I always used to think of happiness as result – a lifetime pursuit that drives most of our actions and behaviors. It is what we try to accomplish and probably the only reason we stay alive.
Did you notice what I just did? Within two sentences I managed to decipher the secret and true meaning behind the word happiness: its dual nature. Happiness is both a result and a driver.
Here’s an example. Usually I am trying to find ways to be more productive that will result in me being happier. What I don’t see though, is that the best way to improve my productivity is by being happier.
Easier said than done, though.
So, in order to clarify things for you and make the whole idea behind happiness a bit more tangible, I decided to present to you the 10 most effective mind hacks I use to maintain a great emotional state at any time:
1. Be present in the moment
Being present in the moment is a term introduced by the brilliant Eckhart Tolle in his best seller, “The Power of Now.” I am pretty sure most of you have read it or heard about it. Only a few people I know of, though, have actually managed to make its meaning part of their lives.
What Eckhart Tolle is talking about is one of the most groundbreaking realizations a human can have in their life.
You know how we define and live our lives according to what happened in the past and what is about to happen in the future? What Tolle says is: What if I told you that if you could get rid of these thoughts and focus all your attention on what is happening NOW, right NOW, at this very single moment, you could be happier than ever?
“The Power of Now” is a manifestation of how to be present and how to be able to shift your focus on things that actually matter.
2. Disengage yourself from ‘earthly problems’
“My flatmate didn’t do the dishes last night and I need to do them again.”
“My boss gave me a boring task again, I hate him.”
“I have no friends, all the people I hang out with are stupid.”
You get the general idea. These are everyday thoughts that drain your positivity. They are emotional-state leeches and huge distractions to your happiness. I like to call them ‘earthly problems’ because only people who haven’t embraced a higher level of thinking pay so much attention to them.
Earthly problems are an integral part of our everyday lives. They are activated by our environment and they are amplified every time we pay deep attention to them.
Here’s a useful piece of advice: Stop giving them so much value!
Meditation is closely related to the two points above. It is the perfect way to clear your mind and get rid of any annoying thoughts you might have during the day.
Most of the greatest minds that I know of have made meditation an everyday practice. It helps them stay present and increase their attention span in anything they do. They also argue that meditation helped them find happiness and meaning in life, and at the same time reduce anger, anxiety, depression and fatigue.
So put in your schedule. Its importance is vital.
4. Be self-reliant
Why is self-reliance so important when we want to keep our emotional state on top?
Well, ask yourself the following questions:
How many times has your emotional state been affected by your external environment? How many times have you let people around you drag you down because of their moody behavior? Countless times, right?
The reason behind that? Lack of self-reliance! You are used to depending on others in every aspect of your life. This applies to emotional change as well. Stop being an emotional leech and start ignoring moody behaviors. Be the one who creates positivity and stop relying on others in order for this to happen.
5. Be more open-minded, embrace diversity
Most people cannot understand that our world or universe is an extremely complex place. Its complexity is so great that it is impossible for us to interpret the different kinds of mindsets and behaviors experienced by other people.
This results in us being negative most of the time and also condemning types of behaviors that don’t match our own perspective and likes.
Stop doing that and embrace diversity in our world. Obviously, it is impossible to hang out with every person on earth, but start being more engaging and open minded. You won’t believe how many amazing people you can attract in your life.
6. Stop being outcome dependent
Embrace the process in everything you do. I know that you have goals and aspirations, but in order to achieve them you need to go through a long and rewarding process.
Disengage yourself from the stress that outcome dependency creates. Start feeling good with every single step you take towards achieving your ambitions.
7. Listen to music that pumps you up
There is this term in Neuro-linguistic Programming called anchoring. Anchors are stimuli that call forth states of mind, thoughts and emotions. One of the strongest emotional anchors is music.
I, for example, love electronic music. Why? Because when I started going to electronic music parties I had a lot of fun. I met so many awesome and exciting people and that helped me associate this type of music with happy times and emotions.
I suggest you do the same. Try to think of music that pumps you up and reminds you of happy times. Make this music part of your everyday life. When I say part of your everyday life, I mean it. Listen to it for at least two hours per day during the other things you do. Especially if these things are stressful or boring.
Ron Gutman in his TED talk, “The Hidden Power of Smiling,” made me realize how powerful smiling can be and how it affects our every day lives. So I put what I learned into practice and guess what, it worked.
I felt healthier, I felt rejuvenated, I felt more attractive, I felt happy.
I suggest you do the same. Try and smile all the time. Smile like Robert Downey Jr. does. Look at yourself in the mirror. Look at how awesome you are and smile. Embrace the power of smiling, draw a good emotional state from within and let the world enjoy your positivity.
9. Stop taking things so seriously
I know that the “Stop taking things so seriously” phrase sounds quite cheesy and mainstream. I know that you hear it all the time. But you know what I also know? I know that common knowledge is not common practice. The ones that have managed to apply this phrase to their lives are the ones that make things happen.
So stop wasting your thoughts on what other people think about you and start pondering about what you think about you. And by that I mean start realizing that you are an awesome badass who is capable of achieving anything you can think of.
I am pretty sure you can do it. We only live once, so try and make it count!
10. Exercise and sleep more
I think it is pointless to start mentioning the countless benefits of exercise and sleeping here. Look around Lifehack and you’ll see others have them covered. But from overcoming depression to helping you increase your brainpower and image, exercise and sleeping have such a profound effect on our happiness and well-being.
Everything I mentioned here is common knowledge. They are ideas we learn from a very young stage in our lives. But as I already mentioned, for most people common knowledge is not common practice.
When you manage to master your mind and make these easy hacks part of your reality, only then you will be confidently optimistic about your happiness and future success.
Featured photo credit: Kingston, Jamaica :: Boys at a Boy’s Club in a local church/Sam Kwan via flickr.com