A Simple Guide to Happiness | Barbara Alexander

We all can use a simple guide to happiness, especially during struggles that sneak into our day-to-day life. Negativity can become pervasive and being positive has gotten a bad rap, like spiritual bypassing, but let’s look a little deeper into another possibility.

What if you could acknowledge the discomfort and stay open to ways you could shift your perception? Remaining optimistic, even throughout the dips, will take determination and a focused mindset and the benefits are well worth the effort. Below are a few tips to help you through.

Adopting a glass-half-full philosophy can, among other things, improve stress management, our immune system, our overall physiological as well as psychological well-being, and… it can even add years of great joy to our lives.

Being optimistic doesn’t mean that you bypass your difficult feelings or that you have to ignore the unpleasant situations which come into everyone’s life from time to time. It does it mean we that can learn to control the way we choose to look at things so that we get the necessary message behind the discomfort and are able to move on to experience more joy.

Here are some tips to support you in staying on the sunny side when life seems to throw us into the clouds.

Different things work for each of us so pick what works for you and practice it – just a few focused thoughts can create a powerful shift!

1. Don’t try to fix things when you are in the heat of the moment. It is never a good idea to try and solve problems when negative emotions are running high, escalated or overwhelming. Take a step back, breathe and find your balance. It may require that you get away from it COMPLETELY so that you can find that balance through a completely different focus on something that feels good, and then come back with a fresh outlook. The results are apt to much better.

2. Breathe. Practicing deep breathing techniques is one of the most relaxing stress relief tactics, and we can do it ANYTIME and anywhere. Push out all stale air…breathe in through the nose 1..2..3..4.., hold for a count of seven, and whoosh out 1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8. Feels good, right?!

3. Take a moment for mental rest so you can reset with a clear mind. Think of something you love and smile. It is virtually impossible to feel anger when you are smiling. Natural hormones are produced when you use your smiling muscles! Manipulating our facial features is a proven technique for improving our mood. Once you have taken a mental rest and allowed your mind to reset with more clarity, your heart’s inspiration has the space to be heard and that can lead you in the direction you need to go.

4. Faith.  Faith comes in so many forms. If you are a person of faith then there is a process of handling uncomfortable emotions that can help you to find peace no matter what is going on. When I am at a loss and overwhelmed with worry, I ask for help and lean on my faith in knowing there is more to life then what I currently understand. I take the time to remember that we are not alone and each one of us is loved deeply.

5. Forgiveness. Well, this is a funny thing. Forgiveness implies that it is OK for us to judge another being as needing to be forgiven. When I first learned this concept it really stretched my rational mind. People do things because they believe it is the right thing to do, even if it seems to us to be wrong. We cannot control what others think or do, but we can control how we think about it. So, in any situation that causes discomfort, you might try being curious about what you can do or think differently instead of pointing a finger. Many times we can become more clear about what isn’t working so that we can make changes. We might also try forgiving ourselves for being reactive to the situation in the first place, then we can more easily open our hearts for the deeper learning regarding what we feel needs forgiveness.

6. Acceptance. We are all so different. You may be seeing a thread here… the situation is more than it seems. Each of us has our own set of variables that we bring into a relationship. We cannot truly begin to understand someone else in the heat of the moment or through angry eyes.

7. As a daily practice keep your inspiration alive. Sometimes remaining positive is as easy as remembering to BE positive. Watch your self-talk. Keep snippets of inspiration readily available to remind you to have a good day. I look for wonderful sayings, books, movies, and talks that inspire me and remind me how precious life is.

8. Listen to the impulse of the heart. When we are closed off and negative we can’t hear the inner voice of wisdom. There are many ways to find this balance no matter what is going on around you but you have to be diligent in your efforts. The best thing to prevent chaos is to practice active self-care and personal inner balance during good times. That way you will have plenty of reserves required to empower your greater wisdom in times of confusion or doubt.

9. Appreciate. So many people are driven to accomplish, that they forget to take the time to appreciate what they have already done. Most of us are focused on the future and what isn’t done and so we totally miss the preciousness that is right in front of us. The remedy? Keep an appreciation journal – it’s a great idea I learned listening to Abraham-Hicks. Before you start your day, add to the list all of the things you appreciate in your life and take time to fully feel it. If you do this on a regular basis it will change your life.

10. The time that heals all wounds. You may have heard this saying before but what does that really mean? It may have to do with your wisdom and how that grows over time. Sooner or later you will realize that nothing is so important that you should give up your joy.

Just remember that joy and happiness can be a state of being. It takes practice, but with this practice, it becomes easier to do. Don’t give up- it is within your reach!

“When we are ready to make positive changes in our lives, we attract whatever we need to help us” -Louise Hay

You can find out more about retreats focused on inner balance and joy go to www.barbarainc.com

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