Those who think happy, get happy.
Conjuring happy thoughts triggers creativity, a study from the University of Toronto reveals. Specifically, upbeat people produce more ideas and are better able to consider a range of solutions.
But what about the “what ifs”?
According to the authors of “Ladies Who Launch” (St. Martin’s Press), reframing your hesitations can spur you into action. They suggest you jot down your anxieties about pursuing your goals. (“I don’t have enough money”). Then come up with counterpoints and solutions (“Find part-time work on weekends”). Once you break your goals up into smaller, bite sized objectives, and create a manageable “To Do” list, those big ideas won’t seem so unreachable.
Turn that frown upside down.
Research shows that when you smile, your brain assumes you must be happy.
*The following exercise can be a good way to start the day, especially if you tend towards depression, or are facing stress at work or at home.
- Set your alarm a few minutes earlier than you need to wake up. (if you find this idea impossible, begin with just one minute)
- When your alarm goes off, hit the snooze button
- Inhale deeply and smile.
- While exhaling, relax deeply.
- When the alarm goes off again, continue with your day!
You can practice this exercise for longer periods if desired, but if you find yourself canceling the alarm because you can’t spare five minutes, go back to the one-minute meditation. The cumulative value of doing this exercise over a long period of time is more important than how long you spend each morning.
You can also practice this exercise while driving to work (with eyes open, of course).
*Taken from http://smiletherapy.com/
Find the pot of gold
Whether you’re a student, a blue-collar employee, or a CEO, we all respond to praise and rewards.
Achieving a goal is not about constant sacrifice alone. Martyring yourself most often leads to feelings of frustration and even resentment. At the same time, those who feel compelled to constantly reward themselves may find their bills and waistlines bearing the brunt of it. So how can you balance the want of rewards with the need for hard work?
Try setting daily, weekly and monthly goals for yourself. The content and subject matter is completely up to you. Some examples may be eating right, completing your taxes, or even showing patience and understanding for a colleague. All of these items could be considered unpleasant and lead to procrastination or stress. However, by attaching the unwanted action to a wanted reward, you will most likely find the will to complete them after all.
Not only are rewards enjoyable and necessary, they are also a well-proven tool for everything from correcting unsavoury behaviour to reaffirming good habits.
So go ahead! Pick up that book you’ve been dying to read, buy those shoes you’ve had your eye on, or simply bake some cupcakes and enjoy their sugary goodness.
Chances are you’ll feel happier for doing so…