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10 Forgotten Truths About Happiness

10 Forgotten Truths About Happiness

All of us would like to be happy. We would like to find joy, exhilaration and satisfaction in everything we do and in the lives we lead everyday. In the crazy, sophisticated world of today, many of us seem to have forgotten how amazingly easy it is to make the constant choice of being happy. Just to remind this amazing, busy and sometimes happiness-yearning 21st century world, here are ten forgotten truths about happiness.

1. Gratefulness for how lucky we are despite the challenges we face is the key to reaching true happiness.

Last year, I conducted leadership campaigns for several children of an orphanage in my hometown in India. I was surprised to see how happy the children were though they had never known their parents and though more than 40 of them shared a single room for living space. Their optimism and immense will to keep hoping and dreaming taught me that the obstacles in our life, however daunting they seem, are irrelevant if we have the courage to be grateful for everything we already have. The fact that we are living to breathe this moment and that we have senses to read this article is a proof of how tremendously privileged we are and all the things we should be thankful for. Thankfulness inevitably brings happiness.

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2. Long lasting happiness is usually got from our experiences and  memories, not material things.

Clothes, booze, mansions, cars and all the material luxuries that money can buy us often only serve as a palliative to numb the desire for true happiness. To be really happy, we should invest in experiences and build memories doing the things that exhilarate us and with the people with whom we share the greatest love.

3. Happiness can be found in slowing down, listening to others and reconnecting with nature (and perhaps with God, if you are a believer).

In the totally crazy and absolutely busy world of today we often overlook the simple pleasures our surroundings can offer us. It could be the fragrance of flowers on the street side, a laughing baby in the neighborhood, deep meditation, travelling or perhaps, prayer. Some people, like me, find real happiness connecting with nature and some others, like my mom, find happiness by connecting with God through prayer. We all have different ways of tuning into our inner selves and giving ourselves a break. Finding what our ‘way’ is and doing it is key to finding our unique happiness.

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4. Peace+love=happiness.

In the words of a song in Barbie the island princess “love knows, love grows bigger than before…in your heart there’s always more”. When we choose to care more deeply and for more people, our capacity to love expands, because we always have more to give. Often loving others is the key to being loved and this cycle often has a cyclic effect of giving us joy. Peace, got from pursuing what we love, and love, gained by sharing and caring for people, add up to give guaranteed happiness.

5. On our deathbeds, many of us are going to wish that we had let ourselves be happier.

According to an article published in The Mind Unleashed, one of the top five regrets people have on their deathbeds is that they hadn’t chosen to be happier, more often. So let yourself be happier. Choose to do what gets you there.

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6. Tuning into upbeat media when things seem dismal is a better shot at rediscovering joy.

Self-pity is not going to help heal our melancholy. Looking up to sources of hope and optimism-upbeat songs, optimistic books, rom-com movies etc.- in depressing times can help us much better in rediscovering the way of joy than drowning ourselves deeper in the well of tragedies.

7. Following the Cinderella motto, having courage and being kind is a sure-shot way to make us feel happy.

Have courage under to face all circumstances, and be kind to others and even more importantly, to yourself. You’re not perfect and life is not perfect. Serving others and exercising regularly are universal keys to feeling happy and good about ourselves.

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8. Don’t let regret swallow the precious times in which you could feel happy instead.

Don’t blame or give yourself negative pep-talks-remember you’re only human and it’s okay to make mistakes- just learn to forgive yourself, to learn from your mistakes and move on.

9. Smile.

Forcing a “genuine” smile and holding it for two minutes can actually make you feel happier by boosting the levels of your ‘happy hormones’ like serotonin, according to a research published in psychology today.

10. Happiness doesn’t occur by chance, it’s a constant choice we have to make, every second of every day.

Every time we feel happy, it is firstly because we choose to and not because of the events that are happening around us. If we have the will to be happy every moment, we will find a way to get there regardless of our circumstances.

Featured photo credit: Jonathan Kos-Read via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 10, 2019

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

1. Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

Gratitude-Quotes

    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

    write down goals

      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

      6. Rise Earlier

      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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