We all want to be happy and successful but often, it can feel unreachable. Contrary to popular belief, success and happiness isn’t what happens to you. It’s what you make happen. Every choice you make is infinite, thus, it is important for you to have a very clear idea of what success and happiness is for you. From here you can commit and take responsibility for your actions and how they can shape the life that you desire.
This all sounds great, right? Maybe even a little easy and unbelievable? Yet, it is entirely possible, all you need is the determination and open-mindedness paired with the know-how. The latter is what I aim to share with you today. The first step in creating a life full of happiness and success is by starting to alter your behaviours that will guide you onto the right path. Here are my seven practices that have helped me on my own life journey. Try just one or boss it and take on all of them, and see the difference it can make toward increasing happiness and success in your life.
Say yes more
Whether we like to admit it or not, I’m sure we are all guilty of saying ‘no’ to something, at least once in our lives, that could have brought us happiness. Perhaps this was through fear, a lack of financial support or not having the time and whilst you may convince yourself that the reason was justified, most of the time they’re just excuses. What you may not realise is that saying ‘no’ creates a negative mindset and eliminates positive thinking. ‘No’ becomes too comfortable and before you can even blink, you’re saying ‘no’ to everything and shutting doors to potential healthy life changes. Moreover, you are limiting your capacity to learn new things, and weakening your chances of becoming both, mentally and physically stronger.
Saying ‘no’ can become a habit and habits can be difficult to break. Start by taking baby steps and saying ‘yes’ to the things that feel rather small in your life and can be changed in your immediate future. For example, if you’re on a strict diet plan, allow freedom to eat more of the foods you want. It could be as simple as indulging in a vegan burger at your friends barbeque instead of reaching for the salad. You well then realise that leaving yourself open to some opportunities where you can treat yourself and relax your rules, will bring you some happiness. From there, you can say ‘yes’ to bigger things like a well deserved holiday and finding a way to fund the treat you deserve.
It’s worth noting that this can go towards relationships as well. Take note that you deserve good things and say ‘yes’ to the people most important to you. Open you heart for love and make sure that you say ‘yes’ to your friends, family, (potential) partner, not forgetting yourself too! It can feel daunting at first as saying ‘yes’ can often mean you are breaking out of your comfort zone but the path of positive changes can not be walked if you aren’t open to being uncomfortable. Even if you feel fear, step forward and give life a go.
Find peace with grey clouds
No matter how sunny we would love our lives to be, things can’t be dandy all of the time. Just like the earth, sometimes there are clear skies and sun rays and sometimes there are rain clouds and thunder storms. The world is in a constant flux; seasons change and everything is constantly transforming. These things are simply out of our control and over my few years as a living being, I’ve come to understand how important it is to accept what will be. The truth is that there is always going to be something to be unhappy about but there is also something you can always find to be happy about too! Though none of us have the power to change and control everything, you always have the option to look at things in a bright positive light or a negative shadow.
It is important to note that grey clouds aren’t always a negative. There are so many wonderful things that have been born out of shades of grey. Life is not all black and white because if it were, codes of morality would be engrained within us, religion would cease to exist as would different jail sentences. Most people you have met may not have been born; Not every little baby was born into a definitive decision to be conceived.We would lose a lot of what we know as great art: poetry, literature and other forms of self-expression would cease to exist.
It’s important to remember that we blossom from our mistakes and experiences and most of them are lived through shades of grey. There is so much time wasted on trying to figure out what’s right and wrong that everything life has to offer is missed. Life is anything but easy but the moment you embrace it for its complexities is the moment you really start living.
Be conscious of your inner thoughts
Sometimes I feel like a broken record with how much I talk about positive thinking. However, it really is the ultimate tool for building a life of happiness.
Being mindful of your thoughts, understanding that they are not facts but simply your brain telling you things and then transforming these messages is a great step towards living a happier life full of success. Each time you have a thought that is negative, take a moment to recognise that this is simply a thought forming in your brain. Now understand that when you have a negative thought, your body is also reacting. Perhaps subconsciously, your body is going through that flight, fight or freeze response. Some of us feel this stronger than others- hello anxiety sufferers. This is why it is important to take the time to relax your body before you do anything else. Take slow deep breaths to release the tension and in turn- the negative thinking. Try and imagine those negative thoughts leaving your body with each breathe.
Once you have some space between yourself and those negative thoughts, replace it with a positive one. Ask yourself questions that will elicit a positive answer: What are the things that are happening in my life that are good right now? What could easily be changed to make me feel better? Is it that you have great friends, a loving family, a stable job, you’re in good health, you’re safe? Recognise the positives and try and linger on them for a while. Changing your perception by practicing this method will result in you feeling much happier with life. The more you conscious you become of your thoughts, the more control you have on your happiness and eventually this method will become instantaneous. You will find that you have became an optimist who exudes positive energy.
Practice the powerful energy of gratitude
Being grateful for the things you have, opens up your heart and attracts a continuous flow of more to be grateful about–and it is contagious.
Can you imagine how beautiful the world would be if we all displayed a little more gratitude; the experiences we are blessed with and those whom we love most that we get to share those experiences with. Gratitude is a a miraculous healing energy for it magnetises positive experiences to you. It enhances positivity that will seep out of you and when you dish out positive energy, you get it back. This is perhaps the most important tool for success as authentic appreciation creates perspective, makes you more engaged and increases emotional well-being. When you practice gratitude, daily, you are in a constantly aware of how wonderful life is. You enjoy the fruits of your success and naturally seek out more with a positive determination and perseverance unlike anything before. Moreover, if things don’t quite go to plan, being grateful puts failure into perspective and thus, you are more resilient. In addition, people like to be around you because they feel your appreciation and this supports them, thus, you reel in more success. For example, customers love to see that you appreciate their business and are most likely to become loyal to you.
Gratitude is perhaps one of the best feelings in the world. It eliminates the most corrosive and and limiting emotions; greed, envy and bitterness and leaves you in a constant state of euphoria. If you concentrate on all that you have- you will end up having more but if you only concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough.
Be the director of
your own destiny
It’s common to feel trapped in your own life. In fact, a month ago I was feeling stuck and as though my life was out of control. I knew where I wanted to go but I feel caged and I couldn’t find the key. Then I came to a realisation that there was plenty I could do, I just need to believe in myself and take initiative. I just needed to discover that there was more than one way to get out of that cage and figure out how.
No matter what the circumstance, there is something you can change. As already mentioned, not everything can be changed but there are some things you can control so take some time to identify what they are. It may be small but it will slowly add up, just ensure you are being patient. Then, make a plan to move forward and work on these little changes every day. Perhaps you can list the steps needed to reach your goal, making sure they are realistic, of course. Lastly, don’t get discouraged if things don’t go as planned. Just have a bit of space to yourself and evaluate.
Taking charge of your life, isn’t easy and it requires a lot of patience but the results will be incredibly rewarding. However, none of this can be carried out if you don’t take responsibility for yourself first. Whilst there will be many people that will hand building blocks, only you are in charge of what pieces go where.
Prioritize your health
I have always thought that fitness is the most underrated anti-depressant. It is no secret that looking after your body improves your emotional well-being and exercise releases endorphins that will improve your mood. There are no excuses when it comes to something as basic as looking after yourself properly. The problem is that so many of us think it is extremely difficult when it couldn’t be more simple. It just takes a little dedication and strength of mind to change the habits in the beginning.
Stop the multitasking as it only adds stress and practice on focusing on one task at a time. Believe me, this is much more effective. Get eight hours of sleep by putting a good night routine in place that gives you enough time for rest. Slowly replace unhealthy foods for nutritious alternatives such as white rice for brown. (If you go plant-based a healthy diet will be incredibly easy to carry out, and believe me you will be a lot happier and healthier as this is what is natural for our bodies. ) Don’t skip meals or stave yourself, honestly, it’s just stupid and impossible to keep up for long. Pay attention to emotional eating- you’re just filling a void of a need that isn’t getting met so take time out to figure out what this is and find a way to care for this need. Ensure you are getting thirty minuets of exercise a day: walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, do a five minute workout video in your bedroom, squat thirty times whilst you’re cooking dinner. Finally, make sure you take time out of your day to connect with yourself and pay attention to how you feel and what you need.
Your body is the vehicle that carries you through life. It needs you to take care of it so it can do it’s job to it’s best ability. Success requires hard work and you can’t expect to be victorious running on garbage, flat tires and little rest.
Practice Life‐Affirming Rituals.
Life-affirming rituals are simple and effective methods to help you achieve greater mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health and well-being. They are very beneficial and if done correctly, life-changing.
My life-affirming rituals are working out with Cassie Ho everyday and listening to her positive talks during the exercises, keeping a written gratitude list, listening to inspiration Ted Talks and saving an inspirational quote specific to me as the wallpaper on my phone.
When I was overweight, living a very unhealthy life and hated myself, I started to speaking words of affirmation to myself in the mirror. It became the start of my journey towards the healthy, beautiful young woman I am today. I would tell myself that I deserved love and happiness and that I am creative and persistent in whatever I do. I made sure to focus on the positive things about myself and reminded myself of all the wonderful things I have. It’s important to note that these words must be spoke with conviction and at least once a day to have long-lasting results.
Life-affirming rituals are habits you form, just like teeth-brushing and meditating, in order to take care of yourself. They are intentional acts that promote your wellbeing, improve your quality of life, and build your emotional resilience. Create at least one daily habit that will cultivate more positivity in your life and help you develop into a better person. Nurturing yourself is not a luxury but a necessity for your happiness and well-being. Thus it is important to engage in daily self-care.
You are a powerful Creator. Create happiness and success in your life by having clear intentions for the future, all the while still having your attention focused on the present moment throughout your day. By practising these seven behaviours you will become happier in yourself and the life you are building. This will result in an abundant amount of positive energy that you won’t be able to hold in which will undoubtedly draw in success.
Dungarees: White Dungarees