What is the secret to happiness? You often think it is a new job, designer shoes, a great partner or even winning the lottery. Believe it or not, the answer is not in the things you have or want, but the answer lies within.
Why is it when you buy shoes that you thought would make you happy, a day later, you are still not happy. The reason you feel good about the shoe purchase in the moment is similar to the analogy of playing slots at Vegas. Each time you pull the lever at the slot machine you get a dopamine rush. It feels good and you continue. But the feeling doesn't stay. It is momentary. The brain is only playing a trick on you.
Happiness is not about chasing the next great thing, but it is about being true to yourself and understanding what you really want. Research shows that happiness is a skill that is learned and can grow. Follow the path below and you will be on your way to finding out what truly makes you happy.
Be Healthy - Start to exercise, it does works. What happens and how is the brain involved? You have two things happening. When you exercise, your brain recognizes it as a moment of stress. To protect you, the brain releases a protein called BDNF, (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). This protein acts as a reset switch to calm the stress. That is why we often feel at ease after exercise. At the same time, endorphins are released which fight stress. Endorphins minimize the discomfort of exercise, block the feeling of pain and leave you with a feeling of euphoria. Research shows that you don't even need to exercise for a long time to reap the benefits. The first 20 minutes give you the highest happiness rush.
Be Curious - When you are curious, you are interested in learning new things. You experience a sense of wonder. If something is not the way you want it to be, a curious nature allows you to explore and experience new opportunities. Get curious about you. Ask yourself, what makes you happy? What are you good at? What do you not like to do? When you start to ask yourself these questions, you will learn what truly inspires you. Write the answers down so you can act on them. This will be the start to your path of happiness.
Be Grateful - Gratitude is a key in happiness and success. It has been proven by Scientist Robert Emmons and Sonja Lyubomirsky, that not only does it increase happiness, but it also improves your immune system, reduces anxiety, depression and makes you more resilient. With gratitude you recognize the goodness in your life and how you have been supported by others. Gratitude emits positive feelings motivating you to pay it forward.
Be Positive - Our brains have a propensity towards negative thoughts and consider a negative thought to be 5 times more important. You have over 50,000 thoughts a day and 70% of them are self-critical, unpleasant and negative. The good news, you can train your brain to think positive. With positive thoughts you experience greater joy and calm. You become happier and more interested in finding your own success. In fact when you choose to be positive, you are 31% more productive and 23% less stressed.
Happiness is all relative. Think about what truly makes you happy. Explore what you want, what makes you tick and try new things. The path begins with you. Thank you for reading. Please leave a comment and share on your social media.
Colleen Cassel, CEO and Founder of Upstream Solutions, is a speaker, leadership and career consultant. Working with organizations and individuals to impact performance in their business and career. Colleen consults and trains on how being mindful and authentic improves leadership, communication, focus and creates a smarter way to work. Contact: Colleen@colleencassel.com ~704-900-6448.
The secret to gaining the confidence necessary to achieve your goals and dreams comes down to a simple process. The basis and foundation starts with believing in yourself. When you believe that you can do it, magic happens. Your goals and desires are achievable but it boils down to believing in yourself and that what you want is yours to have.
The process is simple. Think of it as a ladder. The first step is believing in yourself. Know that you are powerful, smart and intelligent. Believe you are that and more. Act and speak with confidence and a positive attitude.
The next rung on the ladder is your intent. What is it that you want? Choose and decide what you want to accomplish. Don't be afraid to dream big. But, you must believe that what you want is attainable. Get specific as to your desires. Writing your goals and dreams on paper, solidifies what you want to accomplish.
Now for the next step. What action do you need to take to start the process? Everything you want to accomplish requires an action, even a simple task. Put the work in and believe it will happen.
The last rung on the ladder is to LET GO! Jump off and know that ii is yours.
But you ask? How do I get the confidence to believe in myself and my dreams? You need to retrain your brain. Our minds have over 50,000 thoughts a day and 70% of those are negative or unhappy thoughts. Science has shown that traits such as confidence, happiness, leadership and communication, once thought to be innate, are indeed trainable traits. We can actually become better at something and happier with practice.
Neuroplasticity, means that the brain acts like plastic. It can be rewired and retrained with practice. Old patterns and habits can be broken and new ones created. Retraining your brain requires that you create a new neural pathway. Every time that you try something new, a new neural connection is made which creates new pathways. Each new pathway can build a new habit, but it requires practice.
If you want to build confidence, tell yourself each day that you can do it. Couple your verbal talk with journal writing. Every day write 3-5 positive statements about yourself. “I am powerful” “I am smart” "I am a great athlete" or whatever it is you want to achieve. Do actions that match your statements. Eventually your positive talk and affirmations will create new pathways in your brain. Belief and confidence in yourself will build.
Whether you want to build confidence, become happier or accomplish a goal, you must first believe that you can do it. Learning to rewire new pathways and connections in your brain, will help you to achieve goals and dreams.
Please comment and let me know what your new goal. And how you plan to rewire new pathways.
How often do you use your intuition and are inquisitive to what you are experiencing? When you dig deep inside and ask yourself questions, you invariable find the answers. Listen to your gut? It often has the answer that you have been waiting for.
Your intuition is the guiding force that leads your inquisitive mind down the right path. Listening to your intuition or you "gut" feelings open you to new people, opportunities and events. With your intuitive mind you experience benefits and new pathways, that went unnoticed or didn't exist.
How do you heighten and reach into your intuition more clearly? By getting silent. Try being mindful for a moment. Sit quietly and let your mind be open to whatever flows. Like our bodies, we need to give our minds not only exercise but rest to reach its highest capacity.
Get still, trust your intuition and listen for the answers.
For more on mindfulness and listening to your intuition, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org