So, life hasn’t improved or even changed much for you since you followed all, some, or most of the steps indicated in The Secret CD and website Perhaps you prayed yourself hoarse for happiness and that didn’t work, either. Your salary, whatever it might amount to, isn’t making even a dent in your smile.
Ready to know what’s far more likely to work at making you feel happy? A sense of gratitude, of appreciation for everything that’s going right in your life can leave you smiling, even when you might expect to feel happy.
You need to make a mental shift from focusing on negativity to focusing on acts. They’re neutral, not negative or positive. Your focus becomes your reality. Choose to focus on opportunities, how to turn negatives into positives. Examples of doing just that go like this:
1) You’re berating yourself or someone else for losing something valuable. Stop to consider what else you could be doing to turn the occasion into a win-win situation. You could choose to say “You know, normal people lose things from time to time. You feel awful, I bet. Listen, let me help you to look for it. If we find it, fine. If we don’t, we’ll still have a pleasant relationship to enjoy. WOW, think of all the stuff that wasn’t lost.” Imagine the sense of relief that your victim will feel with those warm-hearted words. Do yourself the same favor the next time that you lose something.
2) You didn’t achieve a specific goal. Instead of wallowing in self-pity or self-condemnation, you decide to modify the goal to make it more realistic, seek advice about how to best to pursue that goal, or how to use your strengths in an entirely different, but possibly beneficial, direction. You might even learn to laugh at yourself for having chosen a goal that won’t matter much in the future.
3) Some sort of setback (vehicular accident, fire, flood, job loss, fill the blank as you wish) harmed you. You choose to look for some life lessons in the situation, to count the people who stepped forward to help you out, and to re-assess what didn’t go wrong, how things might have been worse. You concentrate on the sense of relief that refocusing on the positive brings to your psyche.
When you’re not mulling over the things going well in your life, shifting your focus from negative to positive, and/or sparing innocent people from your otherwise withering remarks, take a brisk or leisurely walk. There’s medical evidence that activity is a mood-booster. Read the Regular Walking Can Help Ease Depression link to learn about that.
While you work at feeling happier, and yes, it takes work to overcome bad habits plus complications in life, take a break to listen to happiness expert Shawn Achor’s presentation about How Happiness Improves Productivity. Success is a matter of feeling happy on an ongoing basis.
Focus on feeling grateful, make that mental shift, take those walks, and enjoy your increased successes – whatever they’ll be, with a daily dose of happiness-provoking behavior. While you’re at it, eat whole foods, not commercially prepared packaged edibles. Good food boosts moods. And one more thing: Look for the humor in a situation. If you can laugh at it, you win.