“True happiness arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one’s self.” – Joseph Addison
It’s hard to keep the world from weighing down on you. With relationships, bills and a whole slew of other frustrations in the world, it’s easy to understand why you feel glum. It can even feel as though life is just one giant string of depressing moments broken up by tiny moments of happiness.
However, the truth is that many times, our frustrations are caused by not taking the proper time for yourself. What this means is that a huge number of the annoyances that we face everyday can be solved quite simply. In fact, there are 6 solid ways that calm you down every time!
Who doesn’t like a good nap, whether it be twenty minutes or two hours? There really is nothing quite like waking up refreshed and wonderful! In fact, studies show that there is a direct link between your mood and how much sleep you’re getting.
So using that sort of knowledge, it makes sense as to why the perfect nap increases your happiness. In the case that you’re in a down mood, you now have the perfect excuse to sleep it off.
2. A Walk in Nature
Think back on all the times you’ve wandered into the woods as a kid. Whether you’re hiking through a forest or walking down a nature trail, nature just soothes the soul. One thing many scientists agree on is how your environment affects your mood. Being around the sun, the singing birds and the gentle wave of the trees is exactly what you need sometimes.Advertising
Just changing that view allows your mind to wander into the pleasantness of the moment rather then all the things going on in your life. Life is about being in the moment, the people that live in the now are generally quite happy with their lives!
3. A Good Laugh
Laughing until you cry. The very image makes people smile with joy as they relate their experiences of doing just that. The fact of the matter is that when you laugh, it stimulates a part of the brain that controls happiness. A solid laugh with a group of friends always feels so good while it’s happening.
Afterwards that great feeling just sits in your chest for a time, and if you think about it, one joke tends to lead into another. If just a solid laugh fixes your down mood, think about what a wave of laughter can do?Advertising
4. Fresh Air Near the Sea
Picture yourself on the edge of the sea. Whether it’s on the shore or cliff is irrelevant. Feeling the cold wind hit your face, feeling the refreshing effects. Just the very thought of being next to the sea inspires images of relation and calmness. The sea air is the subject of actual research being conducted to find out the exact medical benefits of seawater and the air.
5. Deep Breathing
Breathing deeply is a quick, immediate solution to calming yourself down. If you get very upset and are stressing out, immediately stop what you are doing and take a second. Shallow breathing has been shown to be a part of the stresses of modern life.Advertising
Breathing deep when the situation calls for it is one of the best abilities to develop. Our lungs are as deep as they are for a reason, take advantage of the calm that comes from breathing deeply!
How many times have you sighed deeply when you take a shower? That water running down your back just seems to take all your cares away. The rushing water has also shown to yield some surprising effects on your overall mood and health.
With these solutions to cure your mood, it’s surprising to see so many people so frustrated. The issue is the fact that they are so easy! If you think abut it, taking five minutes to do any of these things is all it takes. By that same nature, you have all the time in the world to cool off. Which is exactly why people don’t do it. You need to commit a huge amount of willpower just to use these solutions, but it’s totally worth it. Take those five minutes, calm yourself, and increase your happiness!
Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com
The Gentle Art of Saying No
It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.
But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.
What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.
But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:
- Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
- Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
- Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
- Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
- Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
- Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
- Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
- Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
- Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
- It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.
Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com