-est stoic in town.
1. Try and surround yourself with optimistic people
You know what is contagious, besides the common cold and yawns? Positive energy.
You are what your crowd is, and making sure your crowd is a positive one will help you go a long way into becoming less cynical.
Your peers might not know exactly what you are going through, but their mood in general will have an uplifting effect on yours.
2. Be discerning about the way you are perceiving things
The meaning you attach to communication can be different from the one your positive peers attach. What you perceive as hurtful, offensive or discouraging maybe interpreted by your peers as encouraging and positive criticism.
A good way to cope with this is to take situations and actions at face value. This way you can evade the negative connotations straight away.
3. Trust your gut
Now this takes years to master: but for sure, trusting your intuition unapologetically is one of the best things you can do with yourself.
You know yourself the best and when you see a person, place or situation which makes the pit in your stomach a bit deeper, you know you have to leave ASAP.
Every time we take a decision based on a gut feeling, we tend to strengthen ourselves.
Learn to identify what gives you joy and what gives you stress. Those feelings can change in the long run with more exposure, but takes time and practice.
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4. Try not to be the negativity breathing dragon
Positive people tend to see the bad vibes in a situation as a temporary state of affairs while seeing happiness as the permanent arrangement. This is the opposite for pessimists.
Before rushing to negative conclusions from the outset, try and think from an objective point of view. This helps because at the end of the day, thoughts are just thoughts: they can be morphed, changed and molded.
5. Redesign your vocabulary
Firstly words hurt more than sticks and stones in some situations. And hurting people brings the worst vibes.
Secondly, we are what we say and what we say defines the way we think. If you keep a negative vocabulary, peppered with “won’t”, “can’t” and “wouldn’t”, your life too would get stuck in this vicious circle.
So redesign the way you think by changing the way you express yourself.
6. Find your Zen and hold on to it
Practicing meditation daily is clichéd advice because it works.
It doesn’t have to be a lengthy obligation, but do yourself a favour and set aside at least five minutes a day to collect your thoughts and set intentions.
Introspect and you are sure to improve!