Happy People are no accident. They are happy because they have developed certain skills that make happiness part of their lives. Here are 5 skills that will reduce stress, build confidence and self-esteem, help reduce negative thinking and improve your relationships.
1. Savor the Moment
Frequently this is called “Being Present” or “Being in the Now”. For many years I have done a backpacking trip every fall to Baxter State Park in northern Maine. My favorite spot is Wassataquoik Island. Remote, quiet, nothing but nature all around. I take day hikes around the park and I am fully involved with the sights, sounds and smells of all that is around me. This trip serves to center and restore me. It helps me to know firsthand the benefits of being present in the moment. This backpacking trip reinforces the importance of being present every minute of every day. It reminds me that worrying about the future or rehashing the past does not serve me well.
I’m not suggesting that you take off and go backpacking, but how about setting aside an hour in your day and be fully present in that hour. Perhaps while you are preparing dinner tonight you turn off the TV, put on some quiet background music and fully experience each step of your food preparation. I bet dinner will taste better!
Whatever you choose to call it, savoring each moment will reduce stress and negative thoughts – making you a much happier person.
2. Practice Daily Gratitude
Happy people practice gratitude every day. Each morning when I wake up I think of 3 things that I am grateful for and I give thanks for those things. Sometimes these are great inspired thoughts and more frequently they are simple parts of my life.
Keeping a gratitude log is even more powerful. A simple notebook will do. When you write your thoughts, you are cementing the positive thoughts in your subconscious. Feeling a little low? You now have a visual reminder of the good things in your life. Take out that gratitude log and read some of your entries. When you focus on the good parts of your life, you will increase your self-esteem and be a happier person.
Reaching a goal is a huge boost to your self-confidence. Go ahead, make some goals, big or small, the more the merrier! You can create several goals for different areas of your life. For example: emotional, health, fitness, financial. Outline a plan and do something every day to move you closer to achieving your goal. Remember to put a date on your goal or it will remain a dream.
There is a great book called “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olsen that discusses in detail the magic of doing just one thing each day consistently that virtually always yields the results you are looking for.
Having trouble thinking of a “meaningful” goal? Try this: Think of what you want and then ask yourself “How will my life be when I achieve _____?” Take some time to visualize, be as detailed as possible. When you repeat these steps several times you will not only have a major meaningful goal, but also will have found several smaller steps to take on your way the achieving your major goal.
Having a meaningful goal will eliminate dead-end thinking and open your mind to opportunities.
4. Give of Yourself
Happy people give something to the greater good every day. You don’t have to be a bestselling author or philanthropist to give to the common good. There are hundreds of things that you can do. You can call an elderly neighbor to see how they are doing or you could write an encouraging blog post that helps lift people up. You can volunteer. Donate time to a soup kitchen, youth group or neighborhood cleanup.
How about this? Whenever I am out shopping, I make it a point to get eye contact and Smile at as many people as possible. What fun it is to see the surprised expressions and get smiles back! Great for your self-esteem. A smile is free to give and it can easily change someone’s day for the better.
5. Empathize with Others
According to the Miriam-Webster dictionary, empathy is the act of being aware of and being sensitive to the feelings and experience of others without having those feelings explicitly communicated to you. The key here is “being aware and sensitive”. This does not mean you carry around other people’s “stuff” as if your own it. When you practice empathy you are intentionally focusing on other people, not yourself. When you take the time to think of other people as being just as human as you are, you are able to treat others with compassion, kindness and without judgment. Empathy will create better, healthier relationships in your life.
Hey there. Thanks for reading my article. I hope you found value in it. You can find more tips and inspiration for personal development from me at http://www.susanpattersononline.com