Self-Help

Category Archive Self-Help

self-improvement-title

Self Improvement; Children can do it, can you?

I wanted to start off by saying that the inspiration for this post came from a most amazing source. Recently my wife brought to my attention a brand of roll-up plush toys called Popples.

For those of you who don't know, Popples are these cute critters that get around by rolling up into a ball. Starting out as a cartoon series in 1986 the Popples plush toy line was a big hit. Sacha and I were sitting at our computers looking up a particular awesome purple Popple from her past. We are surfing the net when I find out that Netflix has relaunched the brand in a new Tv series. This news gets my wife really excited. Who wouldn’t be happy at the revitalization of an epic past memory?

Of course, at seeing her excitement I am all in to watch this new show with her.  We turn on the TV and fire up Netflix; Boom we are now emerged in a Popple adventure.

The plot and my point

One great thing about TV geared towards younger children is that each episode tries to drive home a lesson. Each episode, the Popples are faced with some sort of adventure or circumstance in which their choices have cause and effect. The aim of which is to help children understand the right and wrong ways to handle something. In this particular episode, Bubbles a Cheerful Popple with a love of all things cute, is running for class president. Running against her is Mike, an envious Green Popple. Mike is the benchmark on the show of how not to handle a situation.

Finding himself suddenly competing against Bubbles, Mike instantly knows he can not win. Bubbles is a good person that treats others with respect and kindness. Mike, being a rather manipulative little Popple, decides he is going to “drop out of the race”. It’s a ploy, of course, to pit Bubbles against her best friend Sunny. After tricking Bubbles into saying something out of context, which he records in secret, he plays back the recording to Sunny. It says that Bubbles does not think Sunny is a threat. By doing this, the two best friends are now trying to out do each other and they are both unhappy. However, rather than the plot coming undone, the two Popples take the time to talk out their issues. In the end Mike, was forced to finish running against a united front of Popple sisterhood.

It was the twins, “Not Me” and “I Don’t Know”

The problem with Mike, and this really rings true for a lot of humanity, is that nothing is ever Mike's fault. Mike treats the other Popples like a commodity and he manipulates them and uses them selfishly for his own gain.  Of course, Mike's plans never turn out in his favour.

In every situation, Mike’s natural response is to blame someone or something else. He’s never the master of his own destiny or in control of his outcomes, because he believes others should  become responsible and displaces the blame… and the accountability.

One point this show pushes? Solving your problems through self improvement. No matter how big the problem or how much work needs to be done to fix it, the Popples get it done.

A new way of life through self improvement

First things first, you have to do away with phrases like “I can't” or, “It's too hard” and, “Why does life hate me?”. Life is hard - that's a fact! That is still no reason to give in or wait for others to pick you up. You are the master of your own destiny regardless of circumstance; You always have options. Sometimes the options we are faced with suck though how you handle them and what you gain are very important.

It's easy to blame “Bob” for losing the big game and  it's easy to take out your feelings on someone else. The thing very few people want to do is look inward when things go wrong. Rather than giving Bob a hard time for missing that last goal, think what you can do to make yourself better. How can I change and adapt to this situation? It is very easy to place blame and never move forward. The trick comes when you stop complaining to everyone and stop dwelling on the unfairness of it all, good things will happen.

For example, rather than refusing to forgive Bubbles, Sunny takes the time to see past Mike’s lies. Together Bubbles and Sunny take a united stand against Mike to secure the class presidency. Sunny made a conscious choice to be a good friend, to take the time to check all her facts and move on. Being able to identify when you are dwelling on something that is unhealthy is a useful skill. If you find yourself sitting around filled with negative thoughts and you just can’t shake it, we’ve got a workbook for that!

Destructive thoughts got you down? Download our FREE 16-Page Interactive PDF Workbook!
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD the "Sassy Solutions - How To Quickly Shift Destructive Thinking"

Self improvement in action

Around our household, we sit and watch children’s shows all the time. Good values, strong messages, and friggen cute to boot. For us, that’s a rather effective tool, but that’s us. You might need a little more help. Here are some trick’s I’ve picked up, and a few more my wife added!

Get Back to Basics

Since we’re on the topic of kids shows, let’s talk about getting back to the basics. That means those core values children learn in such shows:

  • Be yourself, no matter how odd/strange/different you are!
  • Stay positive no matter how hard things get!
  • Teamwork is supreme, always!
  • Be fearless because fear rarely helps a situation!
  • Be a good, kind, caring, sharing friend!

These core themes show up in every children’s program one way or another. That means we, as adults, make sure we have this under wraps.

Listen to Your Inner Popple

When in doubt, trust your moral compass. Or, as we call it around here, your “Inner Popple”.  

We all have that little voice inside us that tries to tell us right from wrong. Sometimes it’s a train of audible thoughts in your head, other times it’s that gnawing gut response telling you something is amiss.

That cue is there FOR A REASON. Ignoring it is the worst thing you can do. It’s not just about survival but protection of oneself. Do yourself a favor, listen next time, and reward your Popple’s good judgment.

Give Peer Pressure the Squeeze

Seriously, stop listening to other people. What happened to the days of scientific proof, verified resources, and common sense? (*cough* ...social media… *cough*)

It’s easy to get wrapped up in what everyone else is doing and feeling. As adults, it’s our responsibility to be aware of it, and know when to step back. Just because Joe Schmoe is going to jump of that there bridge, y’all going to do it to?

Fact Check Before You Freak Out

To me, this is a pretty obvious one, but it’s a step so many forget. When you are presented with information, especially the damaging or inflammatory kind, it’s wise to check your facts before you lose your cool.

As was the case with Bubbles and Sonny, fact checking can lead you to discover truths, motivations, falsehoods, and errors that you may have otherwise missed. Knowing all the facts before you handle a situation allows you to provide the very best solution. No brainer, right?

In summation... watch more kids shows

We are advocates. I mean, with all the bad floating around in the world, why not?

In all seriousness though, we all just need to put a little more focus on ourselves and being kind contributing members of society.

Blame, hatred, anger, spite, fear…. None of those things will help us advance as a society. So, let’s all just regress a little and enjoy our morals wrapped in bright colors. Go ahead and embrace your inner Popple, take the time to roll up your negatives and embrace change through self improvement.

Watch Popples on Netflix

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power-quarter-hour

How to Harness the Power of the Quarter Hour

Do you tend to run out of day before you run out of to-do list?

Are there tasks that keep getting moved forward to the next day's list....but they never get done?

Do large projects overwhelm or intimidate you?

Do you have a hard time maintaining focus on the tasks at hand?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, I have a fix for that. If you are like me and answered yes to everyone....I am about to be your hero of the day!

A super-effective way to help turn all those yes answers into no's is to harness the power of the quarter hour. Once you've tapped into its power, you'll not only be much more productive, but you will be less stressed too! Your self esteem goes up, as well because you are setting productivity goals and hitting them.

At one time I was raising five daughters home schooling, running my own business, managing our household (i.e. bills, housework, cooking etc)...and actually maintaining my sanity too, all at the same time!

How did I do it?

After an extended learning curve I'm surprised my family survived. I discovered some keys and applied them. Failure wasn't an option because nobody could replace me. I had to manage it, so I found ways. One of the keys found in learning to use 15-minute chunks of time.

Tapping into the power of the quarter hour is a simple two-step process anyone can do. Start applying them and you'll be on your way to feeling like a productivity superhero. So, let's not waste time and learn how.

Skyrocket your productivity 15 minutes at a time.

Why fifteen minutes? Because it is a size of bite you can handle. It's much like the saying about how you eat an elephant....one bite at a time.

Faced with an elephant to eat, the task may seem overwhelming, so you have no desire to do it. But, it must be done, so you break it down to one bite a time. Of course you can do one bite, so you do (ewwwww). Then you take another until it is done.

Now, let's apply that to some things that are a wee bit more pleasant than eating an elephant. Let's say you want to write a book. A lot of people have that idea on a back burner, but never get to it. I know of several, myself included. That big picture...a finished and edited, ready-to-sell book...is intimidating as can be. But not if you break it down into fifteen minute tasks.

  • How much can you outline in fifteen minutes?
  • What topic can you research in fifteen minutes?
  • Can you develop a thought in fifteen minutes?
  • How many quality words can you churn out in fifteen minutes?

Break the process of writing a book down into fifteen minute tasks. Then order them, check them off as they are done, moving on to the next. You're tackling it one bite at a time, and it is not the least bit stressful. Not only that, you are feeling a sense of accomplishment.....finally. The idea of writing a book no longer haunts you. You are doing it.

I used that same process when I was developing my cosmetics line.

On a back burner, as I was still selling antiques and books on eBay at the time. I knew what I wanted to do, but had one heck of a time finding time to do it, until I applied the power of the quarter hour.

I researched one cosmetic ingredient at a time. I researched formulas, one at a time. I played in the lab with formulas, one at a time. I did 75% of all the groundwork for the makeup company in fifteen minute hunks of time I set aside here and there.

Those are examples of how to use the power of the quarter hour to tackle big projects. But, what about smaller, day-to-day tasks? Break them down into fifteen minute tasks too.

That's particularly helpful if your day-to-day life tends to be full of interruptions. With all those children I had, interruptions were the norm. If I got interrupted during an hour long task, it'd mess me up, big time when I'd try to get back on track.

Working through lists of fifteen minute tasks, interruptions were not that big of a deal. I would either be at the beginning of the task, or close to the end. It reduced the impact interruptions had on my day down to nearly none.

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Use fifteen minute segments to destroy the small tasks.

These are the tasks that don't scream for attention, so you seldom get to them. The tyranny of the urgent keeps us from them. The power of the quarter hour can get them done.

It can also include tasks that require a few quarter hour time slots to complete. But that's okay. You are getting it done, one bite at a time. Some examples are:

  • Cleaning out the refrigerator
  • Washing windows
  • Catching up on mending
  • Decluttering the house
  • Reorganizing your office

I first started using the fifteen minute task lists after I gave birth to my first daughter. She had colic for her first six months. I'd managed of my responsibilities fine all through college. but having a colicky baby ground my productivity to a halt. I got a notebook and broke every duty I had down to fifteen minute hunks. It might have meant it took 4 fifteen-minute sessions in a day to get my kitchen clean, but it got it done. I wasn't stressing so badly either because I knew I had a plan of attack and was attacking it. Whew! It was a lifesaver.

I still use this method when feeling overwhelmed with a big task.  Those small tasks that usually nag me have their own list.

When I find myself with an extra fifteen minutes, I bite off another chunk.

Managing the 96 quarter-hour slots of time we get each day.

Why is that easier than trying to manage bigger blocks? Since I have everything broken down to fit into a fifteen minute time slots. I don't underestimate the amount of time it will take to get something done. as often as I do when working in larger chunks of time.

For example, let's say I have a blog post to write. I think it will take about two hours, from start to finish. Looking at that big time block saying “write blog post” is loose. What happens is it ends up taking an hour longer than I thought because I did not break it down into fifteen minute tasks to check off.

I might have played with the outline longer than I needed to. I spend a few more minutes extra on each section, a little dilly dallying along the way....because I do have two whole hours to complete it. Ultimately, it takes more like three because I was not tight on my plan.

When I break it down into 15 minutes each for outlining, the intro, each of three sections, a conclusion, and then a final edit. I can do each section in that fifteen minutes because I know I must. So, I do. The blog posts is done in the two hours.

If I get an interruption, it is easy to take in stride.  My entire household is more peaceful when I operate in quarter hour chunks of time.

Don't think you can break down everything you do into 15 minute slots?

Use the power of the quarter hour to start the process. Pick out an area you feel you need help in being more productive in. Break all the tasks you do down to items that can be completed in fifteen minutes. Start applying this method!  You will find you are working more efficiently and have extra quarter hours you can use each day.

I've recently gone back to implementing this in my own life. I was staying stressed, always behind and feeling like a failure because I was always behind. I won't accomplish much of anything for anybody if I am wallowing in defeat. I had to get control over my productivity. I've used this method on and off for over 30 years, so I came back to it. I am more peaceful, in control over my days, and yes, getting much more done each day.

Does that sound nice? You can do it too! Decide, right now, what trouble area you wish to work on. Make a commitment to breaking it down into fifteen minute tasks.

When you are done, I challenge you to comment your intention to improve in that area. Putting it out there like that keeps us more motivated to succeed so we save face. Then when you are knocking out the work like never before, come back and tell us all about it! Enjoy!

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guilt-shame-title

Understanding Guilt and Shame (and why you need to know the difference!)

I want to start off this post by saying that yes, unequivocally, guilt and shame are two different things. In many situations, guilt and shame go hand in hand. It can feel that there is no distinction. Today I’m going to help you understand the difference between the two and how it impacts your day to day life.

Guilt and shame can paralyze us, or it can incite us to take action and change. Knowing the difference will add perspective to situations and help you navigate your own emotional path.

What is Guilt?

Google defines guilt as a feeling of having done wrong or failed in an obligation. While the language implies negativity, guilt is actually a good thing. It's helpful and effective and catalyst of self-awareness and a driving factor in personal advancement.  

Feeling guilt is a cue for you to look at the things you have done. To look at what you have, or have not, done and hold them up to your values and beliefs. When you feel a sense of physiological discomfort or unease, guilt is telling you its time to make a change.

Pretend for a moment you are late getting a project in to a client, you had promised it on morning X and it's already 12 pm day Y.  At this point you are feeling guilty, good! Guilt is social glue, poking and prodding from inside your mind to make up for wrongs. Wrongs that may otherwise ostracize you from society.

I’ll admit, guilt has been a powerful catalyst for my own growth. There was a time when, shortly after leaving the city, I was unable to find work. Guilt soon began piling up until it was all-consuming. My awesome wife would slave over the computer all day to make us money while I fooled around and submitted sub par work. Sadly, my commitment was just not there. It was the guilt of my lazy attitude and the guilt I felt from under contributing that morphed into an unstoppable drive.

Guilt is the gateway to a better tomorrow; It can drive you to be more responsible and aware.

What is Shame?

Shame at its very core is destructive, there is nothing helpful about it and you don't need it in your life. It's a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

We look to Dictionary.com for the clearest definition. Shame is the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another. The catch? It isn’t always JUSTIFIED. We can be trained to feel shame for things we should not.

Shame can lead to very negative thinking, it saps your drive and can make you feel worthless. A lot of the time I feel shame rise up when I’m faced with learning new things. For instance, I would sit down and say "I can’t write a blog worth reading." Hell, for me, I pretty well avoided learning anything new because I wanted to avoid the “guilt” of failure.

Here's the kicker – it’s not guilt I was experiencing; But that tricky demon we call shame. I had done nothing wrong and had to face the facts that 1) I grew up thinking I was stupid which I have always felt shame over being dumb and 2) I let others make me feel shame when I was not as good at something as they were. A collection of little events that, over time and with repetition, nourished a shame seed to grow into a big old shame tree.

The thing about shame is that it can be an excuse to hide and never push forward. Please understand that yes you have feelings and it is very healthy to explore them. The problem comes when management of your emotions effects your ability to survive and grow as person.

Overcoming Shame and Understanding Guilt.

Having come off a fresh victory over my shame, this is the perfect time to share some tips on how I conquered my shame demon. (I mean, I did write a blog post after all, didn’t I?)

Step One – Understand

First things first, I had to understand what events where causing my guilt and what if the guilt was justified. This feeling stemmed from my sub-par performance and being unable to care for my family. The guilt of my laziness and the guilt over all the effort my wife was putting in while I sat and feared growth. Unfortunately, it was justified.

What wasn’t justified was the reason I was refusing to improve. I felt shame, that I wasn’t good enough, so I just didn’t try. Once I sorted the two, I was able to better address the root and make the shift.

If you carry the weight of your shame around with you, you can’t grow from guilt. Once you know why you are feeling shame you have to let it go! Then use your guilt to push success.

Step Two – Find Your Why

Your “Why” is your everything. It’s your reason to live, to breathe, to get up and go. Your raison d’etre! This is massive people - you have to figure out your why in life.

If you are looking for the Kryponite to the Shame Demon then find your Why. Once you have a why, the walls surrounding shame come tumbling down. I found my Why one night after facing facts, if I did not step it up I would likely lose my wife, home, pets and everything I had. My Why became a burning fire; A need to never lose the people and things I loved.

I had to let go of the shame of feeling stupid, and learn from my guilt. Mind you, my wife came at that shame tree with an axe and women's fury until it was mulched.

shame-no-cants
Step Three – Can’t Keep Can’ting!

Understanding that my guilt was coming from being unhappy with my performance, it was time for change. I stopped using the words "I can't". There are no can'ts only won'ts. You can do anything you set your mind to the only question now is will you do it?

My answer as I near the end of my first blog is YES I CAN and YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

Find out what is making you feel guilty and change it. Search and destroy unwarranted feelings of shame. You might make mistakes along the way and that’s ok. Making mistakes is fun - embrace them and learn from them!

Remember shame is a feeling that wants to hold you back, but you have your whole life to live don't listen to it.

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harnessing-happiness-title

Happiness Hack: Harnessing Karma to Get Out What You Give

If you've been applying our happiness hacks, you are living a happier life by being more authentic. You're retraining your brain by wearing out the positive paths. Now, you're ready for some fun with our third happiness hack.

The Third Key: Give out whatever it is you desire in your life.

Need money? Give some. Feeling a need for encouragement? Encourage others. Want to be around more positive energy? Try throwing more of it out yourself.

You see, whether you call it karma, reaping what you sow, or the boomerang effect, the principles are the same. The fact is, whatever you give out will come back you. It's like gravity; It's that way whether you believe in it or not. You can't escape it. Instead, harness its power for your good and I am going to tell you how.

Step 1: Harnessing your power.

The first step to harnessing the power of what I will call the boomerang effect, is to become more aware of it. Look back at your life experiences from a different perspective. I want you to look for examples of you getting "back what you gave out", both positively and negatively.

For example, there was a time when I was quite judgmental towards others. So, guess what I got back, many times over? Yep, lots of harsh and unfair judgments. How did I get happier? I quit doing it and begin putting out love in response to those I felt an urge to judge. What do I get back now from others? You've got it - love and acceptance.

Another instance, years ago, we downsized from a huge Victorian to an RV. Now faced with the fact we had to get ride of every thing we owned. I chose to give the bulk of every thing even the groceries in the fridge to a domestic violence survivor. This was a time when I was still praying hard for my own way to get free from abuse. a while afterwards I left my toxic situation and found the world to be in a giving mood. I have felt time and time again the world has taken care of me since leaving.

Can you find examples from your own life where you got back whatever it was you gave out? Start making a conscious effort to note these instances in your life. Better yet, journal them, have a record to harness and cross reference. After a while you will start to notice a pattern of give and receive.

Step 2 : Harnessing your awareness to make change.

Developing awareness of how you feel as well as the feelings of others will put you in a place to harness change. You will start to catch yourself when negative vibes take over and adjust. Sttop them and replace then with the good vibes you want in your own life instead. Fact is, you can't go through life cursing and blaming others and thinking the blessings will come. To become blessed, you need to bless others.

Have you ever known someone who has the world's worst luck yet every vibe they put out is negative? I have; I used to be one. Developing an awareness of my own negativity was the next step, I use constant positive affirmation to combat negative vibes. It's rare I throw a bad vibe and I don't have to work at it. Happens quite naturally. Am I happy? Yes sirree, I'm as happy as a pig in the mud. You can be too!

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What does this look like in day-to-day life?

Think of a impatient driver that rides your ass for miles then at the first opportunity, flies around you and then cuts you off. People get shot for less in instances of road rage. But, that's your chance right there. You can choose to put out bad Mojo, or you can choose to send out the good stuff. What you get back depends on it.

You have a choice. Let it get to you, curse him, lay in the horn, flip him off... whatever. Or you can choose instead not to given in to anger and chill. It may feel fake at first, but the more you do it, the more you natural it feels that way. The more good you give out, the more good you get back. Yep, the happier you are.

What does this all have to do with being happy? It is very simple. Whatever it is you need in your life, you need to give that to others before you have it yourself. It's a faith thing, but it has never failed me.

Is life always this simple?

How do you explain good people who suffer miseries?

What of the evildoers who seem to thrive?

No, life is not that simple, and I haven't a clue about such things, only opinions. But we don't have to have all the answers! Nor do we need to agree on matters of theology to be able to be more aware of this principle and then harnessing it.

In a nutshell this principle means you're capable of controlling, to some extent, the quality of your future. If you want a happy little life, focus on helping others find theirs. You can't out give the universe.

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Step 3: Harnessing positivity for that good old ripple effect.

The focus thus far has been on the benefit to us, but nothing we do is ever in isolation. Our actions always affect others, whether we realize it or not.

We all leave a wake behind us. I don't know about you, but I'd rather leave a pleasant one than a stinky one, and no doubt that's what others prefer. Remember, my wake used to stink. Think about it... it is a true win-win situation, no matter how you slice it. Choosing to put out positive energies over negative ones, tips the balance to the light side of the force. That way we all benefit.

Now, who in their right mind, wouldn't want that?

Most of us have simply never thought about it. The hope is that my words have inspired enough change in you to spark action. Soon you'll be a habitual, positive-vibe tossing fool. May you grasp it and give the good stuff away in ever-increasing amounts.

Are you with me? Tell me about it and leave a comment! Here's to tipping the scale on the good end! Enjoy!

Find part one of the happiness hack series here -> Happiness Hack: Just Be You, All You, All The Time

And part two here! -> Happiness Hack: It's All in Your Head

Or check out this great post, it comes with freebie! -> How To Quickly Shift Destructive Thinking

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Happiness Hack: It’s All in Your Head

If you ask people what they want most in life, most will say “just to be happy”. Most of us then spend the bulk of our lives in pursuit of it, only to find it ever-elusive.
 
Like Dorothy and her ruby slippers, we've been hunting without when the key was within and we've had it all along.

The key to a happy little life is in your own head.

It is! To truly grasp that concept is life-changing. I wish I'd realized it sooner. First I had to develop an awareness of the fact I am in control over what my thoughts. That sounds so simple and obvious yet I spent most of my life not ever becoming aware of it. Sadly, there are a lot of people in the same boat. They have never thought about how they think.

The fact is though; we are in complete control. All sorts of thoughts flit through our minds each day. We pick which ones we ruminate on. How we choose determines which path our brain finds easier to navigate.

Think of your mind as a thick forest. The trails you travel will be well-worn and it will be easy to run down those paths. But the paths you don't take so often? They grow over and it is slow, hard work to blaze a trail down them.

That's how the neural pathways in your brain work. If you want your thoughts to be good, empowering, and positive, you must decide to walk it. You must wear out that positive path, while letting the path of negative thoughts grow over. Your mind will take the path of least resistance. It is our job to be sure the right path is clear.

Exactly how do we do that? I am glad you asked! It's a simple two-step process anyone can do. All you need to do is install it and do it again, and again, and again. You can train your brain to be happy. Now, let's learn how....

The first step to training your brain.

Training it to be happy is developing an awareness of your thoughts and deny the lies. You need to start thinking about if they belong in your head. If they don't, you need to pitch them, and nurture the ones that do belong. To make that determination, ask yourself three questions:

  • Is it true?
  • Is it a lesson?
  • Does it serve me?

Let's look at that first question, “Is it true?” This step takes brutal honesty with yourself. If you can't muster that up, ask a trusted friend for honest feedback. Then ask yourself if that yucky thought is the truth.

For example, if the thought goes through my mind “you're so stupid.”....I need to ask if I am stupid or not. I'm aware, intellectually, I am not, so I will run that thought out of my head. Every time it tries to come back, I'll kick it out again.

Now, onto the second question. Why do we need a second one? Because sometimes the yucky thought IS true. In that case, there is likely a lesson worth learning, if we will look for it.

To illustrate, imagine your mind keeps telling you that you are being lazy. You know, deep down, your issue is that you need to get up off your butt, ditch excuses, and do things. Now, since you are honest in the first step, you'll own up to that, right?

The goal is to find the lesson and apply it.

Get to the root of that lazy streak; It could be fear of failure or something a little deeper than laziness. Once you've found the root you can start taking the ax to it. You found a lesson and you are working it. So, now the next time the thought comes saying you are lazy, you can tell it to take a hike, with proof you aren't. Woohoo!

Also ask yourself, when a negative thought comes flitting through your brain, if it serves you. If it is a thought that moves you to be better, for a reason, then embrace it because it is serving you.

But imagine a thought comes that says “you are worthless; you don't matter.” Does it serve you? Is it true? Does it contain a lesson? No, no, no. So you throw it out and enforce the boundary when it tries to come back. 

That is how you retrain your brain. Forcing it to take the positive path and start wearing it smooth so it is your mind's preferred route. The less you let it take the negative path, the more it will grow over. You are retraining your brain to take the road less traveled. Teaching it to think thoughts that make you happy. 

The second step in retraining your brain for happiness.

You need to correct the misinformation that was running through your mind. To do so, you make a proper substitution and work it in good.
 
What does that look like?

You change the voices in your head and make them build you up instead. The best way to do that is to create your own custom positive affirmations, then use them.

You want to customize them to fit your situation. For example, I don't need an affirmation saying” I am me, all me, all the time” because I have that one down pat. If the thought comes saying “oh you are such a fake”, I can fight that with no problem. An affirmation I do need says, “I have within me all I need to do all that I desire. I am smart enough and tough enough to make my dreams come true.”.

You need to create affirmations that target your sensitive spots.

Then work them in every chance you get. Read them, write them, sing them, post them around the house...and when contrary thoughts try to slip in, kick them out. Speak it, own it, and you will see them come to be in your life.
 

Developing positive thought patterns is more than just your own self esteem. It is reprogramming your basic outlook on life. You are consistently choosing to think positively.

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Here is an example: It is a hot, sunny day. All you can think of is the heat, the sweat, the gnats, the zero chance of relief in the forecast.... UGH. You are miserable. But, realize, you're choosing to focus on that. You could, instead, focus on the beauty of the sun, the billowy clouds, the songs of birds in the background. Feel grateful for the slight breeze. Or be glad you are outside piddling in your yard. There are others who would love to have the chance but are unable.

So, what to do? While aware and present, run the negative thoughts out. Replace them with positive ones. The more you do it, the easier it is for your mind to think more positive thoughts than negative ones. Over time, you become a natural positive thinker.

Now what?

If you have worked at the first two steps, you now have a well-worn positive thought path. Avoiding the negative ones with more ease. You have retrained your brain to think positively.
 
Congratulations! Happily ever after can now be all yours. All you need to do is keep wearing that positive path smooth and it will be your mind's favorite route. Now, just how exciting is that?!?!
Do you know what is even more exciting?
 
Sharing that joy with others, and help show them how to be happy too! You can be a catalyst for the positivity taking over in your friends' lives. As you think, act, and expect more positive things to come into your life, they will come. Others will notice. Some will even ask for your secret. Please be willing to share it.

So many of our woes as humans are due to how we are thinking about them. It is preventable. Misery does have a cure... and you hold a key. If you care at all for your fellow man, you will shine your lovely little light and help show them the way.

The beauty of shining is this: In doing so, you not only help somebody else to be happier, but you get it back. You really can't out give the universe either. The more joy you share, the more it comes rushing back to you. It is a wondrous cycle with no end.

Won't you be a part of it?

You've nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Think about how you think.

If you are ready to retrain your brain for happiness, we'd love to hear about it. If you have questions, comments, or even critique, feel free to comment.

Let's create happy little lives (or big ones!) and show the world how they can too!

OH! If case you missed it, you can find part one of the happiness hack series here -> Happiness Hack: Just Be You, All You, All The Time

Or check out these other great posts!

How to Manage Your Emotions in Three Simple Steps

How to Laugh Yourself Healthy and Happy

How To Quickly Shift Destructive Thinking

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