by Saajidah Esat
Happiness is a way of thinking and feeling, a way of seeing your world, and the positive meaning you choose to give to the circumstances and situations in your life. Happiness is a mindset. And for most people happiness is not ready-made. After all, research shows that in the determination of a person’s level of happiness, genetics counts for about 50%, 10% is determined by your circumstances, and 40% is controlled by your thoughts, actions and behaviours. Although we may not be able to change our genetics, we can take 100% responsibility for the meaning we give to the circumstances and situations in our life as well as the thoughts and behaviours we practice on a daily basis.
Here are 4 ways you can begin cultivating a happier mindset today:
1. Focus on the good
I know you’ve all heard this somewhat ‘overrated’ phrase, “Well, you just gotta focus on the good!” And while it may seem easy enough to focus on the good when everything is going well, the challenge arises when things are not going according to plan. When this happens, take note of all the good around you on a daily basis, the little pleasures you are so blessed to enjoy and everything positive in the world around you. Sometimes it may require you to take a step outside of what’s going on in your own life to realise that we do live in a truly magnificent and magical world.
“Be happy... not because everything is good, but because you can see the good in everything.”
2. Mind your language
The language you use on a daily basis greatly affects the way you feel. Words carry meaning and with that meaning, emotion. Words or phrases like, “I’ll never” “I’m trying” “I can’t” “I need” “I don’t have a choice” are phrases you want to keep out of your vocabulary while cultivating a happier mindset. Replace them instead with more empowering phrases. Turn “I’ll never” into “I can,” “I’m trying” into “I am,” “I can’t” into “I will,” “I need” into “I deserve,” “I don’t have a choice” into “I am choosing.” Notice how your attitude changes when you begin to use more positive and self-loving language.
3. Create a happiness list
How well can you answer the question “What makes you happy?” In order to enhance your happiness, it is important to know what truly makes you happy. What are some of the things that hold you in the present moment, absorbed, engaged and joyful? The activities that turn hours into minutes? Who makes you happy? Right now, in a journal or on your phone, make a list of at least 20 things that make you happy. Dedicate yourself to doing them more often. You may want to include them on your daily schedule to increase the chances of getting them done.
4. Acknowledge yourself often
If you don’t know it already, you’re an incredible human being! You’ve been through tough times, yet here you are, seeking out information to live an extraordinary life. You are special, unique and you have amazing abilities. You’re here to do good and you must acknowledge yourself for that. Always remind yourself about what a great job you’re doing. Reflect on your previous successes and achievements to create a vibration of success. Your mind will be too full of all the good stuff you’ve done that it won’t have the opportunity to revert back to old negative or ‘not good enough’ thinking patterns.
So there you have it! 4 actions you can do immediately to begin cultivating a happy mindset. If you enjoyed reading this article, I invite you to come on and join me on Facebook and Instagram for weekly inspiration.
Saajidah Esat is passionate about empowering women to take responsibility for their physical and emotional well-being. She has authored a book on The Science of Happiness and has co-authored a book on Clean Eating. Spreading awareness on these 2 topics is what she spends most of her time doing. Her background is in teaching, and while working with young children, she discovered how stress and anxiety in the home deeply affects children. This is when she made it her mission to educate women and families on the importance of well-being, mindfulness, meditation, eating well, practicing self-love, emotional resilience and much more. Her philosophy on women is “You can’t pour from an empty cup, so always take care of yourself first.” Saajidah hopes to use her passion and energy to make an impact globally with her work in advocating happiness, well-being practices as well as encouraging female leadership, in order to balance the scales of inequality that still exist between men and women.
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