12 Things Happy People do Differently

I came across this article and fell in love with everything I saw.  I had to share it with you in my blog!  Enjoy!!
12 Things Happy People do Differently

by Jacob Sokol of Sensophy

“I’d always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom were my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed.  I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live – that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.”   -Dan Millman

Studies conducted by positivity psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky point to 12 things happy people do differently to increase their levels of happiness.  These are things that we can start doing today to feel the effects of more happiness in our lives.  (Check out her book, The How of Happiness.)

I want to honor and discuss each of these 12 points, because no matter what part of life’s path we’re currently traveling on, these ‘happiness habits’ will always be applicable.

  1. Express gratitude. – When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.  Kinda cool right?  So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  And that’s without having to go out and buy anything.  It makes sense.  We’re gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have.
  2. Cultivate optimism. – Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism.  No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it.  She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life.  People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.
  3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. – Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous.  If we’re somehow ‘better’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, it gives us an unhealthy sense of superiority.  Our ego inflates – KABOOM – our inner Kanye West comes out!  If we’re ‘worse’ than the person that we’re comparing ourselves to, we usually discredit the hard work that we’ve done and dismiss all the progress that we’ve made.  What I’ve found is that the majority of the time this type of social comparison doesn’t stem from a healthy place.  If you feel called to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an earlier version of yourself.
  4. Practice acts of kindness. – Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain.  (Serotonin is a substance that has TREMENDOUS health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.)  Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside.  What’s even cooler about this kindness kick is that not only will you feel better, but so will people watching the act of kindness.  How extraordinary is that?  Bystanders will be blessed with a release of serotonin just by watching what’s going on.  A side note is that the job of most anti-depressants is to release more serotonin.  Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking ass and taking names.
  5. Nurture social relationships. – The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships.  Did you know studies show that people’s mortality rates are DOUBLED when they’re lonely?  WHOA!  There’s a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having an active circle of good friends who you can share your experiences with.  We feel connected and a part of something more meaningful than our lonesome existence.
  6. Develop strategies for coping. – How you respond to the ‘craptastic’ moments is what shapes your character.  Sometimes crap happens – it’s inevitable.  Forrest Gump knows the deal.  It can be hard to come up with creative solutions in the moment when manure is making its way up toward the fan.  It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsed, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal.
  7. Learn to forgive. – Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being.  You see, your mind doesn’t know the difference between past and present emotion.  When you ‘hate’ someone, and you’re continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are eating away at your immune system.  You put yourself in a state of suckerism (technical term) and it stays with you throughout your day.
  8. Increase flow experiences. – Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still.  It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task.  Action and awareness are merged.  You’re not hungry, sleepy, or emotional.  You’re just completely engaged in the activity that you’re doing.  Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.
  9. Savor life’s joys. – Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy.  It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences.  When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic.  It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them.
  10. Commit to your goals. – Being wholeheartedly dedicated to doing something comes fully-equipped with an ineffable force.  Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere.  When you’re fully committed to doing something, you have no choice but to do that thing.  Counter-intuitively, having no option – where you can’t change your mind – subconsciously makes humans happier because they know part of their purpose.
  11. Practice spirituality. – When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us.  We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever.  It enables us to connect to the source of all creation and embrace a connectedness with everything that exists.  Some of the most accomplished people I know feel that they’re here doing work they’re “called to do.”
  12. Take care of your body. – Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be.  If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected.  Did you know that studies conducted on people who were clinically depressed showed that consistent exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft?  Not only that, but here’s the double whammy… Six months later, the people who participated in exercise were less likely to relapse because they had a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth.

Jacob Sokol is committed to living an extraordinary life.  Today he released “Living on Purpose – An Uncommon Guide to Finding, Living, and Rocking Your Life’s Purpose.”  He also loves his mom dearly.

 

Owning Your Personal Power

Just the thought of the word “power” can bring many different perceptions to your mind.  To one person, it can mean energy, force, action, strength and drive.  To another person it can be viewed from a victim standpoint as dominance, ego, rule, authority or control.  It all depends upon how your perception of the world is viewed.

However, you have your own personal power that resides within you.  You also have the responsibility of how YOU show up in the world.  Do you have victim mentality or ownership mentality?  Are you reactive to what happens in your life?  Or are you proactive and own your power.

Your personal power can be tapped in to by looking inside yourself, not outside.  When you own your power, you can create your life how you want it.  No longer do you need to give your power to others or expect them to give it to you.  Here are some simple tips about how to activate your power and use it responsibly, wisely and lovingly.

1.  Activate you energy within you.  You can do this by focusing your thoughts and energy on your Third Chakra, in your Solar Plexus area (stomach, upper intestines, pancreas, liver area).  This is the area of your energy data bank that focuses on self worth, self esteem, self appreciation and how you show up in the world.

2.  Be aware of your power of choice.   In every moment you have choices of how you will be.  Someone asks you to do something that violates you personal values, what do you do?  State your self honoring choice out loud and allow it to activate within your consciousness.  Remember, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ can be a complete sentence!

3.  Love yourself, inside and out.  Use the power of your self love to make honoring choices in your life.  Don’t expect others to love you if you don’t love yourself first.  Loving yourself is about making self honoring choices every day in your life for your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well being.

4.  Speak your truth.  When you are in tune with the wisdom and power of your heart and gut, you will know what your truth is.  Don’t be afraid to speak up.   It may be difficult for others to hear your truth, but it is YOUR truth.  Make sure you honor that.  Use affirmations to speak your truth to yourself.  Tell yourself positive things about yourself and how you want your life to be.

5.  Connect with the power of your Spirit.  Having faith that there is a power greater than you can bring you to a place of loving confidence that you are not alone in this life.  Allowing the power of your Spirit within you to guide you, can assist you in seeing the Divine in you and the world around you.

Practicing these steps can be very empowering, enlightening and frightening at the same time.  If you are not used to using your personal power, take small baby steps.  You will see that when you are mindful about your personal power, you show up differently in the world.  And remember, it all begins from within.

Connecting to Your Heart….Really Simple Steps

For those of you whose brains are on 24/7 and you aren’t quite sure how you could connect with your heart, I have some very simple steps for you to follow.  You might say that you are so busy that you don’t have time to slow down to even connect with your heart.  Or you might even ask yourself, “What does my heart want to tell me?”  When you slow down enough and honor yourself with some quiet sacred space, you would be amazed what answers you get.

I’ve listed some easy steps to follow once you find that quiet space and time.  Try it for two minutes at first just to get the feel and then add one minute each week.  You will find some profound results.

1.  Find your quiet place and close your eyes.  Your brain will begin to produce slower alpha brain waves as you move into a relaxed, meditative state.

2.  Say your intentions out loud about your desire to connect with your heart, such as “My intention is to allow myself this quiet time to connect and listen to what my heart wants me to know.”

3.  Focus on your breath, in and out.  Imagine you are breathing in the light of spirit and on your exhale you are releasing anything that is no longer serving you.

4.  Once you feel the calmness, put your hand on your heart.  Move your energy to the center of your body in your heart chakra.  Feel the power of your heartbeat.

5.  In the quietness of this space, ask if there is something your heart or soul wants you to know.

6.  Listen for the answer.  Don’t rush, take your time, just embrace this space. This is the sacred space where you can hear the messages from your heart.  The answers may not show up during your session, but may come to you later in the form of a sign or synchronicity.

7. When you are complete and ready to open your eyes, feel the gratitude for connecting with this part of your SELF that wants you to listen.

8.  Repeat the steps and try to stay in this space just a bit longer each time.

Connecting with your heart and living life from a Heart Centered perspective can be very different if you are used to being driven by your brain.  Take the time to connect with the power and beauty of your heart and the results will astound you.

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Authoring My Life

I am lighter now. Not physical weight, but emotional weight.  I left some old stuff up on the mountain this past weekend.  I knew the stuff was with me even though I have been processing it this past year.  But I knew it was time to let it out, and let it go.  Release it to the Universe with love in my heart.

Being a participant in the “Authoring Your Own Life” retreat was a truly a transformational experience for me.  Now I feel lighter.  I feel energized and open.  Not that I did not feel great before I went up the mountain (Mt. Lemmon), but the old stuff was something that was no longer serving me.  I teach this to the participants in my Heartfelt Learning Workshops, but I knew that in my humanness, I had something that was with me that was not serving me anymore.  But it was me, and only me, that could acknowledge it for what it was, cry about it, accept it and then let it go.  I am continually peeling away at the layers of my own internal self and moving closer to the core of my Authentic Self.

I have been home for almost 2 days now and it seems as though the sparks are continuing to fly and I can feel my lightness.  I have made room for more great things in my life.  My intentions are solid and I have shared them in the sacredness of 20 other women on the mountain, as the peacefulness of a snowfall was beginning just outside.  It was a spiritual experience indeed and the snow was just a symbol of the purity of all our hearts and the recognition that we all have that purity, beauty and sacredness inside ourselves.  To be in touch with those places inside was just a reminder of how blessed I am.  Heartfelt thanks to all my new friends for sharing this experience with me.

I am the author of my life.