6 Habits of Naturally Happy People

shutterstock_220193047Everyone has ‘one of those days!’

You know, when everything seems to go wrong.  No matter what you try to do to change your mood and get out of a funk, it just seems impossible.

The thing is, it is possible to limit those days to the bare minimum and take action to ensure that most of your days are full of happiness and contentment.

This is not down to luck, circumstances or anything else that is beyond your control.

Of course, things will conspire against you from time-to-time.  That’s just life!

But… and here’s the key…

You can follow 6 simple habits everyday that will make sure you deal with any setback and get your life back on track!

These 6 simple habits will allow you to remain firmly in the driving seat, create your own happy days and not allow circumstances to dictate your mood ever again.

1. Keep Cool

Let’s face it – life can make us mad!  It is very easy to feel frustrated, angry and resentful.  The first step to taking control and regaining happiness is to say calm and relaxed.  You can’t always control how other people behave, but you absolutely can control how you decide to respond.

Take a deep breath, walk away or just smile to yourself and think ‘I’m above this… I will not let this person or situation decide how I am going to feel’.

It’s not easy to start with, but over time you will find that you are able to take control and the best way to start is simple … just begin by noticing when you feel angry, resentful or frustrated.  Awareness if truly the first powerful step to self-control.

2. Switch Off

One of the biggest barriers to genuine happiness in the modern world is the constant bombardment of stimulation we face every day.  Everyone wants a piece of you!  From family and work commitments, keeping up with social media, television, hobbies, developing yourself and looking good, it’s like you are always ‘switched on’.

Everyone needs to learn when enough is enough.  A great strategy is to have times when you switch off all devices (TV, pc, laptop, tablet, phone etc) and just sit and breathe.  Maybe listen to some calming music and just focus on your breathing to regain some peace of mind and clarity.

It can be as simple as a ten minute walk in the open air where no one can contact you (phone off) and all you hear is your own footfall as you gently stroll along and let it all go.

3. Watch Your Words

This is a big one!  Try to catch your language and check whether you are being positive or not.  If you talk like the glass is half-full, then that’s what you will experience.  Many people have a ‘limited’ mindset where they see only problems and difficulties and what will go wrong.

‘Listen’ to what you think and say … are you expecting the worst?  Do you talk about things being huge difficulties or ‘nightmares’ or do you see them as challenges and opportunities?  The words you use (either in your own head or out loud) will shape how you perceive the world around you.

Choose a positive ‘growth’ mindset where you see the potential in everything and enjoy the playfulness in every challenge you encounter!

4. Visualise Success

Half the battle of being happy is imagining that it is possible to start with!

So many people just move from thing to another with no road map for a happy life.  If you have no destination in mind, then you’ll end up anywhere.  It is important to set clear goals and then imagine what it will feel like when you achieve them.

Not only does this program your mind for success, but you actually get greater motivation by being deeply inspired to go after you goals with real enthusiasm.  If you daydream and focus on what achieving your goals will feel like and mean to you, then you will totally ‘buy into’ them and you will be much more likely to follow through.

Not only that, but each time you focus on your dreams and imagine succeeding, you are mentally preparing yourself (as well as enjoying a reality ‘holiday’ that helps you rejuvenate as well as making  the dream seem completely real to you!)

5. Connect With Others

It can be lonely trying to make your way through life without a helping hand.  This is not about relying on others or refusing to take ownership.

The truth is, we all need to feel connected to others.  Whether that is a life partner, friends, family or your community, humans need to feel anchored in the safe harbor of someone else’s support and love.  It gives it all meaning, otherwise what is it all for?

Make sure you make time for people who inspire you and give you energy.  We all need friends who just know how to encourage us and pick us up when we feel down.  Spend time with these people and you will feel happier.

Just make sure you avoid the ‘negative ninnies’ in your life who drain you.  You know these people – they offer you nothing and drain the life and energy from the room.  Avoid them, cut them off and you will feel much better for it!

6. Be Playful

The last point is my favourite!  Sometimes we all act like life is some super-serious struggle.  It really doesn’t have to be like that.  We are meant to be light-hearted creatures who are creative, easy-going and fun to be with.

Keep asking yourself … why be glum?  What’s to worry about really? What great things are going to happen to me today?  Instead just think …

Get ready world, ’cause I’m coming NOW! I’m alive, the world is magical, now let’s dance!

Laugh in the rain, smile at the people you meet and skip along the road.  It’s all good, my friend!  We are alive and the world is our playground.  What shall we be today?

 

If you allow these 6 habits to become part of your day-to-day thinking, feeling and acting, then you will be naturally so much happier than you are now.  They are simple, but really powerful habits that can totally change you life and unlock your natural happiness.  So, start taking action today!

 

Are you ready to conquer stress?

Tuesday 13th October is the day I launch my new anti-stress program!

I’m very excited (as I’m sure you can tell!)

The thing is, it has taken me the best part of two months to pull this audio training together.  I’ve included everything I have learned so far in my journey to a healthier, happier and more authentic me.

It’s called… ICE My Stress (ICE is for Identify. Control. Eliminate.)

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That’s exactly what I believe you can do if you take action and follow some key principles and strategies.  I have been really delighted with the feedback I have had so far.

I promised ages ago that I would email my loyal followers and let them know that it is available and on sale. You can take a look at www.icemystress.com

Take a look soon and you will be able to get hold of this 3 part audio training program while it is at the lowest price it will be – just $7.

I am also including some help sheets and worksheets to make it even easier for you to get stress under control in your life.

This was absolutely the very first step I made when I decided to go on this journey to a better life and it a crucial way to begin to improve everything.

Once the cloud of stress is no longer hanging over you, then literally anything feels possible and your outlook becomes so much more positive.

I remember feeling so out of control, pressured and almost in despair when I was a busy school teacher, but I am so glad I learned these simple strategies s it has made all the difference.

I still have my moments, of course.  Who doesn’t? But the difference is that I know how to deal with my feelings and return to being calm and in control.

Anyway, this is not a hard sell.  If you think it might be of use then take a look, but it’s totally up to you.  I certainly don’t want to add to your stress!

Talk soon,

Tony

 

What really makes a difference?

Lots of people have asked me the same question:

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“What do you think really makes a difference?”

When I’ve managed to unpick exactly what they mean, it always comes down to the same thing.  They want to know if there is one simple thing that people can focus on to achieve lasting change.

The thing is… I think there is.  (only, actually there are three things!)

In making the positive changes I have made in my life so far I have realised that it is all about taking 100% ownership of your own life that leads to the biggest breakthroughs.

To my mind, the three key elements that you need to be fully in control of are:

Your thoughts

Your choices

Your language

I believe that it really is that simple.  In order to effect genuine lasting change in your life it is essential that you can control all three and then you will achieve all you desire.

Let’s take each one in turn and I’ll explain exactly why these are so crucial and what you can do to make them work for you.

Your Thoughts

It’s been said that our thoughts form the universe and that’s absolutely true.  Look around you and everything that has been created by humanity has first existed as a thought in somebody’s head.  This is why we all need to pay close attention to the quality of our thinking.

The English author, comic actor and wit, Stephen Fry tells the story of how he spent much of his teenage years moping around feeling that his best years were already behind him.  In fact he used to write notes saying “His whole life stretched out gloriously behind him” and this left him miserable, direction-less and confused.

To my mind, although this is an extreme version, I believe we are all guilty of a similar level of negative self-talk.  I spent many years in my life telling myself (in thoughts!) that I was unworthy, useless and uninteresting.  The reality I imagined is one that I started to create in the real world,

I looked for evidence that would agree with these beliefs and ignored anything that didn’t.  It made no difference how many times friends were positive about me, I only believed the story in my mind that I had constructed and felt wedded to.

Monitor your thoughts!

Are you being negative or unreasonable?

Could you think more helpfully?

Your Choices

The next area of life that can trap you and leave you feeling dissatisfied is the choices you make.  In a very profound way, everything that you now have in your life is a result of the choices you have made.

So one way to absolutely improve how your life turns out is to make better choices.

The key is to ask yourself, “Is this going to serve my long-term aims, or is it just a short-term gain with negative long-term consequences?”

Seriously, many of the things in your life that you are unsatisfied with are likely to be the result of unhelpful choices you made in the past.

So start today by thinking carefully about your actions.

Your Language

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) to the rescue!

In a nutshell, if you ‘listen’ to the language you use day-to-day, you will soon spot examples of words and phrases that do not serve you well.

You see, there is no point monitoring your thoughts and choices, if your words give you away!

Be careful of catastrophising (always seeing the absolute worst!) and look out for words that don’t give you any room to breathe.

Examples:

I ALWAYS fail!

You MUST do this…

I can NEVER manage my time.

These ‘all-or-nothing’ words tie you up in knots.  Keep your words positive and hopeful!

So, watch your thoughts, your choices and your words!

*** UPDATE – I am going to post again in the next few days with details about my two brand new products – ICE My Stress and Audio Life Coach.  I’m very excited to be about to launch these! ***

Cheers for now,

Tony

 

Asking the wrong question

I’ve worked out one of the biggest mistakes I have been making for years…

I kept asking myself the wrong question.

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I spent years preparing to make changes, carefully planning what I would do to in my life and being really clear about what I wanted.

But…

And it’s a big ‘but’….

I didn’t follow through.

The more I think about it, the easier it is for me to see why I was so reluctant to fully commit and make sure that I actually took real, sustained action.

You see, the thing is… I spent far too long focusing on what the challenges, difficulties and problems might be.

I now focus on the opportunities, chances and potential!

It is a fundamental shift in mindset, and it sounds too simple to work, but it does.

This is the question I focused on in the past:

What could go wrong?

I had a defensive and negative point of view.

I was focused on what I could lose and all the things that could possibly go badly.

Now, to some people (including me in the past) this is not about being a ‘glass half-full’ sort of person.  It’s more that they feel that if you anticipate what could go wrong, then you can take action to prevent it happening.

The problem with this idea is that as the great man, Tony Robbins says:

“Wherever focus goes, energy flows!”

In other words, if you decide to focus on the negative then you tend to look out for circumstances that validate that concern.  Basically, you actually create worries and negative experiences by the very act of focusing on them.

Now that is definitely what I spent my time doing.  How about you?

I can remember coming up with some plans that really excited me and then I would suddenly be hit by…

The ‘What if’ Truck

The ‘What if’ Truck speeds into your life every time you are on to something good.

You are speeding down the highway of life and everything seems great and then…

BANG!

The ‘What if’ Truck side-swipes your dreams.

You start to ask yourself:

 

What if I don’t succeed?

What if no one likes my idea?

What if people laugh at me?

What if I try really hard and still don’t get what I want?

 

And so it goes on!

This is an example of your own focus on the negatives limiting your possibilities.

I know, because I did exactly that.  In fact, I still have to keep an eye out for the ‘What if’ Truck as it’s always out there lurking in the back streets of my mind!

A better question…

What could go RIGHT?

This is what I try to ask myself now.

It instantly sets you up to look for hope, opportunity and chances.

When you think about it, why are we worried about making an effort and hoping to improve our lives?

Let’s analyse it a second…

Most people decide they don’t like how things are, so they begin taking action in order to make some positive changes.

So far, so good!

The trouble is it gets challenging.  Any worthwhile change requires effort and some determination to succeed.

That’s when the ‘What Ifs’ kick in..

We question whether the effort will be worth it?

In our minds, we basically say “I do want to make this change, but if I put in the effort and it doesn’t work or it seems REALLY hard, then I don’t think I want to do it”

Sound familiar?

The thing is, the effort is it’s own reward.

I can honestly say that even attempting to change is a great feeling!

Let me ask you this…if you don’t try to change how will you feel?

If you’re like me, then probably frustrated and annoyed with yourself.

So…and this is the biggest thing…

TRY IT.

Seriously, just give it a go.  That is all you need to do.

Results will come but simply having a go is enough for you to feel SO much better.

Because YOU are in control and running YOUR OWN life.

You no longer will let life toss you around.

I’d love to hear how you keep motivated too!  Please comment in the box below.

Cheers for now,

Tony

 

What’s In Your Head?

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As you know, I am now nearly two months into my new life.

It sounds weird saying that, but that’s how I see it.

I have changed!

 

 

There are so many things that I am doing differently:

  • Eating a healthy vegan diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Stopped drinking and smoking
  • Meditating every day
  • Writing a book

That’s not bad for 8 weeks.  I’m pretty proud of myself and I still actually reach over my shoulder and give myself a solid pat on the back every day. (I really do!)

But, the most fundamental change is not the things I am DOING (although they are very important!)…

…it is how I am THINKING that has had the biggest impact.

How do I know that?

Quit simply, I have tried before to make changes in my life.  Usually on January 1st! LOL 😉 And every time, I managed around ten days before I would get disheartened and fall back on my old ways.

Sound familiar?  I’m sure many people have had that very experience – possibly many times.

The difference this time is that as well as doing the right things, I am also thinking the right thoughts.  That might sound like some form of self-indoctrination to you?

It is!

I was very suspicious of this at the start, but I had heard so many stories of people getting dramatic results from following these approaches, that I thought I’d have to have a closer look.  After all, just trying hard to do the right things obviously hadn’t been enough to change my life in the past.

So I decided to try something different…

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)

Now I am by not a real expert in this.  However, I do work in education and have a good background in research, psychology and human development, so I already understood some of the key principles behind NLP.

I started by reading “The Secrets of Being Happy” by Richard Bandler and Garner Thompson.  They are pioneers in NLP and I have to say that the book is a great read.

It has a good balance of the theory behind this approach and practical advice that you can follow to make changes in your life.

The main idea behind NLP is that our brains are plastic and we are able to reprogram them to have more useful thoughts.  This is something that I was sceptical about at first.  As a man in his 40s, I know how easy it is to get stuck in my ways and I assumed that my views and attitudes were firmly set.

It turns out I was wrong.

This is why I now know that change is not only possible, but now I understand how my mind works, it’s a conscious choice completely under my control.

That’s such an empowering thought!  The idea that we can simply will ourselves to think differently and then take consistent action to achieve that change is very encouraging.

The book really is excellent, and I am not going to give a detailed breakdown of everything in it.  But there are a number of activities that show you exactly how easy it is to alter your perspectives.

NLP in a Nut Shell

I had two big take-aways from reading this book and looking into NLP more broadly:

1). We can change our thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and responses to be more positive and helpful to us.

This does not mean that we ignore the truth of a harsh, uncaring world and go through life like a grinning idiot, pretending that everything is fine and dandy.

It’s actually about not being blinded by preconceptions, past experiences, fear of the future, ingrained faulty beliefs and cultural programming.

2). The language we use not only demonstrates our thoughts and beliefs, it actually helps CREATE them.

This has had them most profound impact on me.  I am now constantly monitoring the words I use when I speak to people.  Am I being positive?  Do my words show confidence and an expectation of success?

But it’s not only the words I speak to the world.  I am also carefully monitoring the words I use in my thoughts.  I’m sure we all have some sort of ongoing internal monologue that acts as a running commentary on the world.

What My Brain Used To Tell Me

“What is he doing?  I don’t trust him.  He must be trying to cheat me.  I always get cheated by other people because the world is uncaring and evil.  There’s no point me trying to do that, because I’m no good at this.  I will just fail and every one will laugh at me.  There’s no point in doing that.  There’s no point in doing anything.  It’s all just a pointless waste of time.  I’m bored.  I don’t know what I’m doing here etc…”

Sound familiar?  I’m guessing I’m not the only one who has moments like this.  Not every day, but variations on that theme played out in my head fairly regularly.

I’m not saying that I never have these thoughts now.  But the thing is, I now notice when I do have negative and unhelpful thoughts and I use strategies to question my assumptions which help me to realise how negative and inaccurate much of my thinking had become.

I try to build spirals of upward positivity now – I take action, get some good results, feel better and more confident, take more action and feel even more confident etc.

So What’s My Head Saying To Myself Now?

“I am making real progress and I feel proud about that.  Making a real effort to change is a challenge, but I am rising to it and showing real grit and determination.  Pro-actively changing my life is making me feel truly alive, engaged and I have motivation and genuine hope for the future.  I will succeed because I am doing the right things and thinking the right thoughts.  I like being me again and life is good!”

I’m sure you see the difference.  The interesting thing from my education perspective, is that both monologues adopt some linguistic tricks that help support their arguments.  You will see logical connectives like ‘because’.  Half the battle is noticing both WHAT you are saying as well as HOW you are saying it.

If we use language to persuade ourselves of our point of view, then surely it’s best to choose a good point of view?  I don’t see that as any kind of negative indoctrination at all.  It’s just about being aware of what we are thinking and saying and choosing to think and speak more helpfully.

 

I hope that helps to give you a taste of NLP and its benefits. Now check out the book!

Cheers for now,

Tony