7 practices for Happiness

I’ve always being intrigued by Happiness. How some people can be happy regardless the situation they’re passing through and how some people cannot be happy even if they seem to have their lives resolved?
And this may actually be the key. As someone who was born and raised in a “third world” country and then moved to the “first world”, I have always been surprised by how happy people in my hometown seem to be, compared to the people in Montreal.   I have noticed that, in general, people are happier when they are with other people, when they’re focused on an activity, or focus on their loved ones. The key seems to be being Present, enjoy the moment, enjoy themselves, enjoy the life and blessings they’ve received.
Thinking about the blessings we have had through our lives brings us satisfaction, while thinking of what we don’t have yet will bring us dissatisfaction. Notice how different is to say: I’m glad I’m …. vs. I wish I were… 
When we’re kids, we’re naturally present. We enjoy the moment or we express our discomfort openly and we naturally try to be happy. We make an effort to obtain what will make us happy or we move on.
Later on in life, when we are not able to be happy, we tend to hold grudges, and as we’re unhappy, we tend to need drugs and anti-depressants. We’re not able to move on.  We tend to keep our eyes on the negative things.
If you have a conversation with a co-worker and praise her work for 5 minutes, then tell her 1 single little thing that she could do to improve, and all she will think will be that “negative” comment.
 
If we keep focusing on the negative things we perceive or are afraid of, we may soon enter in a mood of sadness, anxiety or anger, which, in turn may have an impact on everything else we “experience”, as emotions change the way we perceive or remember things.

If you want to have a happier life, we can:

1. Surround ourselves with positive people. Build a circle of friends to share the joy with us.  From what I have seen, in North America, people tend to be isolated. When we have a group of close friends and we feel taken care of, we feel supported and loved.
2. Be grateful. Count our blessings. You cannot be thankful and sad at the same time. We just need to remember that we came into this world naked and without anything. Everything that we have now is a blessing!
3. Be active. Regular physical activity keeps the body healthy and makes the spirit happy. Daily walks raise the level of happiness, the brain works better and so our bodies, so it’s a win-win situation.
4. Help other people. John A. Schindler wrote, “Live as a giving person. Those who give are happier than those who only take. Those who give to others discover the beauty in the world.” There are studies that prove that people who help other people feel better.

5. Take time to rest. Get enough sleep, relax.  Scientific research shows that relaxed people think more positively and are happier. Every hour of sleep missed lowers the positivity one can experience during the day.

6. Start our day with gratefulness, purpose and a positive attitude. I have noticed that the way I start the day, is the way the day goes. Gandhi said that he used to count his blessings for half an hour every morning.  If we focus on the positive things that surround us, we will notice more positive things. If we have a purpose for the day, we will be more present and it will be more likely that we accomplish what we want.

7.   Take ourselves less seriously. People who feel entitled to something, people who easily feel offended, and people who take themselves and the rest of the world very seriously won’t be as happy as people who can laugh about themselves.  Add some good humor to your life, see cheerful films, laugh often.

Do you have any other advice that can help us to be happier? Please, share it in the comments section and share the joy with more people.

Manifesting your dreams

Some days ago someone asked about the differences between a fantasy and manifesting our dreams.  For me a fantasy is not guided, it’s something that happens in our mind without thinking. It’s an expression of our desires but it is very unlikely to happen in real life.

Manifesting, on the other hand, is a tool you can use to achieve our dreams. It helps your wish, idea or dream to come to life. Manifesting may sound weird, unusual or even esoteric to you, but it has very real components. In Jungian psychology, that component is called Synchronicity, the tendency of the universe to  create patterns (Eastern philosophies call it Tao). Synchronicity, as Jean Shinoda Bolen defines it, is a descriptive term for the link between two events that are connected through meaning,  a link that cannot be explained by cause and effect.

Manifesting something is spiritual work that happens along with your physical work. This means that although some things may just “appear” in your life, you likely need to work to achieve most of your dreams.

woman-sunrise-happiness

How do you do it?

The steps for manifesting are deliberated and precise:
*Dream/envision what you want – create a mental picture
*Use spoken words to define your ideal situation – taking care of not putting limits to the Spirit and or describe how things will happen
*Trust the Spirit –  You know that what you asked for will be granted, and you behave as if you have it already, as this is where your energy is focused
*Understand that you are an expression of the Divine and interconnected with everything and everyone. You deserve what you want and know that this is a world of abundance
*Repeat the affirmation for some time every day (I do it for a month) until it resonates within you
*Finally, keep this process private (do not share it with others, as this will “dilute” your energy) and let go!

Working with affirmations has to be aligned with what happens in your day-to-day life. It means that if I’m affirming that I want to be promoted at work, I need to show up and do my best. If I want to lose weight, I need to eat in a healthy way and exercise.  Affirmations are not a “magical substitute” for work but rather the work that our minds and spirit do to support us in reaching our goals and make the process easier. Affirmations are one of the sources of these amazing “coincidences” that happen from time to time.

What is the different between using affirmations or not?

When you use affirmations the Spirit knows what you want. As a friend of mine says, you don’t go to a store and simply say: I don’t want purple curtains. You have to say what you want!

Each person holds different beliefs about this topic, my opinion is that the best way to achieve something or receive a gift from the Universe is being very clear on what we want. Even if you don’t believe that the Spirit or the Universe provide you with what you need, you know that you receive millions of stimuli every day and your mind needs to know  which ones are relevant for you and focus on them. Perhaps you haven’t paid attention to the gifts you have received in this way yet.

LET’S WORK

Write down a simple affirmation, something that you would like to happen by the end of next month: could be a work-related goal, a personal one, something you truly would like to achieve. Put it on the mirror, your reader, as a reminder in your computer or wherever you find it every day. Repeat it for at least the rest of the month or until you achieve it.  Then, be thankful and give something back; the Universe loves gratitude.  Prepare to be amazed by the results!