We all have the potential for happiness and deserve to be happy. In fact, everything we do is directed to this goal, yet happiness seems out of our reach. Genuine happiness has nothing to do with appearance, fame or fortune. The good news is that we can make it happen.
We all have the potential for genuine happiness. There is no gene or DNA marker that determines who will be happy and who will not. We make choices throughout our lives, and the result of all these choices combined determines our level of happiness. Make the right choices and happiness can be yours.
Here are just a sampling of some of the tactics we can employ in a roadmap to help guide us toward genuine happiness:
1. Look For The Positive In Everything
The first step is to change your mindset. The road to happiness starts with training your mind’s eye to see things in a different light. By gaining a new perspective, you will start to see that things aren’t all bad. Even the worst of situations tend to present itself with some form of silver lining. All you need to do is find it.
2. Accentuate The Positive
Remember that silver lining? Here’s what you need to do when you find it. You need to focus on it. Phase-out all the negative things that are going on. By letting go of these distractions, you will surround yourself with positive energy that will help you create positive results.
3. Practice Good Selfishness
When you are in a relationship, it is important to show your partner how you love them through different acts of affection. Giving them gifts, spending time with them, and pampering them from time to time are some of the ways you can show that you love them. When you do these things, you make your partner happy. Now, imagine that you were in a relationship with yourself. Don’t you deserve to show some self-love every now and again?
4. Listen To Your Feelings
There are times when you seek other people’s opinions and advice. It is often easier to approach friends, family, or even strangers than to make your own decision. For one, they are sure to give you a more objective outlook on the situation. But, sometimes, what may seem to be the right decision just doesn’t feel like it. Listening to your feelings allowing your subconscious take over. Skip the overthinking and allow yourself to follow your heart.
5. Give Of Yourself
Giving others joy is one way to get you smiling. Not only is it a way to fill yourself up with feel-good hormones, but you also get to make a difference in someone else’s life too. It doesn’t matter how much you give or what you do to help, the mere act of caring for others helps you become more compassionate about the things – and the people – around you. Opening up your heart to helping is opening up your life to happiness.
6. See It in Your Mind
You have the ability to make things happen using your mind. One of the common methods is to use visualization—getting a picture in your mind of whatever it is that you want to happen. It does not actually have to be a visual picture; it could be a feeling, a smell, a sound, or any combination of the senses. Imagine finding the perfect parking spot near the entrance as you arrive at the supermarket or mall – what would you do? The sky’s the limit but persevere! We are not used to utilizing this tool so it may take some practice.
7. Accept The Things You Cannot Change
The only thing you can get from worrying about the things which you have no control over is stress. Your energies will be much more productive when you redirect them to other things in life – learning a new skill, reading more books, or spending more time with your friends and family. When you start to spend less time stressing over the things you can’t change, you’ll realize that you have so much more time to change the things that you can.
8. Take Responsibility For Your Choices
Good or bad, there are consequences to anything you do. Instead of spending hours, days, or even months, thinking about how to avoid facing those problems, tackle them head on. You’ll find that overcoming those challenges will give you a sense of fulfillment, and take away that sense of guilt that’s been keeping you from being happy.
9. Schedule Regular “Self Care”
Taking care of yourself is an important note to keep in your journal. Giving yourself a few hours a week to pamper yourself is not self-indulgence, it’s a way to stay sane and happy. You don’t need weekly spa trips – but those could work too. Instead, something as simple as scheduling you-time for a long bath at the end of the day can be all it takes.
10. Make Time To Pray or Meditate
Clearing your mind has long been shown to have a myriad of benefits on physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Meditation is one way to rewire your brain, helping you change your perspective. Prayer helps you to trust in something bigger than you or your circumstances. The silence will help you focus on your present instead of on your future plans or past regrets.
11. Remove Your Limitations
Stop focusing on the negatives. Setting those boundaries may be the thing that is preventing you from being happy. It could be just beyond the line that you drew when you said “I can’t.” Pushing yourself to move beyond will open up your world, provide you with opportunities, and give you a whole lot more things to smile about!.
Your self-esteem and happiness are internal. While we often feel that they are affected by other things – our peers, our status – in truth, we determine our own self-worth. Seeing the value in your life will help you start being more accepting of yourself and your situation.
Be grateful for the goodness in your life. Showing gratitude is a way of acknowledging other people’s contribution to your happiness. Giving thanks helps you connect to these sources of joy. It makes you feel more positive emotions, appreciate the good experiences, face problems, and create stronger bonds.
14. Positive Life Framing
Positive life framing means approaching every situation with positive thoughts. It’s when you ask yourself how to make the situation come out good? While there are so many things in life that are out of our control, your mindset is yours to command. Positive framing isn’t denying that bad things happen. Instead, it is acknowledging that along with the bad, it is also good. In order to change your perspective, you’ll need this bit of wisdom and a whole lot of patience. But when you’ve built your positive life frame, you’ll see that good things do happen.
15. Have a “Can Do Attitude”
How does taking initiative at work, at school, at home, or anywhere lead to happiness? Your can-do attitude is your key to overcoming challenges. The problem isn’t that we are unable to do things. It is that we already say “I can’t” even before giving it a try. Ridding yourself of that negative outlook and looking at things as possible instead of impossible will motivate and energize you to do more and achieve more in the process.
16. Lifelong Learning
The journey to happiness requires a commitment to educate yourself. Discover new ideas, explore new places, and learn whatever you can. The more you know about the world, the more you learn about yourself. Read books, travel to far-off places with rich and exotic cultures, and talk to people! You might be surprised by how others see the world. Satiate yourself with answers to your most curious questions. While you are busy with your search for knowledge, you’ll probably find happiness along the way.
17. Unconditional Love
Unconditional love is often revered as that timeless love that’s capable of withstanding any circumstance. Often described as being the love you would find between a mother and child, it’s not the kind of love you could easily give. But, it’s more common than most of us think. It’s important to be wary of when you have experienced this kind of love, when you are receiving it, and how you can share it with other people. Being able to care for someone without any expectations is a selfless act of giving. While most believe that love can only have a happy ending when it is reciprocated, being able to feel love and to give love is already a happy feeling.
18. Help Others in Need
There is such a thing known as the “Helper’s High.” It’s that feeling you get when you’ve been able to help someone. There are millions of people who continue to smile despite their unfavorable circumstances. Giving them a hand would widen those smiles on their faces and put one on yours too. You’ll see how they are grateful for the little things that you often take for granted. And as you give them aid, they will give you a lesson on positivity as well.
19. Learn to Forgive
Letting go of a grudge is like releasing a heavy weight – one that you have allowed someone to chain to your life. These are weights that are filled with feelings of hurt, betrayal, and anger. Things that will constantly bring you down. Bad things happen and people make mistakes. Carrying such negativity from the past will not make for a bright and happy future. You’re only bringing the gloom with you. It may not always be easy to forgive someone but it is definitely harder to constantly live a life of hate.
20. It Costs Nothing To Smile
So why don’t you? We get so excited over free things – free samples, free meals, free anything! Yet we don’t appreciate nor take advantage of the things that have always been free – your smile. Smiling is one way to trick your body into feeling happy. Fake it ‘til you make it. You might not feel the effects right away but if you keep at it, you’ll notice that a physical change towards positivity will plant seeds of joy mentally and emotionally.
21. Set short term goals and achieve them.
Your small achievements will lead to the fulfillment of larger goals. Focus on the small things and rejoice in your accomplishments. But before you can do that, you need to set the stepping stones in place. Create short-term goals to motivate you to move forward. It could be a simple project that you’ve set yourself to finish within the next week or a goal for your monthly savings. Keep those goals within reach but don’t be afraid to challenge yourself every now and then.
22. Spend more time with supportive family
Everyone has a family. Whether it be the one you are born into or one that you have found on your own, they are the people who will be there for you. We spend so much time trying to strengthen bonds outside of the home by making new friends or giving time to the ones we already have. But, do we put the same amount of time and effort into our families? Surround yourself with positive vibes by spending time with the people who support and love you.
23. Connect with friends
We often say that people come and go. But with technology today, connecting with friends has never been easier. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Plan a trip or maybe start with going out for coffee. We are social beings. Even the most introverted individual needs some form of human connection. The social bonds that we create give us a sense of self-worth, belongingness, and security. Your friends make up your support system and closer connections can benefit your psycho-social well-being.
24. Love “You”
Finally, learning to give yourself the love you deserve is one of the best things that you can do. Remind yourself that you are beautiful; that you are smart; and that you are amazing! Seeing yourself in that light will empower you to change your entire perspective on life. Loving yourself opens doors for others to love you too. You will start to know the kind of love you deserve. And, finally, you will know that you too, deserve happiness.
The more successful you are at adapting these concepts and processes described in these points into your life, the more genuinely happy you will be, and the happiness will last!
What are the Causes and Benefits of Conflict?
Your day might have started fairly ordinary. Only somewhere along the way, things blew up. Now you’re in the middle of a massive conflict with no clear idea of how you got there.
It’s normal to fall into conflict – we’re only human after all. Some conflict is even good for us! But did you know that by understanding how these blow-ups come about, you can learn how to avoid many of these conflicts in the first place?
Conflict comes about because we’ve hit a point of disagreement with another person. While a difference of opinion doesn’t have to turn into conflict, every conflict has at its heart a difference of opinion. These differences manifest in these areas:
- A difference in values
- A difference in motivations
- A difference in what you perceive is true or necessary\
- A difference in wants
- A difference in the understanding of various ideas or even ideals.
How do these differences then turn into conflicts?
- The difference has somehow become perceived as a threat. Whenever you feel threatened, there’s going to be trouble. Threats bring out that whole urge to fight to protect what’s important to you. Hence, your disagreement escalates into the realm of conflict.
- You’ve let that conflict fester. So, what might have felt like a minor threat at the beginning has become something much bigger in nature because of two factors. First, you neglected the conflict by not dealing with it right away. Second, the passage of time has given the conflict room to grow. So, now it’s blown up into something bigger than it ever was in the first place. How? Keep reading, and you’ll see.
- By now your perception is off-kilter. It might be that what you perceive to be a threat – was never a threat in the first place. How does this happen? Chances are you lost your objectivity in the situation. Especially if you feel threatened. Then add to it #4.
- Your emotions got involved. Conflicts tend to attract strong emotions. But the stronger the emotion, the more likely you are to blow things out of proportion. Emotional reactions also make it a lot harder to deal with a conflict in the first place, so chances are if you get emotional, you’ve already let things get out of control.
Are There Benefits of Conflict?
When you experience a violent storm, it’s easy to rail against the weather. The wind and the rain can seem terrifying, especially when coupled with the crash of thunder and the bright crackle of lightning splitting the sky. But ask any farmer, and they’ll tell you that even storms have their benefits. The rain is necessary for their crops. And believe it or not, when lightning strikes the ground, it puts nitrogen into the soil that is essential for things to grow.
Likewise, conflicts have certain benefits that we don’t always see. Keep reading to find several of them you might not have considered before now.
- Conflicts make us aware of new ways to do things. The very fact that there’s a conflict tells you that someone else has a different point of view from your own. By exploring those conflicts, you are likewise invited to explore the idea from a new angle and see a new solution that wouldn’t have occurred before.
- Conflicts enable us to verbalize what we want. Think of conflict as a way of being able to genuinely express yourself that doesn’t come up easily at other times. It’s through conflict that we decide what’s important to us, and how to put those feelings into words.
- Conflict drives flexibility. When we conflict, we’re hoping for others to see our point of view. But also in dealing with conflict, we’re forced to see the point of view of those around us. That is where we learn how to become flexible, to acknowledge that we’re not always right. The conflict then becomes the teacher of two traits that you can’t live without—that of being open-minded, and of understanding humility.
- Conflict forces us to listen. The only way to resolve conflict is to listen openly to the other person. Through listening, we acquire wisdom and learn to make better decisions.
- Conflict drives solutions. When you deal with conflict, you are likewise dealing with a problem that needs a solution. Resolving that conflict means finding those solutions, usually in new and innovative ways. Conflict, thus, forces us to solve our problems in creative ways.
While you might shy away from the idea of conflict, it’s good to remember these benefits. Without conflict, we stagnate. So while the storm outside might rage, remember that all tempests do come to an end. The sun will come out again, and in that light, you’ll be able to see how much you’ve grown and benefitted by that conflict.
You need to maintain your objectivity, keep your emotions in check, and realize that every conflict is an opportunity to grow. Conflicts are normal in life. But it’s the resolution of conflicts that draws us closer together and builds both trust and intimacy.
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8 Tips to Face Your Fear
Fear is a natural emotion that humans feel whenever face with painful and challenging circumstances. We tend to be afraid to handle our concerns or even walk away from those things. However, the longer we suppress our fears in our subconscious minds, the longer it would affect our social and occupational functioning. Take the case of drug addicts who see drugs as a form of escape with their worries and personal issues. They’ve chosen to run away from their fears instead of confronting it. With this, it significantly changed them that affects only themselves but their families as well.
Overcoming fear is an important step to free yourself from situations or things that would limit you. It may take time to conquer it, but by taking action, you’re doing a favor for yourself. Here are the useful tips that can help you to overcome your fears.
- Recognize and Accept Your Fear
The first step that you should do is to recognize your fears. It may be hard at first. But acknowledging it allows you to know that you need to do something to get rid of your worries. From there, you will understand that fears exist to warn us about the possible danger that we’re going to encounter. It lets us know that we need to take better decisions in our lives.
- 2. Take Time Out
If your mind is clouded by fear and other unpleasant emotions, taking time out from it is your option. It means that you need to distract yourself from overthinking about it. You can go for a walk or take a nap to shift your mind. This is different from running away from your fear. This gesture is crucial as you need to get yourself ready in facing your fears.
- 3. Calm Yourself
This relates to taking a break from your fears. Aside from engaging in diverting task, you can also practice calming yourself. Breath slowly and if you can, meditate for at least 5 minutes. By doing this, it makes you objective in facing your fears.
- 4. Visualize Happy Thoughts
If you are letting your fears empower you, thinking about fighting it would not be easy. You must first create a mental image of happy thoughts. It can be anywhere and anytime with anyone. The main goal of visualizing your thoughts is to let make you relax and control your fear.
- 5..Seek Help
If you think you don’t have enough courage to overcome your fears alone, you can seek help. Talk with your trusted friends or family members so they can help you in facing your fear. They can also provide some advice that you can use. Apart from close friends and family, you can also seek the professional assistance of a psychologist or counselor. They can devise customized therapy programs to alleviate your fears.
- 6. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
People who are empowered with their fears tend to run away from it. Some of them turn to alcohol and drugs, believing that it would subside their fears. Instead of forming a drug or alcohol addiction, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can do regular exercise and eat nutritious foods. You can also get enough quality sleep to make your mind relax. By having a healthy lifestyle, you are making yourself physically and mentally ready to face your fears.
- 7..Plan, Practice, and Act
There are fears that you can conquer by acting it out. For instance, you are afraid to talk in public and want to defeat this fear. You can plan to enroll yourself in public speaking classes to boost your confidence and learn the techniques of managing your worries at the public places. After that, you can practice talking on the stage. You can do it alone or with the presence of a few people. The essence of this step is to gradually expose you to fear so when you’re faced with the actual issue you’d be able to handle it well.
- 8. Treat Yourself
Trying to overcome your fear takes a lot of courage. If you’ve been with a stressful day, you can reward yourself for doing your best. It can be anything that would bring happy feelings. It would also serve as your reminder that there are greater things that you have compared with your fears.