Sunday, 1 January 2017

Dancing Through Life's Lessons: 17 Habits of Happy People to Adopt this New Year


     Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a brilliant 2016 full of amazing memories, laughter, love and hope for an even better new year. As per tradition, I had my best friend Laney over. We went to the NYE Service at my church and watched movies all night. I couldn't have asked for a better way to end 2016 than with my best friend.
     As always, a new month brings a new life lesson. And this post also has to do with my New Years resolution of being more happy and positive. My goal in life is to strive for genuine happiness in every aspect of my life and I seem to have lost sight of that goal since started college; probably due to the stress of adulthood and my health. I stopped believing in the power of positive thinking. And I am determined to get back to that happy and positive state of mind that I had in high school because living on my own will be hell otherwise. (speaking of which, I move on the 7th). So lets jump into this post of habits to adapt for a more happy and positive life.

1. Trust your intuition.
This is the one that is by far the hardest for me and I think it's one of the most important. This past year I have started to lose trust not only in my loved ones but in myself as well. I've been through hell and back mentally this past year and I slowly started to loose faith in myself for letting my mental and physical health bring me down all the time. I need to start listening to that inner voice in my head telling me to do or not to do something. My soul knows what's right for me. So don't be afraid to do what feels right for you. 

2. Be gentle on yourself.
As Buddha says, "If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete." So go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back for making it through the day. Don't cut your lunch break short. Laugh more. Love more. Don't beat yourself up over mistakes. No one is perfect (except for God). You are perfect exactly as you are because God created you the way you are. 

3. See the world as awe-inspiring.
Imagine that you've lived your whole life blind, deaf and unable to speak. And you got the gift of being able to see, speak and hear. You'd be awe-struck at the world around you. You'd be very curious too. And you'd probably not miss the things you tend to overlook like the comfy feeling of your bed, the yummy morning tea or coffee etc. So start each day by looking at all the magic and beauty of life and you'll stop missing the little things you normally do.

4. Keep an inspiration file.
Somedays you wake up feeling productive and happy and other days you feel drained and miserable. On those drained days, open your inspiration file. It can be a binder, scrapbook or even a folder on your phone filled with quotes, messages from people, stories about the good things people do etc. It's a great way to get out of that slump that we get into when out life becomes chaotic. Speaking of chaos...

5. Spend time alone with yourself (or with friends).
Life can get crazy so spend some time alone with yourself. Unpack your baggage and get back in touch with your inner self. Spending time alone can help you replenish your well. Don't cut your lunch break short. Go ahead and take a day off for laughter and fun only. If your like me who thrives off of being alone as well as being with a few people you're close to, you can also spend time with friends as a way to forget about the troubles going on in your life right now. Friends can also put things in perspective for you. 

6. Take up Yoga.
Yoga is a great way to resign your body, mind and soul. This can increase yourself of being whole and having inner peace. You can do it any where and at any time. Here's a link to the BEST Yoga YT channel out there. 

7. Meditate Daily.
Meditation is a beautiful way to clear your mind and to really listen to yourself. The app Happily has amazing guided meditations that I just cannot recommend enough. Start with 5 minutes a day and slowly work up to longer sittings. You can meditate lying in bed but I honestly prefer doing it outside in nature. It seems to work better that way. You can even do a meditation exercise while doing yoga!

8. Keep a soul journal.
Writing in a journal is a great way for you to release all your hurts and hangups from the day or even the week. A soul journal is like a traditional journal but you're asking yourself tough questions and seeking self guidance on things you're struggling with. The key is to write your stream-of-consciousness without self-censoring. You may be amazed by the wisdom residing deep within you.
I do all my deep journaling when I am surrounded by nature. 

9. Spend time in nature.
Nature is awe-inspiring, wild, mysterious and the biggest beauty in the world. So spend time in nature, even if as far as you go is your own backyard. I like spending time near water so I always go to my little oasis under a bridge near my house. A river flows beneath the bridge and it's the perfect place for me to relax, reflect and meditate. What I like about water is you can't step in the same river twice. The water is always changing, always flowing. ~Just Around The Riverbend from Pocahontas. 

10. Be more present.
I have been taking a class on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) at one of the Kaiser Medical Offices in my hometown and the very first thing that was stressed up on us was being in the present moment. As Master Oogway from Kung Fu Panda said, "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that's why it's called the present." Be here, right now, in the present moment. Don't focus on what's happening 5 minutes from now to five years from now or even what happened five years ago. If you're stuck in the past, you're depressed. If you're stuck on the future, you're anxious. The only way to truly be at peace with yourself, your life, and the world, is to be in the moment.

11. Embrace the uncertain.
Nothing in life is concrete. Anything can happen, good or bad, at any time. It's inevitable. Learn to embrace it, and know that you will always be okay at every moment in your journey, even if you can't quite see the road to the finish line yet. I know the future can be scary. Next time you're scared about what the future holds, listen to the song, Whatever Will Be by Tammin Sursok. It's a very inspirational and beautiful song. 

12. Let it go!
What ever will be will be. Let life take it's course. Don't try to change things. Let go of all the bad things that happen to you. They happen for a reason. If you're constantly holding grudges of things that have happened to you, you're only stealing your own inner peace and joy. Master the art of letting it go. 

13. Forgive more.
Buddha said, "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it as someone else; and you are the one who get's burnt." Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Don't judge anyone without knowing their reasons and intents for doing/acting the way they do. Learning to forgive others will truly set yourself free. 

14. Compare less.
Happiness is found when you finally stop comparing yourself to other people. 1 Corinthians 7:7 says, "I wish you all were as I am. But each of you have your own gift from God, one has this gift, another has that."
When you stop wanting what others have you will find happiness in your own gifts. As Mark Twain said, "Comparison is the death of joy."

15. Give freely - no strings attached.
Giving and receiving are one in truth. When you give, without expecting anything in return, your soul is nourished. In today's world we think too much about giving gifts and wanting gifts in return. The best and easiest thing to give is you love, your compassion, your kindness towards others. 

16. Practice gratitude.
Be grateful in all aspects of your life. Find a way to be grateful for everything that comes your way - good or bad. You can really grow as a person when you find gratitude during the trials. 

17. Experience the flow of things you love.
When you're solely focused on the things you love to do, regardless of what other people say, you loose your sense of ego and time. Doing things you love is another way for you to gain a sense of wholeness. For example, I am currently at a local cafe, listening to all my favorite music from both my childhood as well as my current faves, drinking amazing tea and I feel completely happy and whole. I am doing what I love and that's all that matters to me right now. I am not looking at my alarm for when I need to leave for therapy. I am here, in this moment, enjoying it all that I can.

*bonus habit for good luck*
18. Commit to living a life true to you.
Don't give up on your morals and and beliefs just for the sake of someone else. Stand up for what you believe in. Make your voice heard. When you live, work, date, play, eat, drink, create, dance, travel and dream in ways that feel right with your soul, you come alive, the whole world benefits. 

Happy people don't necessarily have the best of everything.
They make the best of everything.

     And there you have it, eighteen habits of happy people to adopt this year. As always if you liked this please give this post a +1 on Google+, and leave me a comment below what your resolutions are for the new year.  See you all next week!

~Poodle
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