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How to Create the Ultimate Habit of Happiness

How to Create the Ultimate Habit of Happiness

Do you think happiness is a state that only a few can achieve?

I think Happiness is your birth right, it is available to each and every one of us.

But if this is true why does it elude so many?

It eludes so many of us because our habits don’t support a life of harmony and happiness. I have heard it said that our collective habits determine the quality of our lives, in that case we need to ensure that our habits are positive and help us work towards creating an overall habit of happiness

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There are many constructive habits that will help bring us more joy

  1. The Act of Gratitude
    Any time you spend giving thanks and appreciating all that you have in life is time that will be misery free. It is very difficult to feel low or depressed when feeling grateful.
  2. Doing what you love
    Spending each day doing what you love will ensure a more meaningful life. According to Scott Dinsmore, of Live Your Ledgend, in his TEDX talk How to Find and Do Work You Love 80% of people work in jobs they don’t enjoy.
  3. Exercise
    Exercise has a multitude of benefits, health, well being, mood, increases energy and helps you to sleep better. Fit people are more productive and generally happier.
  4. Living in the Moment
    Practicing the art of mindfulness is another sure-fire way to be happier. Living in the moment eradicates any future worries or past regrets.
  5. Helping others
    Another tried and tested manner to create more happiness, giving is just as powerful as receiving. Those who live helping others have a greater sense of purpose and live more meaningful lives.
  6. Nurturing Positive Thoughts
    So many people forget that their thoughts are within their own control and allow negative thoughts to overtake their minds. If you want to live a happy and successful life you cannot afford a negative thought.
  7. Smiling
    Apparently smiling releases serotonin, a chemical that makes us happy. Smiling even when we don’t really feel it will have the same effect.

While we know that all of these things contribute to our overall happiness why are so many of us still going around miserable?

You probably already practice one if not more of these habits and maybe your overall level of happiness is still not where you would like it to be. If this is the case the missing ingredient is not what you do but how you do it. Are you giving these habits enough attention? Are you focusing on them with intensity and belief?

What I see is that most people focus on a positive habit for a short time and then decide either consciously or sub consciously it’s not working and give it up.

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But if we were to have a plan and focus on the new habit intensely, what would happen then? Let’s take the habit of positive thinking and follow my habit method

1.Start with a plan
Decide what you are going to do and when you are going to do it.

2. Commit to 31 days
It is said to take between 21 and 31 days to form a new habit and make it part of your life. Commit to taking it on fully for at least a month

3. Use triggers to encourage the new habit
Have set times to check your thoughts. First thing in the morning, before bed, set reminders on your phone. Put positive affirmations around the house, reminding you to think positive thoughts each time you see them

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4. Record the benefits
Remind yourself why you are doing it and what are the benefits for you and your life.

5. List the potential pitfalls
Why hasn’t it worked before and what can you do to make it work this time? If there are people who drag you down avoid them, if the news depresses you, stop watching it.

6. Reward yourself
Reward yourself with your achievements, if you complete a week; make sure you acknowledge the greatness of what you have done. Do something nice for yourself or go somewhere to celebrate.

7. Think you can
You must believe that you can and you will form this new habit. Often we take on board a new habit, and deep inside we don’t believe we will actually do it. Don’t waste your own time – unless you really believe in yourself, don’t bother. Wait until you are feeling more positive and confident in your abilities

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Follow this Habit Method and bombard yourself with positive thoughts morning noon and night. Have a mantra or affirmation that you can say on waking and before sleeping, you can also use this for the times when you have a negative thoughts, replace the negative with your mantra.

If you follow this advice you will be happier at the end of a month – guaranteed. Remember we get what we focus on, so focus on happiness and positivity. No place for negativity excuses and blame.

Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses
George Washington Carver

Start next year by taking responsibility for your own future and make 2013 your best yet.

Featured photo credit:  beautiful young woman opened her hands via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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