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  • Writer's pictureJanine Friedman, Executive Coach

Happy Happiness Day!

March 20th is the International Day of Happiness. The UN created this day back in 2013 to make people aware of the importance of happiness in their lives.

At Choice, we truly believe that the happy 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 that 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 article is for you.

Happiness really is a choice. There is a reason this quote hangs on the walls in our office. It’s also the reason we chose the name “choice” for our business. It is something you can choose to actively cultivate. And, when you realize you have a choice, you become empowered. Here are a few ideas on how to choose happiness:

Practice gratitude. The positive psychology movement is based on the incredible impact gratitude can have on our lives. Even during challenging times, if we look, there is always something to be thankful for. Our brains are programmed to look for danger. Choose gratitude to offset this negativity bias by jotting down 3-5 things a day you are thankful for. 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.

Practice self-care. Now, more than ever, taking care of yourself is critically important. You need your self-care to manage all of the additional stress you have been facing, and to keep your immune system strong. Get those workouts in, aim to sleep 7-8 hours per night and eat well. Know your warning signs and what your triggers for stress are. Instead of ignoring the early signs, start implementing stress management strategies (mindfulness/meditation, humor, music, art, hobbies, nature, etc.) that will work best for you. Truly happy and successful individuals know their warning signs of stress and what to do to get back to being 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. The most successful people in any industry have some sort of mindfulness practice because they know it helps them stay happy, perform better, make stronger decisions, be a more inspirational leader, focus, fight disease, and sleep well. We can’t recommend it enough!

Get outside. Being outside has an extremely positive impact on our overall well-being. Take advantage of the additional hour of daylight and the shift in temperature as we move closer to spring. Spend more time in nature. Listen to the birds, watch a sunset, take a walk/hike, or go to the beach or lake.

Do something kind. Intentional kindness is a terrific way to choose happiness. Donate to a food bank or charity that speaks to your heart, stand up for someone you see is being discriminated against, check in on someone who has been going through a tough time, or listen to a co-worker who seems like they aren’t themselves right now. As the saying goes, “a bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives the rose.”

Spend time with loved ones. Make sure to keep this important activity on your calendar. Time and time again my clients tell me the extra time with family members has been the silver-lining to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our connections are extremely important to our overall well-being. Plan visits with those you care about and soak in the love and connection.

Pursue your purpose. It’s hard to be happy if you are in a job or career you are not passionate about. It’s never too late to take the time to slow down and really investigate what you were put on this planet to do. If you are stuck here, you may benefit from the guidance of a certified coach who can lead you on a journey of self-discovery.

Use your vacation days. Study after study shows that Americans are not using their vacation days and the result is more burnout, depression, suicide, sick days and lost productivity. Spend time away from work and watch your productivity soar for weeks after you return. Summer is right around the corner 😊. Start planning your next trip so you have something to look forward to with anticipation and excitement.

Feel free to contact me if you would like a partner to support you in your effort to find more happiness or figure our your purpose.

If you know someone who would benefit from this information, please feel free to pass it along.

Happiness is a choice.

“Empowerment begins when people realize they have a choice.”

Janine Friedman, Owner and founder of Choice Training and Coaching Solutions, Inc. is an executive and leadership coach and holds a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) designation from the International Coaching Federation. She empowers executives to improve their performance, address their challenges, and achieve their goals through customized coaching and training. To learn more about her background click here. To schedule a FREE exploratory coaching session, click here.

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