So many people assume that happiness is an end destination. Do you ever catch yourself, or others saying/thinking things like...
"When I get that promotion or payrise, then I'll be happy".
"Once I meet my dream partner and fall in love, that's when I'll be happy".
"If I had more money, I'd be much happier".
"When I have a big house, I'll be happy".
Whenever people say these types of deferring comments, it implies three things. Firstly, that they are at effect of the world around them (no/limited control of the outcome) and not at cause (in control). Secondly, that happiness is a destination. Thirdly, that happiness is derived from "stuff".
Of course, things happen in life that are out of our control and sometimes these things can burden us. However, what we can control is the way we show up each day and how we react.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” - Viktor Frankel
True happiness comes from knowing what your purpose and missions are in life, and taking continued steps towards making them a reality...by doing this and enjoying the journey you get the feeling of winning more than you are losing. This is crucial! However, this is a huge topic that I will cover separately sometime in the future.
There are 2 very easy things that you can do each day, that cost absolutely nothing, yet have a profound impact of your level of happiness!
1) Smile and laugh with everybody!
So ridiculously simple, yet so often overlooked and neglected. Try it out and see what happens. Make a commitment to yourself to smile and laugh with 3 people tomorrow, 5 the next, 10 the following, and so on. I guarantee you that not only will you feel great, but the relationships and interactions you have with people will skyrocket in quality.
Now I'v,e on more than a few occasions, been looked at as if I'm a weirdo when I do it - in these moments, just remember that the majority of people will welcome your radiant smile and refreshing outlook on life...any negative response says nothing about you, and implies that they're just not ready for your positivity...and that's OK.
2) Know what your laughter triggers are.
We all have those days where we wake up p*ssed off, feel down, or just not quite firing on all cylinders. But regardless of whether you got out of the wrong side of the bed or are actually feeling pretty good on any given day, knowing your laughter triggers can be a huge asset for you.
Start to build a list (complete with text, images, videos, links etc) of the things that you can't help laugh to...continue to grow it as time passes by. Have a look over a few each day - in the morning is good, as is when you have a down/negative patch...notice how it can completely shift your mood, and thus outlook for the rest of the day.
Some science (not too heavy) behind laughter and smiling (and you should know that fake smiling works too as the brain cannot discern the difference, only the position of the facial muscles)...
1. Releases endorphins (feel good chemical) which make us feel happier and less stressed.
2. When endorphin levels are higher, it reduces the amount of cortisol (the stress chemical) in your body, thus lower anxiety, stress and associated negative feelings.
3. A good laugh is an effective way to release emotions.
4. Smiling is an attractive expression, which is more likely to draw people to you rather than push them away (ok so this is isn't science...but I like it...and it's true).
So take the challenge to laugh and smile with progressively more each day, making note of how many and the impact is has. Also, build a huge asset for yourself in your laughter triggers...use them daily...and as you need!
If you find this of benefit, or think others will then please do share, and/or feel free to sign up to my newsletter via the link below.
Have a great week, an amazing month, and an even better year! SMILEY FACE!