As a life coach, I hear all the time, "Wow, you must be so happy". And truthfully, I am. But not for the reasons you think I am. Not because I hold all the secrets to managing stress, or a heightened self or successful goal setting. (of course that helps) But because I activate happiness each and everyday. And no, it's not some super power you're awarded for being a life coach. Anyone and everyone can stimulate their happiness. I wasn't always like this. I had to teach myself that my happiness exist inside myself, I just had to stimulate it. You can read all about my I'll be happy when syndrome. Below I've listed some effective tips to being happy.
1. Make Happiness A Priority
A simple tip to being happy is, "Sometimes, you just have to decide you're going to be happy". But, this comes along with making happiness a priority. That means letting go of toxic relationships, discover those things that bring your joy, engage in fun activities – hang out with friends, cook your favorite meal, watch your favorite movie.
And sometimes, there are big decisions to make and some tough goal setting – like leaving an unhealthy job or relationship. Make sure you have a good support system – family, friends, a life coach, always, but especially when you are going through a life transition.
Don't leave it up to someone else to make you happy. Practicing self-approval and self-acceptance is key to finding and sustaining our own happiness.
2. Take A Daily Time Out
We’ve become human-doings rather than human-beings. We over-schedule ourselves doing the things we think are supposed to be doing, rather than the things that bring us happiness. Even as a life coach, I have to remind myself to just sit down. Yes, of course we are always going to have to do things we don’t want to do (laundry, vacuuming, cleaning out the cat box!) So make sure you take time out of your schedule every day for a YOU TIME OUT – and don’t feel guilty about it!
Don’t mistake this for shopping or a mani/pedi, or jumping on your smart phone to play Candy Crush (or whatever the new addicting game is!) It doesn’t have to cost money and should be soul-nurturing. Sometimes the best tips to being happy are an afternoon cup of tea. Reading a few pages out of a book you’ve been meaning to get to. Tend to your garden. Call a friend. It can take five minutes or 30 minutes – whatever time you make, give this gift to yourself.
3. Practice Meditation and Mindfulness
For thousands of years people have used meditation to move beyond the mind’s stress-inducing thoughts and emotional upsets into the peace and clarity of present moment awareness. The variety of meditation techniques, traditions, and technologies is nearly infinite, but the essence of meditation is singular: the cultivation of mindful awareness and expanded consciousness.
These are the ultimate precious gifts of meditation, yet people are initially drawn to meditation for many different reasons. Some begin meditating because of a doctor’s recommendation, seeking the health benefits of lowered blood pressure, stress reduction, and restful sleep. Others come to meditation seeking relief from the fearful, angry, or painful thoughts that constantly flood their mind. Still others come to meditation to find greater self-understanding or to improve their ability to concentrate. Myself, I found meditation increase my intuitive powers as a life coach.
It is accurate to say that the purpose of meditation depends on the meditator – but it is also true that anyone who meditates regularly receives profound benefits on all of these levels – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
To learn more about meditation and begin a home meditation practice, click HERE.
4. Say Cheese
Neurotransmitters called endorphins are released when you smile. It is triggered by the movements of the muscles in your face, which is interpreted by your brain, which in turn releases these chemicals. Endorphins are responsible for making us feel happy, and they also help lower stress levels.
The more we stimulate our brain to release this chemical the more often we feel happier and relaxed. One of the easiest tips to being happy is to simply- smile.
5. Practice Gratitude
Each day, think of at least three things you are grateful for. And make sure they are different than the day before. Health; loved ones; goal setting, comfortable bed, cabinets filled with food; your pets. Truly the list is endless. And be sure to make it a practice. It could be in the morning or evening while you are brushing your teeth, before a meal, writing it in a journal. When you create a habit out of it, it has more impact on your daily life.
6. Chase Happiness, not Success
Happiness sustains us from the inside out. It’s soul-nurturing. It doesn’t mean every minute of every day we are elated with happiness, but it does mean a better more fulfilling life. And just as we seek success, we must seek happiness. We don’t just wake up and there it is. We have to find what makes us happy and cultivate it. Chase those things in life which fulfill you.
If you are feeling stuck, lost or in a life transition, I can help! Click HERE for more details.
7. Smell the Fresh Air
Go outside. Look up at the sky. Take off your shoes (when it’s warm!) and put your feet on the grass or toes in the sand. Being in nature is the best FREE drug there is. Take a walk, hike or bike ride – and just be. Listen to the wind. Feel your heartbeat.
There are so many benefits to being outdoors. Vitamin D intake increases, it can counteract Seasonal Affective Disorder, releases tension and stress.
8. See it in Your Mind’s Eye
Visualize yourself happy. That may sound so strange – but hold yourself in your mind’s eye – and really see and feel what it would be like to feel happy. Maybe it’s a sense of freedom and relief. Maybe its the success of your goal setting. Maybe you feel secure and joyful. Maybe you feel energetic and renewed. Hold that image in your mind’s eye. Getting clarity and setting intentions are part of the visualization process which are all powerful for getting you where you want to be.
If you want to become Your Best Self- I'm a life coach, I can help! Click HERE and let’s start the process now!
Nikki Buckstead, MA, CLC, PMP is a certified life coach and certified meditation and Ayurveda teacher. She owns a successful coaching and consulting business in Huntington Beach, CA. She works with clients who are both local as well long distance clients via teleconference. Visit www.nikkibuckstead.com to begin today!