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How to Take Control of Your Happiness

How to Take Control of Your Happiness

Happiness is often considered as our birth right, and we ensure that we die happy and fulfilled. It is often the case that we are continuously bombarded with the idea that happiness is the ultimate, and almost all self-help experts develop, share, and market their tools and techniques to make us happy. The problem with these tools is that they limit our choices in life. Read any self-help book and you will find words like “great vacations, financial freedom, excellent relationships, nice big home, sky jets,” etc. and they are portrayed as the signposts of our happiness. If our neighbor or our friends or the world at large can see those signposts, we are happy and content. Most of us have set standards for happiness and if those standards are not met we feel unhappy and unfulfilled.

Universal truths often don’t have any opposites and they do not change. Luckily, happiness is not considered as one of the universal truths because its opposites are sorrow and sadness. If we seek happiness, we must be prepared to also experience sorrow and sadness. When the external source of our happiness is removed, we often feel badly about ourselves and start even to curse ourselves because subconsciously we believe that we have engaged ourselves into actions that could not bring us happiness.

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Joy on the other hand is the universal truth — if you are in joy, you can laugh and laugh on for hours and that too without any reason. The source of our joy is our inner-self because when in joy, we often remain detached from our external environment and just enjoy those blissful moments. We do not need any therapists or experts to make us joyous — to be in joy is the real ultimate for all of us. It is our basic nature to remain happy and blissful.

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One of the best ways to experience the joy has been designed and developed by Institute of Heart Math. The technique is really simple and can put you in extreme joy if you continue to practice it, regardless of whether you are poor or rich, satisfied or not. Heart Coherence is based upon the simple principle of using the power of our heart to invoke emotions within us that can us make us happy and joyful. It uses the power of our heart and puts it above our rational and thinking mind to redirect our emotional state to a more positive and optimistic nature.

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Here is how to do it:

  1. Focus on your heart and start to breath in 6 seconds cycles — inhale for 5-6 seconds and exhale for 5-6 seconds. Our heart is in the center of our chest so focus on the center of your chest and imagine your heart expanding with your breathing cycle.
  2. Continue to do so and when you start to establish this rhythm, shift your focus on your heart in the center of your chest. Imagine as if you are breathing from your heart and synchronize this focus with your breathing.
  3. When you achieve this, just imagine any happy moment from your life and feel the intense happiness of that moment. Supplement that moment with the joy and allow the joy to be downloaded into your heart — feel that joy is being downloaded into your heart. Allow the joy to naturally fulfill each cell. Don’t force anything. Just focus on and enjoy the subtle happiness in your heart.
  4. Continue to do it for at least 15 minutes a day, and believe me, you will never be the same person again — you will be free from the false notions of happiness and will continue to experience JOY.
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Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.”
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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

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