Want To Take Better Care Of Yourself?

12 Suggestions For Happiness

by Robert H. Phillips, Ph.D.

Have you ever heard of “I Want You To Be Happy Day”? I don’t know what specific day this is celebrated, so let’s learn how to make every day a “Be Happy Day.” In order to do this, include this package of “dandy dozen” strategies in your life… consistently and habitually.

1. Learn relaxation techniques…and use them on a regular basis.

If you know how to relax, you’re already ahead of the game. But if you don’t, look online, or into books, tapes, classes, programs, even professionals to teach you stress-busting relaxation strategies.

There are so many benefits to being able to relax, including feeling more in control of your body, your mind, and your stress.

As you use these techniques regularly, you can create your own list of benefits.

2. Increase your positive mental attitude.

Try to deliver positive feelings and messages to yourself as much as possible.

No matter how difficult things may appear, you can improve the quality and realistic positive nature of your thinking.

The more you practice positive thinking, the more easily your attitude will remain positive.

Share this positive mental attitude with others by encouraging them as well.

3. Include playtime in your daily routine.

No matter how hard you work, and how many responsibilities you have, it’s essential to include time for recreation in your daily routine.

Remember the saying, “All work and no play….?” Keep the proper balance of work and play in your life.

Choose which enjoyable activities make up your playtime… and include any activity that you simply enjoy, not because it has “redeeming value.”

Keep doing this, or try different things to create some variety, but make sure to have enough fun in your life to counterbalance your work-related obligations and chores.

4. Do some exercise every day.

No matter what you do, physical exercise enhances many aspects of your life… not just your fitness.

So many factors (such as stress level, self-esteem, body image, tolerance, etc.) can benefit from regular exercise that it should be scheduled just as you would include any other essential activity.

Look for simple things you can do to get your muscles active.

No matter where you are and what you do, you can always walk, climb, dance, shake, or jump, or include other types of exercise in your life.

5. Establish or expand your primary support network.

Everyone can benefit from having a specific group of people to call on at times of need.

Try to talk to each person you’ve placed on your list before you even need them.

Mention what you’re doing, and ask if they mind joining your “support team.”

Of course, let them know that “membership” implies that you’ll be part of their support team as well!

Be there for each other, offering advice when asked, but don’t overdo.

Work together to enhance the benefits of your support network.

6. Learn to discuss your feelings.

Too often, problems with others occur because of not discussing them with others.

Don’t keep feelings or concerns bottled up inside of you.

Talk to those people who are most important to you… those you trust… about your frustrations, concerns, and disappointments.

You’ll feel better getting the feelings out… and you may get some valuable advice that can help you to better deal with your problems.

7. Develop, use, and maintain a sense of humor.

There are plenty of humorous things around you that can make you laugh.

Look for them… and laugh at them.

Laughing at life can help keep stressful things in a better perspective.

Laughing at life can also include laughing at yourself.

You’ll find that you’ll feel more comfortable, you’ll handle difficulties more effectively, and things won’t affect you quite as much.

8. Conquer those negative emotions.

Nothing can interfere with happiness more than uncontrolled negative emotions.

Feelings such as depression, anxiety, anger, sadness, boredom, loneliness, etc., all fall into this category.

But emotions come from somewhere… and that somewhere is negative thinking.

So if you really want to improve those negative emotions, work on improving your thinking.

Identify your negative thoughts and look for more realistically positive ways of rephrasing them.

If you have difficulty doing this, ask yourself what someone who is more positive would think or say.

9. Learn to be selectively assertive.

There’s nothing wrong with saying “yes” in response to requests from others… unless you really don’t want to say this.

Then, if you say “yes” anyway, you won’t be too happy with yourself.

Learning how to say “no” is an assertive technique, one in which you exercise your right to answer as you choose, without any desire to hurt anyone by saying no.

This gives you the right to choose when you say yes and when you say no.

Practice different ways of saying no. For example, one simple way of declining a request is, “I’d love to, but I can’t right now.”

When you come up with the wording that works for you, practice, practice, practice.

As you become more comfortable saying no when it’s appropriate, you’ll gain confidence in dealing with other people… and you’ll feel better about yourself.

10. Avoid envy (as much as possible).

When you compare yourself with others, especially when you’re comparing to others who are “better off” than you are, this can cause self-anger, frustration, and feelings of inferiority.

Why only admire the good things about others? How about focusing on the good things about yourself? Everyone has his or her strengths. Focus on your own, and hold your head high.

11. Do everything you can to enjoy your work.

Change jobs if you are miserable at work. If you’re already happy at work, you won’t need this suggestion. But if you’re not, try to figure out why you’re not.

Analyze the specific reasons that you’re not happy, so you can figure out what you can do about them. For example, if there are certain people who you are not getting along with, try to figure out what you might be able to do about that.

Focus on what you like about your job rather than dwelling on those unavoidable things that you don’t.

Of course, if your analysis suggests that your job is just wrong for you, then you may want to consider changing jobs, and look for something with a greater potential for enjoyment.

12. Consider adding some spirituality to your life.

Many people feel you can enhance your happiness by being more spiritual. This suggestion can be beneficial regardless of the degree of religious belief you have. There are always things you can do to enhance your appreciation of life and its natural serenity. Spend some time in quiet contemplation of life’s beauty. Look in awe at what’s going on around you in your natural environment. Work at being more at peace with yourself and your world.

Which of these tips will help you the most? It remains to be seen. The more you can introduce as a regular part of your life, the more you’re on your way to increased happiness.

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