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How to Increase Your Happiness to Change Your Life

How to Increase Your Happiness to Change Your Life

How can you increase your happiness?

Of course improving the circumstances surrounding your life can do this to a great extent but that's easier said than done.

What else can you do?

Luckily there are once again a few options available to you and a few 'hacks' that can actually greatly boost your mood and your health. Bear in mind that health and happiness are very closely linked.

SAD

One of the biggest regulators of our mood is the weather and even if you don't have 'seasonal affective disorder' you're likely to have much more energy and to be much happier when it's sunny.

If you live somewhere that's dark in winter though, you can 'hack' the effect that the sun has on your brain. One way to do this is with a 'daylight lamp' which creates light in your home that has the same wavelength of the sun. If you get one with a built-in alarm you can get it to wake you up with a pleasing effect similar to a sunrise. You will start every day feeling healthier and more energetic.

Sleep

Improving your sleep is crucial for your mental health and happiness. Make sure that you are getting lots of healthy sleep by taking time to wind down in the evening, avoiding caffeine and having a hot shower before bed. Make sure your room is perfectly dark too. Don't underestimate the importance of this aspect – it is critical for your mood and performance the next day.

Exercise

Exercise is also very important for your mood. Not only will this improve your health, thereby getting more energy to your brain and thus keeping you happy, but it will also stimulate the production of endorphins that make you feel much happier and much luckier.

Generally it can also help to streamline your lifestyle and to remove as many stressors as you can – whether that means having less clutter in your rooms (this makes a huge difference) or it means using systems to automate some of your jobs.

Gratitude Attitude

One of the most powerful ways to transform your happiness though is to change what you focus on. You can have objectively the best life in the world, but if you only focus on what is missing, you will never be happy!

Instead then, learn to focus on the good by spending time every day writing down things you are grateful for, things you have done well, and things you are excited about. This last one is truly game-changing.

Go Getters Aren’t Born with a Success Mindset

Go Getters Aren’t Born with a Success Mindset

There are a great deal of misconceptions when it comes to successful people. They’re seen as a mystery in a way, and naturally many people make assumptions about their lives that aren’t necessarily true.

This can make some people nervous about their own path to success because they don’t feel as capable as the people who have achieved it before them. However, that wasn’t always the case in their lives – we just don’t see the story unfold from day one – we see it once success has already come to fruition.

Some People Seem to Have It All So Easily

It’s easy to look at successful people and get jealous or envious. They always seem to be living the lives that you want to live. They don’t seem to have a care in the world. They have plenty of money, plenty of time, and they’re living the way that they want to.

We always only see them in a positive light - there never seems to be something going wrong in their world. Think about the life of someone successful. It could be someone famous or wealthy, or just someone happy and fulfilled who you know.

It seems like such a fantastic life to live - full of enjoyment and without any significant struggles. They seem to know how they want to live their life and they’re doing it with relative ease, and social media showcases it all for us in real time – the yachts, the luxury purchases, and the endless smiles.

They’re happy with who they are and they’re comfortable with just coasting from here on out, not having to worry about how they can advance themselves to that next level. Successful people almost always seem calm, cool and collected......

How to Use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Transform Your Limiting Beliefs

How to Use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Transform Your Limiting Beliefs

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a very popular form of psychological therapy that has largely replaced psychotherapy and plain behavioral therapy in clinical settings. This model of psychology is often used to treat anxiety and mental health problems and it has been proven very effective in doing this.

But interestingly it has uses much beyond that, which we will look at next week. Make sure to keep your eyes on your inbox because this is some pretty powerful stuff!

CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach used to treat mental illness. Specifically, it works by looking at the contents of the thoughts and then trying to change those. Someone who has a fear of heights for instance is likely to have lots of negative thoughts like 'I'm going to fall' or 'it isn't safe' and this will only make their problem worse. CBT looks to change that and thus improve mental health.

There are two ways that they do this:

Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a form of meditation where you 'watch' thoughts go by. Here you will not try to 'calm your mind' or anything like that: you are literally just going to close your eyes and see what thoughts come to you. When you're finished, make a note of these and you can identify ones that might be causing trouble.

Cognitive Restructuring: This is the point in which you are going to change those negative thoughts for positive ones. So if you think you're in danger on top of the roof, you will be trying to replace those thoughts with things like 'this place was built with safety in mind' and 'I'm in complete control'.

Cognitive Restructuring and Luck

So to use this in the context of improving positivity, confidence, and luck, you first need to use some mindfulness to try and identify some of the negative thoughts you might be having which could be impacting on how lucky you feel you are and how successful. Maybe you think things like 'bad things always happen to me'. Once you're aware of these thoughts, you'll be one step closer to dealing with them.

Once you've made a note of your negative beliefs you can then use some more strategies to use cognitive restructuring. One is something call 'thought challenging' where you critically analyze a thought to ask yourself whether it's truly valid.

Sit down and actually assess the content of that negative thought.

How likely is it really that you would jump or fall from that height? Or that it hasn’t been safety tested to near exhaustion?

What other beliefs are holding you back?

The Damaging Negativity of “I Don’t Mind”

The Damaging Negativity of “I Don’t Mind”

Many of us will answer “I don’t mind” to a vast array of questions. From what we want for dinner, for what we want to do.

The reason that most of us will say 'I don't mind' a lot is probably because we think it's the more pleasant response when posed with a question. Rather than forcing everyone to do what we want, we instead pretend that we don't have an opinion in order to ensure that everyone else is happy.

How sweet.

On other occasions you can't decide what to do for best and don't want the responsibility of making the wrong choice, so you say 'I don't mind' thereby giving someone else the job of making that decision.

Actually though, this tends not to be how things play out. For starters, there's a very real chance that everyone will say they don't mind, which then slows things down and prevents you from making any progress and usually results in one of the worst outcomes. Now you've just inconvenienced everyone else and ended up doing something that no one wanted to do… great!

Another danger is that you end up seeming disinterested, like you don't care about the question enough to give an answer. That's pretty annoying when someone is offering you a hot drink…

Alternatively you say you don't mind, the other person then gives their opinion, and so you default to doing what they want instead. That then means that you don't get to do what you wanted to do, and in some scenarios you may even end up resenting them for that. Which is pretty nuts really when you failed to provide an alternative option…

The other problem is that when you say you don't mind, it appears as though you have no opinion or are just completely indecisive. This may come as a surprise to you, but that's actually not something that people consider particularly attractive. Keep saying I don't mind and pretty soon you'll come across as 'wet'. Want more respect? Then learn to make at least the tiniest decisions – such as whether you'd rather have orange juice or apple juice.

Here's the worst part: if you keep saying “I don’t mind” then you might well come across as though you don’t feel you value your own opinion enough to share it – or that you don’t feel you’re entitled to a vote.

This can eventually change the way that others see you, and even lead you to actually believe that about yourself.

Speaking Your Mind

'I don't mind' is essentially conflict avoidance taken to the extreme, and if you don't stop it now, then you'll possibly find yourself coming off worse in the vast majority of discussions and looking completely incapable of making decisions.

And the crazy part is that there's actually nothing impolite at all about speaking your mind and saying what you'd prefer. Just make sure you make it clear that you'll potentially go along with another decision and don't be too forceful with your opinion. Instead of 'I don't mind', try: 'I'd prefer we had the lasagne tonight, but I'm open to other options'. There you go, that wasn't so hard was it?

Stop Wallowing, Just Do It

Stop Wallowing, Just Do It

Negative beliefs and thoughts can end up impacting your entire life in a “butterfly effect” type way. If you think that you are worthless, then this can change the way you stand, the chances you take, and opportunities that you believe are available to you. The result is that you make a worse impression on others, and don’t take full advantage of your innate skills and abilities.

But did you know that similar beliefs can affect you on a day to day level? Hidden beliefs that you aren’t aware of can change the very way you approach tasks… or fail to.

The example we’re going to use here is a busy day in the office. Let’s say that you get to work and you find that things have really piled up. There are 100 (angry) emails to answer, you have one project that’s late, and you have another one that you haven’t even started yet that is going to be horrible to work on.

You now find yourself frozen. Without knowing which thing to start on first, you might find yourself doing nothing.

Likewise, you might find yourself wasting time thinking of ways to outsource the work (palm it off) or otherwise not do it. Great if it works… not so great if you spend 20 minutes looking for a shortcut and get nothing for your efforts!

You might write a to do list or find other ways to procrastinate.

But here’s what you really need to do: start.

While you can wallow and feel sorry for yourself all you like, while you can try and “get out of it,” the truth is that things will only get worse the more you put if off. If you just dive in and start, you’ll at least make positive headway. And you’ll feel MUCH better as a result.

Another one we love is the “one minute rule.” This states that if something takes less than a minute… you should just do it!

To get to this point though, you need to learn to better recognize your own thoughts and emotions, and to better understand how to take them and transform them into positive beliefs and thoughts – determinations that help you to get work done.

This comes from two places:

  • Changing your deeply felt beliefs about you, what you’re capable of, and what “worth” you have
  • Becoming better at identifying unhelpful thoughts and immediately swapping them for better ones

Once you can do this, you’ll completely change your ability and your life.

How Brain Power and Focus Make You Happier and Luckier

How Brain Power and Focus Make You Happier and Luckier

It is common in self-help literature to hear that being more confident, believing in yourself, and regularly thinking positive thoughts can all help you to feel happier and to even influence your life in a positive way.

But here’s another factor you might not have considered: brain power. Did you know that mental focus, creativity, sharpness, and more can help to make you happier and even luckier?

Those who are more positive and happy tend to notice opportunities more because they are less stressed. But by the same token you could notice even more opportunities by being more alert and switched on.

Likewise, effective use of CBT requires mental discipline which in turn needs energy and focus. The last section on health will deal with this to an extent but on top of this you also need to ensure your brain is just loaded with energy and that it's functioning better. If you're groggy and easily distracted you won't be able to exert the necessary discipline to change those negative thoughts.

So how do you boost your brain power?

A Quick Guide to Upgrading Your Brain

One way to quickly upgrade your brain is to give it more energy. We've seen how sleep can help with this but you can also do it through the right diet and supplementation. Omega 3 fatty acids for instance help to improve brain cell permeability which in turn aids rapid communication and thus brain power. Similarly, studies have shown that creatine – a supplement that athletes use to increase cellular energy – is capable of improving focus and IQ.

Brain training 'games' haven't been conclusively shown to work with the exception of the 'Dual N-Back' test which can increase 'working memory' and thus pattern recognition – critical for seeing and noticing those opportunities.

Most important of all though is to learn how to get into a 'flow state' which is that mental state where everything just seems effortless. In this situation your brain floods itself with the neurotransmitters dopamine, anandamide and norepinephrine which work together to further enhance pattern recognition, reflexes, attention and creativity.

How to trigger these flow states? You convince your brain that what you are doing is hugely important. And you can achieve this through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (which you now understand) as well as by simply being highly passionate about what you do – by loving your job and your partner. People who love what they do are happier, more focused and much happier.

How Thoughts Shape Our Lives – And How to Shape Your Thoughts

How Thoughts Shape Our Lives – And How to Shape Your Thoughts

What you think shapes your life.

That’s because what you think shapes your behavior, which indirectly controls the way your life unfolds.

If you think you’re unlucky for example, then not only will you not take any chances, but you might also actually miss opportunities that appear. You’ll focus on things that go wrong, and this will make you feel worse about yourself.

If you think you’re bad at your job, you won’t speak up in meetings, you’ll keep your head down, and you might even be less prone to power dressing!

Affirmations

In the case of a thought like 'I'm always unlucky', you now know that you're only unlucky because you think you're unlucky. Likewise the thought that 'good things never happen to me' is self-perpetuating. Ask yourself genuinely what your skills are and your assets. Be objective and ask others if necessary. Chances are you will find that you're just as capable as everyone else so the only thing that could be bringing you down is your own negativity. Accept this and replace those thoughts.

Likewise, you can also use positive affirmations in order to improve your luck. These are statements you repeat to yourself like 'I'm a successful and positive person'. Over time, if you repeat these enough they can become ingrained and part of your psyche. If you struggle to remember to use them, consider putting post-it notes up around your home.

This might seem like it wouldn’t accomplish much, but by constantly exposing yourself to these positive messages, you will be repeating the same thoughts over and over and actually strengthening the neural pathways in the brain that are responsible for creating them. As these become strengthened, they will become more likely to be activated in future.

In short, those positive thoughts can actually become a habit.

Thought Restructuring

There are other more powerful methods you can use to transform thoughts too. One is to use “thought challenging.” This means looking at the content of your thoughts and assessing whether it’s accurate.

Can you really just be an unlucky person?

And if you are so bad at your job, how are you in the position you’re in now?

Another trick is something called hypothesis testing. Here, you actually put those negative beliefs to the test in order to prove to yourself they’re inaccurate. For example, take on a big project at work and show to yourself that you can do it!

Using these techniques. you can learn to change your beliefs and that's when you will start becoming luckier.

How to Blog

How to Blog

While there is no one right way to blog, there are certain steps that you don’t want to ignore. If you miss some of those steps, your blog won’t have the kind of reach that is possible for it - and the words that you have to share can be a powerful tool of influence.

The book, How to Blog, is a guide that can take you from the beginning where you create the blog all the way to understanding how to monetize what you write. You’ll discover in the pages of this book all of the reasons why you should start a blog.

Among these reasons are personal growth. You’ll be amazed at what you learn about yourself once you start blogging. The book will show you how to choose the topics that you write about once you discover which niche is right for you.


The right niche is often one that you feel passionate about or that you already invest your time and money in. It can also be one that’s driven by a desire to share what you’ve learned so that others can grow, too.

Choosing what name to give your blog is covered in one part of the book. This can be a name that has a special meaning or it can relate directly to the niche that you choose.
Of course, all great blogs have good content on the pages and the author teaches readers how to schedule content.

Regular content keeps your blog fresh in search engine results pages, which is part of search engine optimization or SEO, which is also taught in the book. Even if you’re brand new to the world of blogging, you’ll still be able to set one up.

The book goes into detail about the blog themes - including the layout and design that you can personalize. If you’re not comfortable setting up your blog, then you can hire someone else and the author also shares information for how to go about doing that.

You’ll also learn about sharing content. This deals with social sharing, which you not only want to do across your own social media platforms, but you want to encourage others to do for you as well.

You can blog using Twitter bites and also share your blog through the use of share buttons that you can add to the site. How to network with other bloggers and how to make your blog a fit for mobile users is part of the guidance that you’ll receive from the book and it also covers the marketing side of blogging.

You’ll learn about email marketing, sponsored posts, affiliates and using your blog as advertising space in order to earn. The book also shares some of the common problems found in blogging - such as failing to market or network and being too general with your blog slant. 

Blogging for Dummies

Blogging for Dummies

You might want to join the blogging world, but maybe you’re not exactly sure how to get started and grow your blog. It’s definitely something that you want to learn because blogging has many potential benefits.

You can blog about your thoughts and emotions and learn a lot about yourself. It’s one of the best ways to experience self exploration and growth. It’s okay if you’ve never written a blog before.

Once you learn how, you’ll quickly understand how easy it is. In the book, Blogging for Dummies, the author lays out what you need to know in an easy, step by step format. The book begins with what a blog is and how you can get started.

You would begin by creating your blog. Some people come up with a whimsical name but other people use their own names. You have to just go with whichever one appeals to you.

In the first chapter of the book, you’ll learn how to get started, but you’ll also learn about the rules and ethics of the blogging world. There are some definite things that you want to make sure you don’t accidentally get into.

Part of the book talks about niche blogging. A niche is basically a defined area like health & beauty or parenthood or pets. It means the writer focuses on a specialty. If you want to start a niche blog, but aren’t sure which niche would be right for you, the author explains how you can find the right fit for you.

Another part of the book deals with corporate or business blogging. This chapter goes over how to create your marketing plan for this kind of blog. It also covers what not to do to keep your blog from delving into areas that might cause some problems.

A blog is your home in the wide world of the internet, and you would need a platform to create your blog. There are many different platforms and the level of ease in using the blog depends on the platform you choose.

Some are easier to use than others. The book informs readers about the different platforms that are available. One chapter goes over important strategies for a blogger. One of these is search engine optimization or SEO for short.

This is a means for getting traffic to your blog because SEO makes your blog more visible. This chapter also covers how to use images on your blog, including where to find them and how to fit them for your blog.

You’ll learn how to tell how well your blog is performing. This can help you understand the amount of influence your blog has. The different types of media formats are explained in this chapter - including podcasts and vlogs (video blogs).

The author has a chapter that deals with networking as well as one that explains advertising to help your blog earn money. This book can help you understand all the important steps to setting up and maintaining your blog. 

Boost Your Odds of Success with a Blog

Boost Your Odds of Success with a Blog

Around every corner lurks an obstacle trying to thwart your goal of achieving success. It doesn’t matter what area of life you’re trying to address, something is waiting to push back against your efforts.

Sometimes, the obstacles in your way are the result of outside interference. It might be a person intent on destroying your relationship or a health issue making it difficult for you to get work done.

Other times it’s all in your mind. Mental roadblocks can have a detrimental effect on your quality of life if you let them run rampant and unchecked. Organization and clarity of thought are two things that can strengthen your resolve against things that get between you and your goals.

But in a hectic world, it’s easy to get and stay mired in a state of disorganization and for every day to be fuzzy due to the chaotic schedule and the fact that you’re being pulled in a million different directions.

Therefore, you need a systematic approach to getting and remaining organized with your task list and your thoughts and goals. Carrying a planner around is one way to do this, but it’s tedious and not always convenient.

A better method to allow you to streamline your thoughts and goals is to use a blog as your foundation to list, organize and adjust your efforts to succeed. You can have years and years’ worth of logs (blog posts) where you list your goals, milestones, and steps to achieve them.

You can discuss the strides you made each day as well as what set you back or caused a delay in your progress. If you’re routinely posting on your blog for an audience, it’s even more motivation to continue pushing forward and never giving up.

You’ll be able to look back and see all of the mistakes you made as well as each and every win – both big and small. You can use these as fuel to drive you forward in other areas in life.

With a blog, you’ll not only be able to use it as a record for your own needs, but others will be able to support you and offer guidance and you’ll be able to do the same for them.

It’s very rewarding when you have the ability to see what transpired over the weeks, months and years as you went from the mere formulation of an idea to realizing its success. 

Express Your Thoughts and Desires with a Blog

Express Your Thoughts and Desires with a Blog

Do you have trouble expressing yourself? It happens to many people. They need to communicate their feelings into words and they fail to do it in a clear manner. This can cause many problems in relationships – whether it’s at home or in the office.

One way you might learn to better communicate your thoughts and feelings is by processing them on a blog first. A blog is the perfect way to funnel a flood of immediate emotions into clear and concise words.

Not only does the process of blogging, which is similar to journaling, except in a digital format, allow you to formalize your words, but it also gives you time to calm down and adjust your feelings so that you’ve had a chance to look at the big picture.

It’s not always about communicating with others, either. Sometimes, you don’t even have the ability to convey to yourself what it is you’re feeling and thinking – because your emotions are clouding your judgment.

Once you give blogging a chance, you’ll find that you develop a system of honing in on the problem, looking at it from all angles and then pinpointing a solution that works best for you.

If you have desires for your near future, you can keep a record of those on your blog and track your viewpoint on the topic as you work toward achieving those goals. Your wishes and dreams may change over time, just as they did from childhood into adulthood.

The one thing you have to be committed to when you’re using a blog to cut through emotional turmoil is showing up to write on your blog. Some people are too sporadic with the process, and you don’t want your blog to sit stagnant.

Make it a habit and set yourself up to blog in an environment that’s comfortable and conducive to putting your mind at ease so that your thoughts can flow clearly and uninterrupted.

If there are days when you don’t feel like you have anything pressing happening in life, but you want to maintain the habit, use a writing prompt. A prompt can give you something to think about and explore on an emotional level, perhaps bringing up issues that were buried but affecting you on a subconscious level.

Blogs are wonderful and versatile tools that can be used by just about anyone for self help purposes. You can grow it over the course of many years, and enjoy looking back on your development. 

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