New Year New View
5 Ways to Turn 2018 into Your Happiest Year Yet, Without Changing Anything!
January will no doubt find us all bombarded with instructions and challenges to be better, do better, eat better, live better stop eating this, doing that and thinking the other. I agree that the New Year is a brilliant time for new starts but I've decided to take a different perspective. We spend a lot of time thinking about what we haven't got or haven't done, what we think we should have and what we think we should have achieved. If the measure of a successful life lies in how much we did or how much stuff we acquired then carry on. But in my book, the measure of a successful life lies in how happy we are, or how content. And the fact is that true happiness lies in accepting who we are and what we already have. Here are five simple ways to help you start 2018 feeling more content, happier and with a more positive outlook for the future.
1. Be Thankful For Your Life Right Now
Let's get right down to basics; if you're living and breathing you have something to be grateful for. Recognise the very fact of your existence as a miracle and a privilege and you're well on the way to contentment. Bring yourself back to the recognition of your breath and the simple miracle of life. Whether you're taking it for granted or finding living hard right now, this can really help. Bring it right back to the breath!
2. Take Note Of The Other Things You Have In Your Life To Be Grateful For
No matter how low you may feel or how little you think you have, you can always find something to be grateful for. From your morning cup of tea to a faithful pet, a favourite jumper or a cherished memory. Take a moment to really appreciate the things you love, as you find them each day. Choose to look at what you have rather than what you have not and "count your blessings not your worries" as my Grandad used to say. In my darkest moments, the ever-present and constantly shifting sky above me was an eternal solace, by day or night. It is also a constant reminder of how very small we are in this vast world, it always helps me to put things into perspective.
3. Find inspiration In The Smallest Acts Of Nature
Take a closer look at something natural in your world. If you can get outside do so and get up close and personal with nature. See if you can find a spider to watch spin a web or the earliest new bulbs emerging from the cold earth. If you're housebound, see if you can bring nature into your home. Plant a seed, watch the birds from your window. Recognise your own nature in theirs; the instinct to reach to the sun, to do what must be done, the drive to survive!
4. Practice The Art of Expressing Your Gratitude to Others
If gratitude is all you have to give, giving it is the greatest gift. From a simple "thank you" to someone who holds open a door for you to a heartfelt letter of thanks to someone who changed your life. Gratitude is a two-way, beneficial exchange of positivity. You can brighten somebody's day with just a few words while expressing gratitude is recognised by psychologists as increasing happiness.* Remember the people in your life who you are grateful to, alive or passed on, and write them a message of gratitude.
5. Listen To Your Heart
Forget about the lists of things you should or shouldn't do this year in order to be happy. Meeting those targets and fulfilling those goals won't guarantee happiness, and isn't even likely to happen, if you're heart isn't in it! Put your hand on your heart and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and really focus in on what your heart is saying to you. No really! This is recommended by psychologists I promise.** Take a few moments to tune in to what you really want. Write it down, draw a picture, make a collage; find a way to represent your heart's desire. Now follow that drive as far as you are able and you'll find that if your heart is in it, the drive will take you further than you thought! Happy New Year everybody. May 2018 be your happiest year yet! Best wishes from all of us at Blue Badge Co www.bluebadgecompany.co.uk
* The relationship between Happiness and Gratitude www.psychcentral.com
** How To Really Listen To Your Heart www.psychologytoday.com
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