With the 4th of July just around the corner, it is a wonderful time to remind yourself to pursue happiness. I have always said that the happy and healthy employee is the successful employee. Throughout my 25+ year career of bringing out the best in professionals, I have seen the evidence time and time again.
Unfortunately, most people have it backwards. They think they will be happy once they are successful. That kind of happiness is typically short-lived and limiting. The truth is, you will find success once you are happy. If you have ever heard yourself say or think the following statements: “I’ll be happy when…” or “if only…”, this post is for you.
Here are a few ideas on how to pursue happiness this summer:
Practice gratitude. The field of positive psychology is based on the incredible impact gratitude can have on our lives. Even when times are hard, if we look, there is always something to be thankful for. Our brains are pre-programmed to look for danger and choosing gratitude is a way to offset this negativity bias. Jotting down 3 things a day you are thankful for can become life-changing. Once you start this process, your brain starts noticing more things to be thankful for and you start to feel more positive.
Or, just take out your phone and text a thank you message to someone who means a lot to you. There’s no better way to make a co-worker or associate feel valued than a well-timed word of appreciation and you will benefit as well. Now is a great time to stop and thank a member of our armed forces or a veteran for their service.
Practice self-care. Taking care of yourself is extremely important and it will help you manage all of the additional stress you have been facing over the past few years. Aim to sleep 7-8 hours per night, get those workouts in, and eat well.
Know your early warning signs of stress. Know your warning signs and triggers for stress. Instead of ignoring them, begin implementing stress management strategies (mindfulness/meditation, music, humor, time in nature, etc.) that will work best for you. Truly happy and successful individuals know their warning signs of stress and how to get back to feeling centered and calm.
Practice mindfulness or meditation. Mindfulness means being in the present moment in a non-judgmental way and meditation is a way to get you there. Staying present wards off regret and sadness from the past and worry and anxiety about the future. Successful people typically have some sort of mindfulness practice because they know it helps them stay happy, perform better, make stronger decisions, lead more effectively, focus, fight disease, and sleep well. I can’t recommend it enough!
Get Outside. Being outside has an extremely positive impact on overall well-being. Spend more time in nature. Listen to the birds, watch a sunset, take a walk/hike, or go to the beach, lake or pond.
Do something kind. According to Nataly Kogan, author of “Happier Now”, intentional kindness is a terrific way to choose happiness. Donate to a charity that speaks to your heart, stand up for someone, or listen to a co-worker who seems like they aren't themselves right now. Or, you can pay for the next person in line’s coffee, take your bag off the empty seat next to you on a crowded train, or simply hold the door for someone and see how you feel after. As the saying goes, "a bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives the bouquet."
Spend time with loved ones. Make sure to keep this important activity on your calendar. Our connections and relationships have a huge impact on our happiness and longevity. I know I am looking forward to extra time with my family and friends over the holiday and the rest of summer.
Pursue your passion. It’s hard to be happy if you are in a job or career you are not passionate about. Take the time to slow down and really investigate what you were put on this planet to do.
Use your vacation days. Americans are not using their vacation days and the result is more burnout, depression, suicide, sick days and lost productivity. Spend time away (hopefully at a beautiful, fun locale) and watch your productivity soar for weeks after you return to work.
Feel free to contact me for more ideas on how you can pursue happiness. It’s written in the Declaration of Independence for a reason!
Wishing you all the best for a HAPPY 4th of July!
If you know someone who would benefit from this information, please feel free to pass it along.
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Remember, happiness is a choice!
Source: "Happier Now", Nataly Kogan
“Empowerment begins when you realize you have a choice.”
Janine Friedman, Owner and founder of Choice Training and Coaching Solutions, Inc. is a career development and leadership coach and holds a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) designation from the International Coaching Federation. She empowers professionals and business owners to improve their performance, address their challenges, and achieve their goals through customized coaching and training. To learn more about her background click here.
Success is a Choice.