A Guide to Happiness - Anthony's Library and Resources

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Monday, 16 February 2015

A Guide to Happiness


"Don't worry, be happy". 
No one sensible can deny that's good advice, but unfortunately for many of us it can be a difficult request to follow. It shouldn't be, but it is. The world and all its pressures and anxieties appears to be almost designed to keep us from smiling much of the time. We just don't seem able to, despite how much we'd love to. We reach out in all sorts of strange and unusual ways to find happiness and still it escapes us.

If you want to be happy, you've come to the right place! I've spent years, pondering the question of why some people are happy despite being in what may seem like bad conditions to most of us looking from the outside, and why other people who seem to have every advantage in life still are rarely smiling at all.

When you take the time to really study how these two sets of people approach life, the answer to the "happiness question" becomes pretty clear. We can choose to become the masters of our emotions; we can make smart lifestyle and social choices that will almost ensure that we find ourselves happy at the end of the day. No matter what we face.

My guess is if you find yourself reading this write-up you're the type of person who's just like me; interested in doing what you can to get the most out of life; to maximize your potential and your enjoyment every day and to crack the happiness code!

I can't wait to share with you what I've learned about this exciting subject. I can almost guarantee if you take the time to not just read what I've written in these pages, but to work with the ideas and methods I'm about to provide you with, your entire outlook about life will change for the better. We're not talking a small change either. We're talking about a huge, revolutionary change; as long as you approach these ideas with a positive attitude and open mind. And most importantly, as long as you are willing to TAKE ACTION with what you will learn.

Don't doubt it, when you find yourself happier each and every day there's no way your quality of life won't skyrocket. And when you find yourself happier each and every day there's no way your social life won't improve dynamically. In fact ALL of your relationships will be reborn.

And don't be surprised when your job gets a lot more enjoyable too. You may even find yourself getting raises you never expected. Consider this your new guide in the constant, never ending search for happiness. It won't let you down, as long as you take effort and don't let yourself down.  I'm grateful to be alongside you for the start of your journey. I think you're going to exceed both of our wildest expectations! Let's get to it. We don't have any time to waste

WHY ARE YOU NOT HAPPY?
It makes very good sense to consider why you aren't happy. After all, it's much easier to cure a problem when you have an understanding of some of its causes and symptoms. Now it’s possible you may have some unique issue that's wrecking your sense of well-being. In that case, some serious self-reflection is in order. But my guess is you will be much more likely to find the root of your unhappiness in the list that follows. These are the things that drag the vast majority of us down, so take a minute to know your enemy!

1. You are a Worrier
The world can be roughly split between worriers and warriors. Those who over-worry are, of course, much unhappier. Now being a "warrior", in this sense, has nothing to do with things like violence or the military. It's all about having the courage to face what life has to offer. How much time a day and night do you spend worrying?  Don't you think there's much more constructive ways to spend your time? Of course there is.

2. You are a Grudge Holder
There are times in life when people do things to us that are downright nasty. It's a fact which we can't escape. What we can escape however is how we react to these situations. By holding a grudge we release a sort of slow poison in our own system that's guaranteed to slowly kill our happiness. Not only does this NOT affect the person who did us wrong, but it actually damages us on top of whatever wrong we initially experienced. Forgiving and forgetting has been universal spiritual advice for a good reason. It keeps us happy!

3. You Play the Comparison Game
Happiness is not about what you "have" compared to others, despite what the overwhelmingly materialistic bias of our culture may tell you. If your neighbour has the latest television, your buying the same television the next day won't ever make you truly happy. Happiness is based on internal factors more than anything else. And when you play the comparison game, you will NEVER come out a winner.

4.  You Isolate Yourself
Loneliness is a terrible feeling. Things seem much worse and problems much more daunting when you consider and face them alone. If you have the tendency to isolate yourself this could be a huge part of why you feel unhappy. Humans are social creatures. We need to be around others who care about us to be happy.

5.  You Surround Yourself with Negative People
Negative people spread unhappiness like a virus. If you look at your inner circle and it has more than its share of those who never have a good word to say, it's time to make a big change. Not only is their outlook hurting their own chance of happiness, it's hurting yours too!

6.  You are Unhealthy
Poor diet and lack of exercise creates the perfect environment for unhappiness to take root. Your body is your temple and when it's treated like a garbage can it's not a shock that happiness will escape you. Have you ever noticed how much more pleasant fit people tend to be? Now this list isn't exhaustive, but it should be enough to give you an idea which area (or areas) may be causing you the most difficulty. Understanding the problem is our first step to overcoming it. So don't worry, happiness is right around the corner!

LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF
Before we can really love anyone else with conviction we need to learn to love ourselves. It's the first step towards achieving happiness, which importance can't be overstated. Once you learn to love that person looking back at you in the mirror you're sure to find the rest of our ideas and methods here much less of a struggle to implement. Loving yourself can be thought of as the oil that allows the internal machine of your happiness to run smoothly and efficiently. It's that vital to what we're trying to achieve!  Self-image issues can be hard to overcome if you're not familiar with the tried and true techniques that experts have developed to build self-esteem.

Put these following things into action and you may be shocked at how quickly you learn to love yourself. I've seen them work their magic again and again and there's no reason they won't work for you too!

1.  Acknowledge Your Accomplishments
We can often be our own harshest critics, while in reality if we'd like to be happier we should be our very own biggest fan! Stop ignoring your accomplishments, whether in business, your social life, athletics or beyond. You should even be patting yourself on the back for caring enough about your own self-development to be studying this guide. Give yourself credit. You deserve it.

2.  Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder.
Ask many models if they feel like they are beautiful and they'll tell you a firm "no". This is despite their becoming quite wealthy over the fact others find them attractive. This strange paradox is repeated again and again. If you look in the mirror and find yourself thinking that you are less than attractive, remind yourself that many people are sure to disagree. I guarantee it.

3.  Be More Patient With Yourself.
Sometimes we make mistakes. When you love someone and they stumble are you incredibly harsh with them? If you are you shouldn't be. And when you are learning to love yourself you shouldn't be harsh with yourself when you hit a bump in the road either. Patience is a virtue. Being more patient with yourself will relieve a huge amount of stress and pressure. Try it and see if you aren't happier almost immediately.

4.  Be Nice To Yourself
You may be picking up on the idea that treating yourself better is a path to learning how to love yourself. That's true as could be. Not only consciously, but perhaps more importantly on a subconscious level. When we've raised our sense of self-worth in our subconscious minds, things really fall into place.

Do you ever do anything nice for yourself? Maybe going to a movie or a restaurant you wanted to check out. Or picking up a little extra something to help you with that hobby you love. If you don't do this often, you need to start too. Pick a night a month (say the third Saturday night if you need a suggestion) and do something really nice for yourself. When you love yourself you deserve this type of treatment, so enjoy.

Now these may sound like simple suggestions, but they work. Positive self-change isn't always complicated. Loving yourself and happiness come hand in hand, so give these tips a try and watch and see each day feel better than the last.

CULTIVATING GRATEFULNESS
This is one of the rare places where everyone from scientists, to self-help coaches, to New Age teachers agree. It's an essential part of being happy and also one of the areas where those who aren't happy are most likely to have neglected. It's also easy to cultivate. If you're having a problem feeling grateful keep these things in mind. They are sure to help.

1.  Start a Gratitude Journal.
Pick up a notebook and keep it next to your bed. Every morning as soon as you open your eyes write a few sentences about what you feel grateful for. Be creative. Just before you tuck yourself in for bed review your morning's notes and write some more about the things that you've experienced throughout the day that you also feel grateful for. Do this for at least thirty days without taking a break. Many choose to continue this exercise way beyond the thirty day mark, since it brings them such a better outlook on life. See what you think.

2. Help The Less Fortunate.
Let's face it though we may have it tough at times, there's always someone who is doing much worse. A sure way to cultivate gratefulness for our own situation is to lend a hand when we can. This may mean volunteering a day at the homeless shelter, visiting the old age home or even adopting a rescue cat or dog. There's a real mysterious wonder about acts like these. The universe seems to recognize this type of act and often responds with unexpected rewards!

3.  Connect With Friends And Loved Ones.
Sometimes we fall into the trap of taking those closest to us for granted. In reality, these are the people who we should show the MOST appreciation towards. They're the ones who we can turn to when the going gets tough and you need a shoulder to lean on. Make a point of showing your inner circle how important they are and how grateful you are for their support.

4.  Remember To Say Thank You.
The simple "thank you" falls into our short list of magic words and phrases you're learning here in our Guide. Saying it often will inspire responses that are sure to set off chain reactions that will lead you to happier experiences.

Fewer and fewer people seem to share even basic manners and courtesy, with each other. When you show this respect, especially with older people, you create a loop of positive energy that can be rejuvenating; all just from saying "thank you" with an open smile more? Yes. This is easily verifiable. I've not seen anyone who put this suggestion to the test and not found themselves happier in a week's time or less.

What may seem like small adjustments to how we act, how we speak or how we think are really anything but minor. They all add up and when we get enough of them on our side the scale will shift in the favour of happiness. After this don't be shocked when your dream life quickly manifests. Cultivating gratitude is an important part of the equation. I'm grateful you're taking the time to work on it. The results will be amazing!

CHANGING YOUR MINDSET – BE POSITIVE
We can choose how we frame all of our life experiences. And how we choose to frame our experiences sets the stage for our emotional state which often inspires our NEXT set of experiences. This is the reason people who go about their day with a frown on their face and a terrible attitude end up having bad event after bad event spring up all around them. Their negative mindset becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy... they curse themselves and kill their chances of being happy.

In many important ways we create our own reality. Our mindset can be thought of as the script writer or director of our life experiences and we can choose the plot of our story. When we opt for positivity, what seemed like a sad tale or even a horror movie can become a love story or adventure! Are you ready to change your life's plot by opting for positivity? Great, I thought you would be!

These ideas will help.
Listen To Music That Lift Your Mood.
Where we turn to for entertainment has a great effect on how we view the world. Dark and depressing music and movies can make it very difficult for us to shift our mindset towards positivity. This only makes sense doesn't it?

Take a look at what you listen to in the car and on your MP3 player. Is this music that makes you smile and think of life's bright possibilities or does it have the opposite effect? The same question should be asked about the movies and television shows you watch for entertainment. Making a move to clean these things up can have a tremendous effect on your subconscious mind. Of course an occasional scary movie won't hurt if that's what you enjoy, but do your best to indulge in music and movies that work with your goal of thinking positive, NOT against it.

Challenge Your Negative Thoughts Immediately
Negative thoughts can and will creep into our minds. It's unavoidable, especially in the beginning when we are just picking up the habit of holding a positive mindset. The trick is not letting them take root. By challenging them immediately with positivity we can deflate them of having any real influence over us. Whenever you feel yourself thinking negatively, re-frame your thoughts and consider the positive side of what's occurring. For this technique to work properly you must QUICKLY challenge these negative thoughts. The more you delay the more harm they will do.

3.   Make A Powerful Set Of Affirmations.
We've already explored the power our words hold over our happiness. Now let's go deeper and use this knowledge to help boost our mindset with a daily affirmation. An affirmation is simply a positive statement that you repeat to yourself first thing in the morning and before you go to sleep in the evening. It can also be used whenever you feel stressed out or your thoughts are drifting away from positivity.

Now you can write your own or you can use this famous one created by one of the original self-help authors in the early 1900's... "Each day, in every way, I am getting better and better". If you choose to write your own be sure to phrase things that you want and appreciate NOT negative things you're trying to avoid. So instead of saying "I'm not fat" you would say "I am fit and healthy". It's a secret to how our minds work that will make your affirmations take hold quicker and with more effect. Our minds can be tricky things!  The more positive your mindset, the happier you will be. So please take these suggestions and ideas very seriously.

For further reading, see Keys to Happiness.

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