This is part 2 of the 2-part series on How to be Happy Right Now. Here is Part 1.
If you would like to just see and go through the visual SlideShare presentation, please scroll to the end of the post!
Now moving on to Part-2:
“When I went to school, they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They said I didn’t understand the assignment and I said: “You don’t understand life.”—John Lennon
7. Change Your Energy and Persona: Instead of Being a Victim, Empower yourself as The Architect and Creator of Your Life
What is the dominant energy and persona that you carry with you all day long?
Do you feel, believe, think and act like you are a victim or that your ideas do not matter?
The problem with feeling like a victim is that it does not place you in a very empowering situation and depletes your happiness quotient.
You may feel powerless to change things in your life because you may have given up on making a difference.
You may begin to believe that if you take one step forward, you fall three steps back.
But living like a victim, like the world is conspiring against you, like you do not matter, like your work is not good enough is not a very empowering way to live and move through life.
If you have the dominant energy and the persona of feeling like you are powerless, the first place to begin is to take charge and transform your energy.
Instead of the idea of “life happens to me,” change it to “I am transforming and shaping the life that I now choose to live.”
You will immediately feel a surge of personal power and energy. Take inspired action from that viewpoint.
Assume the role of the principal architect, the creator of amazing things in your life. You take on the responsibility of living an astonishingly fulfilling and remarkable life by feeling the power of a person who takes massive action.
You will have to embrace your natural creativity and opt back into the role of your true nature as a highly creative person.
David Kelley, The founder of Innovation firm IDEO discusses creative confidence in his engaging TED talk.
According to Kelley, many of us opt-out of being creative and embracing our creativity early on in life due to influences that have discouraged us and put us down at some key moment of our life.
Change how you see yourself and opt-in as a highly creative architect of your life. Choose not to believe anyone who tells you that you are not highly creative.
You believed in the past that you were highly creative, and it is time for you to re-emerge back into that role.
Choose to Opt-in into the role of a magnificent architect of your life. Choose the energy of a creator.
Drop the victim energy because it does not serve you. Instead expend your energy towards determining what you would like create in your life.
Take action. Action dispels the victim mentality faster than any other thing.
You will feel much more happiness and vibrance if you take charge of your energy as the architect of your life and let go of the role of the victim.
8. Hour of Power-Set up a Daily Practice
“Happiness depends to some extent upon external conditions, but chiefly upon mental attitudes.”- Paramahansa Yogananda
I was first introduced to idea of the “hour of power” from a live seminar recording of the tireless and amazing Tony Robbins. The idea is to set up a daily practice that increases your personal power and makes you feel great and ready for your day.
There are several practices that can be made part of the hour of power. For example, you may decide to do a short work out or yoga practice. Tony also suggests that we include powerful affirmations that set the pace for a wonderful day.
Meditation or sitting in silence for a few minutes is also a highly effective way to bring yourself back to your happy center. But the beauty of the hour of power is that you are the architect of your own program. Make it as long or as short as you choose!
Include a walk in nature or a swim at your local pool. The idea is to include practices that increase your personal power and leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take charge of your day.
There have been many studies done on the efficacy of practices like meditation, breath work, yoga and exercise. These practices release endorphins or chemicals that make you feel great and happy.
It is interesting that there is now scientific evidence that self-affirmations assist people in high stress situations to cope better and solve problems more successfully.
In a recent research study titled “Self-Affirmation Improves Problem-Solving under Stress” by Levine et al. at the University of Pittsburgh, participating undergraduates were asked to write down and rank eleven values that were important to them such as art, family, and friends.
The self-affirmation group was asked to write down their first value and why they considered it to be important to them.
The control group was asked write down their ninth choice and why they thought that it was important to others.
Both groups were then asked to rate the value as being important to them and having influenced their life.
The groups were then given a challenging performance task requiring them to come up with a word that could be joined as a word pair with any of the three words already provided and were give twelve seconds to complete each task.
After completing the thirty problems, subsequent evaluation and stress level tests were administered.
It was shown that people with chronically high stress performed worse than low stress individuals and had impaired problem solving abilities.
However, the self-affirmation group performed a lot better even if they were chronically stressed and had better outcomes.
Since life involves varying degrees of stress and how we navigate that stress and function effectively determines our joy and happiness levels at that moment and science shows that self-affirmations can help.
Develop an hour of power personal power program.
Infuse the hour of power with items and practices that make you feel recharged and make you feel fabulous.
You get to determine the length and configuration of the hour of power. And if you do not have an hour, try a “mini” version for 5 minutes and see how good you feel.
9. Hope and the Science of Possibility and Luck
“I always believe the very purpose of our life is a happy life. Happiness. I think it is a simple reason…All existence is very much based on hope. Hope means something good, something better.” The 14th Dalai Lama
Hope is such a powerful word! Expecting great things will happen and being open to possibilities immediately places us in a better state of mind and makes us happy right here and right now!
In a recent graduation, His Holiness, The 14th Dalai Lama addressed the graduating class at Tulane University. The Dalai Lama said that if we have hope, we have something to hold on to. We exist on the idea of hope, on the idea of something better. If we lose hope, then we are completely demoralized.
He advised the graduating class to always keep hopeful in spite of difficulties. A loss of hope can damage our physical health and even shorten our life. Always keep the optimism levels up. This mental attitude will bring self-confidence and inner strength.
In research studies done in classrooms by the eminent Harvard Professor Robert Rosenthal, when teachers expected their students to perform better in the classroom when compared to a group with no positive expectations, they usually did.
The astonishing result also termed “The Pygmalion Effect” by Professor Rosenthal shows us how powerful positive expectations and possibility thinking can be in our life.
When we positively expect others and ourselves to do the best that we can do, we reap the benefits and as a result feel empowered and happy.
Expecting the best has the potential to make our life a lot happier when compared to a life with bleak possibilities.
What do you think of luck as a factor in personal effectiveness? When a scientist or a pragmatist is confronted by the concept of luck, they usually brush it off as being a coincidence.
However, research done in the laboratory of Professor Richard Wiseman at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom has conclusively shown the opposite.
People who considered themselves as “lucky” were much more likely to spot and encounter chance opportunities and take them up when compared to the groups that considered themselves “unlucky.”
Groups that considered themselves lucky and unlucky were asked to spot the number of pictures in a newspaper where there was a big message halfway through that awarded a 250-pound cash prize if spotted. Lucky people consistently spotted the prize while the unlucky people were more likely to miss it.
According to Dr. Wiseman, unlucky people have higher levels of anxiety, and this anxiety disrupts their ability to spot opportunity and unexpected rewards.
The people who consider themselves unlucky are too busy and engaged on looking for something else and hence miss opportunities that their lucky friends can seize and act upon.
If you feel “lucky” and are able to seize opportunities, your general happiness levels will tend to increase compared to feeling unlucky and missing out on great opportunities.
Develop a deep sense of hope and positive expectation for the future.
Develop the “anything is possible” mindset and go about your day with a sense of possibility instead of feeling like things are impossible.
Feeling “lucky” may make you spot opportunity and make you feel empowered and happy.
10. The Unstoppable Power of Laughter
“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” ― Charles Dickens
Do you allow yourself to laugh heartily and with abandon? A lot of us go through our day as if life is a very somber and heavy matter.
Have you ever had a situation where there was some tension in a social setting that was effectively put to rest by a hearty laugh from both parties?
Laughter is the “not enough” used wonder and miracle answer to many of life’s difficulties.
I believe that laughter is too precious to be delegated to chance incidents and other occasional hearty laughter moments. The other approach is to go seeking great sources of laughter and light heartedness.
One quick and easy way to find a community of laughers is to find a local laughter yoga club. Laughter Yoga was the brainchild of Physician Dr. Madan Kataria from Mumbai, India. Here is a video that always puts me in a much happier mood when I watch it.
The amazing and therapeutic effects of laughter are well documented. Have you had your share of heartfelt laughter today?
Lighten up a little as you move through your day. Chances are that you will uplift your mood and also the mood of others who come in contact with you.
11. Be Deeply and Insanely Grateful for the Good Things in Your Life
“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” ― Meister Eckhart
You might have heard this many times before in the past but we will analyze this a bit further and also throw in a scientific study in the mix.
Gratitude and counting your blessings are very powerful ways of feeling happiness in the current moment. A lot of people who experience unhappiness in the current moment are unable to change their perspective and look at their blessings.
I believe that counting our blessings might be an acquired skill for many of us! One way to feel deep heartfelt gratitude is to make a list of 3 to 5 things that you have really enjoyed doing in the last few days. It could be a great meal or a walk or something else that you enjoyed doing.
And the gratitude exercise does not stop there. It is best to invoke the feelings of happiness, joy and empowerment associated with those memories or incidents and allow yourself to feel great about them.
What we place out attention on increases because we are wired to notice and be aware of things that are in our immediate conscious attention. Making a list and feeling heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the blessings in our life supercharges our life with joy and happiness.
And now let us take the exercise one step further. Make a list of the most amazing and fascinating and deeply satisfying incidents in your life and invoke the good feelings associated with those events.
You can vividly feel the experience and set up a reminder or an anchor in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) terminology. The anchor can be something simple like touching your thumb and index finger.
With some practice, you will be able to flood yourself with good feelings of appreciation and gratitude at will by engaging the anchor.
In a research paper from 2003 titled: “Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life,” researchers and psychologists Emmons and McCullough studied the effects of gratitude on undergraduate students.
They divided up participants into random groups: a gratitude-listing group, a hassle-listing group and a neutral group. The participants were asked to keep a daily or weekly log of their moods, behaviors and symptoms.
The gratitude group exhibited increased well being over several outcomes including positive affect. They reported feeling happier, more optimistic and felling better about their lives.
Gratitude has been shown in other studies to increase happiness by strengthening social bonds and a focus on blessings makes people feel like others really care about them.
Focus on 3 to 5 items that you are deeply grateful for today.
Feel deep heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for the blessings in your life.
Establish a NLP anchor for the moments and incidents of your life that you were deeply grateful and invoke the anchor at will to flood you with positive feeling.
12. The Inspired Art of Giving and Receiving
“I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.” ― Kahlil Gibran
One of the easiest ways to feel deep happiness in this moment is to unconditionally give and serve others who need your love and support.
If you believe that you do not have any material things to offer others, you can give someone a word of advice or a blessing or a smile or a genuine compliment.
The key idea here is to uplift others and forget our own troubles. The act of empathizing with others and attempting to genuinely uplift them is a very powerful source of joy and happiness.
For a few moments, you get lost in the wonderfully nourishing act of assisting someone else through their own troubles. Try it out for yourself. Next time you feel down, attempt to uplift someone who needs the support and love.
You may see that by attempting to uplift others, you end up uplifting yourself and experience a deep innate joy and happiness.
Do you have trouble receiving from others? Do you deflect genuine praises and acts of kindness from others and downplay their importance?
Receiving is as much of an art as giving. A lot of us feel guilt when we receive from others. When someone expresses their gratitude, are you able to receive it with an open heart and feel great?
Or do you deflect the praise? If you allow the praise to bounce off you without allowing it to deeply touch you, you are deflecting it. If you are immediately coming back at others with why you think you do not deserve something, you are deflecting.
When someone thanks you, accept it. When someone gives you a genuine compliment, allow the warmth and kindness of the gesture to touch your heart and allow yourself to feel great. You deserve the praise that you are getting.
Give someone else a smile, a hug, a genuine praise. Uplift someone else and take the focus away from your own troubles.
Become aware of deflection while receiving from others. Honor others by allowing their gift of approval to touch you and make you happy.
You are worthy and you are good enough for all the praise and thanks that you are receiving.
Here is a summary of the 12 ideas!
Now over to you! What makes you happy on a daily basis? Please comment below and let me know how you find your center of joy and happiness on an ongoing basis.