Posted tagged ‘happy’

Discover the secret to a happier 2014

January 8, 2014

Image

It’s the eighth day of January. How are your New Year’s resolutions going so far?

Quit smoking, lose weight, perhaps you’re aspiring to achieve better health and financial security this 2014, maybe you also want to aim for a happier and more fulfilling life. There’s no exact formula for happiness. It is a product of positive habits and traits that you should incorporate in your daily life.

So, to start your year right – with lots of positivity and cheer – here are some essential tips for you:

Replace negativity and complaints with gratitude.  Our brain has the natural tendency to favour bad thoughts than the positive ones. Experts call it the “negativity bias”. But if we are going to intentionally pay more attention to positive thoughts, we can be happier.

Research by Shelley Gable of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Jonathan Haidt of the University of Virginia suggests that we actually have three times more positive experiences than negative. Try replacing negativity and complaints with gratefulness. This is a good way to train your mind to become more optimistic.

Live in the present.

Avoid hyper-focusing on the future or the past. A large body of research suggests that mindfulness or awareness of the present moment, is one key to happiness.

Laugh more.

A lot of times, we take life too seriously. Try to inject silliness in your day to day experience. Whether it’s watching a funny movie or video clip or playing charades with your friends or kids, do something that makes you laugh.

Seek your passion.

No matter how busy you are with your work or personal obligations, make it a goal to purse things or hobbies that you are passionate about. Don’t frown if you still don’t know what it is, just give yourself more time to discover and explore.

Surround yourself with cheery individuals.

Happiness is contagious. This year, try to spend more time with positive people – those who can influence to change your thoughts positively. A 2013 study by Harvard University and University of California found that a friend who lives close to the happy person has a 25 per cent higher likelihood of becoming happy too.

Get inspired.

When you are inspired, you are able to do things with enthusiasm and zeal. Find inspiration and motivation from everything, from a quote you see on the internet to a lovely song or an advice from a friend.

Recognise and accept your emotions.

It’s normal to feel sad and down at times. You don’t have to deny or ignore these unwanted feelings. You actually have to recognise them to understand their causes. This way, you can focus on the situation with mental clarity and give yourself a chance to resolve your problems in a more effective way.

Replace self-criticism with self-compassion.

Self-criticism weakens you while self-compassion strengthens your resilience, happiness and productivity. Love yourself a little more. If there’s anyone who should love you first, it should be no other but you.

Invest in healthy relationships.

Relationships are at the heart of happiness. You can find happiness in the relationships you make with other people. This year, plan to spend more time cultivating friendships. Think about how you can be a true friend to your partner, to your kids and parents, to your colleagues and all others around you.

Hope these tips can contribute to a happier and more fulfilling year in your life.
Once again, happy New Year!

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist

www.greymatterz.co.uk

Part of the Core Health Centre

Advertisements

Useful tips to beat your daily stress

May 16, 2013

ImageIt’s true that stress is always present in our life. It’s there everywhere we look, everywhere we go, and in everything we do. Even sleeping and doing nothing can become stressful at times. But stress doesn’t have to dismantle our life and prevent us from being happy and healthy. With the following easy techniques, you can cope with stress effectively and live life to the fullest!

Stretch it out.

Headache, fatigue, stiff neck, and cramps are all signs of stress. Chronic stress makes our muscles so tensed that they get swollen and become painful over time. This leads to undesirable symptoms, including pain. Stress also undermines blood circulation, which in turn makes your body more vulnerable to disease. Stretching out is a very convenient way to ease stress when you’re in the middle of a paperwork. Getting familiar with basic stretching techniques can significantly improve your blood flow, relax your tensed muscles and give you great relief.

Breathe, breathe, and breathe!

Before you open your mouth and say harsh words to someone, pause for a minute and take a deep gentle breath. It might be your usual reaction to take small, shallow breaths. But this can just aggravate your anxiety and make you feel more stressed. Take slow, deep breaths when you’re highly anxious. This calms your sympathetic nervous system and promotes relaxation.

Laugh out loud.

Feeling stressed with your work or family responsibilities? It’s time to have a good laugh. Just as the old saying goes – laughter is the best medicine. Watch a funny movie, invite over some friends and talk about silly things, or read a comic book. Cracking up promotes blood circulation and increases oxygen flow to your organs – two mechanisms that relieve your body from stress. In fact, just the anticipation of laughter can already pull down your stress levels.

State a positive mantra.

Don’t underestimate the power of positive suggestion. Find a phrase that gives you a sense of relief and motivation. For example, when confronted with a stressful situation, say “All is well”, or “This too, shall pass”. When you feel irritated on your spouse, child or parent, just tell yourself “He/she may have done something wrong but that doesn’t make him/her a bad person.”

Divert your attention.

Can’t think of a nice way to start your report? Have a break and do something that uplifts your spirit. Maybe you can take a walk outside, read a book, do some gardening stuff, or draw your dream house – anything that will distract you from succumbing to stress.

Cite five things you are thankful of.

Feeling down? Close your eyes, place your hands over your chest, take five deep breaths, and cite five things in your life that you are so thankful of. Slowly open your eyes and become completely refreshed!

Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.

Remember the law of attraction? Whatever you pay attention to grows. So if you pay attention to negative emotions, thoughts and feelings, they only get bigger and worse. But if you focus more on positivity, the whole universe conspires to help you become happier.

Focus on the present.

Whilst planning for the future is a good habit, when you’re stressed out it can become extremely overwhelming. Get in tune with your senses. Acknowledge what you feel – good or bad. Be aware of what’s happening deep inside you. Feel the ground beneath your feet, listen to your heartbeat, and feel the wind as it touches your skin. You can surely free yourself from stress by focusing on the now.

Stroke your pet.

When you spend even just a few minutes playing with your dog, or cat, your body releases feel-good hormones such as serotonin and oxytocin.  These hormones counter the damaging effects of stress and lower blood pressure and anxiety, and boost immunity.

Drink orange juice.

Vitamin C is effective in lowering your stress hormone levels, particularly cortisol. Apart from orange juice, you can also get vitamin C from grapefruit juice, strawberries, cabbage, and other green leafy vegetables. There’s actually more vitamin C to be found in in kale or red pepper than in an orange, Land these two are less acidic or sugary too.

Wishing you a stress free day.

Richard Scott
Clinical Hypnotherapist
http://www.greymatterz.co.uk

Part of the Core Health Centre