The Printable Happiness Project!

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When I started this blog three years ago, it really was the start of my own happiness journey. It was at a time in my life when I felt lost, stuck and super unhappy.

I was realising that my happiness was very dependant on outside conditions and comparisons with other people. Looking back, I could see that I felt this was a normal thing to do and it’s what I’d always done. But where had it got me exactly?

It’s become so cliché to say that happiness comes from within and that it’s all in the journey but, my gosh, it’s so so true.

Happiness is all about those little habits we do every day both physically and mentally. It’s how we talk to ourselves, how we view ourselves and the perspectives we choose. And my biggest lesson was that I had a choice. I always assumed my negative self-talk was normal – that I wasn’t choosing to see life in a certain way.  But the truth is I was.

It can be hard to change your negative beliefs but with consistency and investment in yourself the resilience, emotional stability and cultivation of positive mental health can be achieved.

This is why I created the Printable Happiness Project 🙂

The Printable Happiness Project is a 53-page printable journal and planner which includes 28 worksheets with practices that will help you build up your self-love and create a more positive outlook towards your inner and outer world.

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There are 17 guidance sheets that talk about each happiness practice with tips and motivation as well as explaining its importance.

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Being printable, you can pick and choose which practices resonate with you and build up your own unique happiness project over the course of your journey. There are also several evaluation sheets to help you see your progress and address the areas of your life that need more attention.

The Printable Happiness Project has really been made with love and is designed to help you create the happiness habits that will improve your life in subtle, yet big ways.

For more information and to purchase the Printable Happiness Project click on the link 🙂

The Printable Happiness Project

 

I can’t stress enough how important it is to start with the intention to create your own internal happiness. Whether it’s with the Printable Happiness Project or not, make your mental health and happiness a priority starting TODAY!

Lots of love and happiness 🙂

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5 Mindsets To Adopt To Create A Happier Daily Life

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I think my main message through writing this blog is to bring home the idea that habits are the key to happiness. It’s often something we hear over and over again especially if we’re trying so hard to find and create that sense of ease and happiness in our lives. But sometimes in our frustration it can land on deaf ears or these habits start to become so cliché.

Starting the intention to change can be the hardest step. We’re comfortable in our routine habits, mindsets and beliefs yet we rarely see the connection between each one. Each one is feeding the other and so creating our lives.

It really is starting with little habit changes and realising how we’re choosing to show up in the world through the way we think.

This week I thought I’d post a Lifehack article I wrote a while ago highlighting the common negative thinking we’ve been conditioning ourselves towards and the need to drop them 🙂

If You Understand These 5 Rules in Psychology, You Can Live a Much Easier Life

Limiting Negative Language to Achieve More Happiness in Your Life

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How often do you really listen to what you say?

The language we choose to use is a really good indication of where our mindsets are. Many of us believe we’re a positive person but is that reflected in what you say to others or how you talk about yourself?

It’s really important to be mindful of what we say as most of the time we aren’t fully aware of how we come across or the beliefs we put forward. It can sometimes be very subtle but the one we can probably all relate to is complaining. Do you complain a lot? Why? Question yourself, why do you have this belief? Is it limiting?

You may have heard about the rainy day analogy. A rainy day can mean something completely different to two different people depending on their perspective yet they’re still experiencing the same thing. What this shows is that we have a choice. If you find yourself complaining about a rainy day, can you see a different perspective? Can you think more about the plants that need the rain or be appreciative of your warm, waterproof clothing instead of cursing the possibility of the rain ruining your day?

And what about the negative language we use with ourselves? We often say things to ourselves that we’d never say to a friend and yet we are more willing to talk negatively or berate our being. We think it’s harmless. It’s habitual. We may not even realise we’re doing it. But over time it becomes extremely detrimental to our happiness. After all, if we’re not able to show love to ourselves then no one else truly will.

When you describe yourself to someone are you putting yourself down a lot or building yourself up positively? Be mindful next time you’re in conversation with someone – it may surprise you.

Do you tell yourself you’re a failure, not good enough or not worthy enough? Or do you tell yourself you’re successful, lovable, kind and lovely? To a lot of us this feels unnatural because we’re led to believe it’s egotistical and that we shouldn’t think highly of ourselves. But our self-beliefs shape our thoughts and how we move through the world. Therefore, it’s logical that thinking negatively about ourselves will ultimately affect our happiness levels.

Remember, what we think is a choice. Positive thoughts and words bring more of the same into our lives and the same goes with negative thoughts and words. It’s up to you which side of the spectrum you want to lean towards.

If you speak negatively about things, positive people will naturally be repelled from you while negative people will be drawn to you. Which would you prefer?

It’s all about awareness and intent. Most of us really aren’t aware of the things we say because we’re so used to thinking negatively about ourselves. These negative beliefs  may have come from past experiences or what our parents or peers said to us but they are untrue. For everyone.

Start noticing your level of self-love and the way you look at the world through the daily language you use. Let it be an indicator of where you’re at. This will be a powerful start in turning your awareness towards more positive words and therefore experiences in your life 🙂

Looking At Life Challenges In A Different Way

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Life is full of challenges and each one of us deals with them in our own way. The majority of us can get hit to the ground and find it hard to pick ourselves up. The idea of happiness can feel a lifetime away during these times so is there a better way of looking and responding to challenges that could get us back on track more quickly?

Challenges allow us to grow and expand. There are some that make us feel unlucky, hard done by or dejected, but ultimately every challenge is there to help us grow positively in some way. It could be happening in order to get something out of our way, to make us realise something that we can apply to the rest of our lives moving forward, it could be to move us to new circumstances with new people. Whatever it is, there’s usually a purpose within it that isn’t clear to us in the moment.

What purpose are you giving to your current challenge?

The challenge you’re facing is neutral. As humans, we have a need to give everything a meaning – and it’s either a positive charge or a negative charge. Our challenges inherently cause us to focus on the negative so we choose to think we’re being punished or not worthy or beat ourselves up for making a ‘wrong decision’.

So the purpose we give that challenge penetrates us on a deep emotional level.

It can shape our beliefs about ourselves and the world around us in a negative way.

So what can we do differently? Ideally you can shift the way you look at a certain challenge in your life to a more positive one and start to question why you think it’s happening. Training the way we look at challenges helps the brain see beyond the short term negative impact challenges can seem to have. Just like our muscles need tension and stress to grow, so does our human spirit and the challenges that we face are opportunities for us to expand and learn.

Changing your perspective

What we focus on the most is what we’ll see the most. This is why it’s so important to choose to see the good in something rather than the bad. Believe it or not, there’s good in everything but for a lot of us (especially when we’re slap bang in the middle of it) it can be hard to hear.

Instead of asking why is this happening to me? or what have I done to deserve this? Ask yourself what is this showing me? How can I grow from this experience? It’s important to anchor yourself and believe there must be some good in this situation even if it’s hard to see in the moment. How many times have you gone through something that felt so awful at the time but with hindsight you realise the message, growth and positivity that came out of it? Choose to try to feel this ‘hindsight’ even before you figure out its ultimate meaning in your life. This will create an inner strength.

By doing this in any challenge you face, you’re connecting to the inner strength that is found in every one of us and is the foundation to the way we forge through life.

You will learn to move through the challenge with more self-empowerment knowing that everything is happening for good. We all have a choice on how much charge and emotion we put into seemingly negative situations so choose the positive. Happiness isn’t always a constant but it’s always there waiting for us to choose it. Train yourself in allowing the idea that the world we live in isn’t as negative as it appears to be and your challenge is ultimately there to serve you.

If anything, this can give you a little sense of relief and open up the crack of hopefulness which is the start of getting back on track 🙂

The Importance of Combining Exercise with Mindfulness

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Mindfulness is an important part of our happiness journey. Not only does it help us to focus on what’s going on around us, but through exercise it can encourage us to listen to our body. Other than meditation, when was the last time you focused on how your body feels? Usually this only happens when we’re in pain and the pain is drawing attention to what our body is saying to us. But it’s equally important to listen to our body when we’re feeling pain-free and complete.

Exercise presents a great opportunity to practice being mindful and embrace the moment. Many of us have an exercise regime in order to keep up our positive physical health, many of us don’t exercise at all because we have a belief that exercise isn’t for us. So in either case the act of exercising never becomes synonymous with really being in the present moment but rather a means to an end or something we want to avoid.

However, mindfulness helps us connect with our bodies in the present moment when we exercise because exercise creates physical changes we can pay attention to. Sports like running and swimming are good for focusing on the breath because you’re more aware of it than usual. Your movements are more exaggerated which gives another important focal point for the mind.

Even when we’re struggling with exercise and want the session to be over we can realise that experiencing these thoughts and these hard moments and knowing it will pass is what mindfulness is all about. It can make you realise that you should make the most of this present moment which is the basis of meditation – to observe your thoughts rather than get overwhelmed by them and focus on the breath or the sensations and movements of the body.

Of course, by doing this you are actually training your mind to cope better with every day life and anything that it throws at you allowing you to be more open-minded about what you can achieve. Being more mindful during exercise, for example, allows you to think more about how far to push your body and know when to ease up helping you experience exercise in a more fun and rewarding way.

I do a lot of swimming and I find swimming length after length gives me a wonderful opportunity to focus on the movements of my whole body and the feel of the water flowing past me. I also find that by doing this, I naturally start feeling gratitude that my body is capable of making these movements over and over again and that I’m able to easily enjoy each moment.

So don’t always think of exercise as a means to an end. All forms of exercise will keep a healthy, happy mind and body but take it a step further and really embrace the present moment whether you’re really feeling the flow or finding it a struggle. Focus your mind on the breath and the movements to really take full advantage of your exercise experience 🙂

 

How To Create Happiness Through Writing Stuff Down

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There’s immense power in writing things down. It’s very easy to think about our hopes and dreams, or positive and negative emotions but in the act of writing them down, our brain is forced to process the feelings more intentionally. It’s this process that can generate a type of therapy or create a sense of excitement within us that helps towards that all-important happiness.

There are several ways the power of writing things down can increase our happiness.

Keeping a Gratitude Journal – The combination of writing and feeling gratitude is extremely powerful. The act of doing this allows us to think back through our day in a positive way. Our brains are wired to look for the negative in order to survive and keep us safe so we need to make that extra effort to think about the positive aspects. Physically writing our blessings down means you’re able to look back over what you’ve written and further make you realise the wonderful things currently in your life. So each night write out the best thing that happened to you that day (even if it’s as simple as a free coffee or a smile from a stranger!) and then list out 10 more things you were grateful for happening. Keep this up and you will feel it getting easier and easier to find things to be grateful for 🙂

Lists – We can often feel overwhelmed with the amount of things we need to do each day so writing these tasks down is a wonderful way of organising them in our mind. Crossing each one off helps the feeling of productivity and raises your feel-good worthy vibes.

Writing Out Affirmations – Each morning get out a pen and paper and write out a few meaningful affirmations and use them as your mantras throughout the day: I am worthy, I am loved, I am a successful person, I am capable of anything! Keep them in your wallet, write them on your mirror, or stick them on a post-it note to act as reminders. Take the time to really think about what you need to hear from yourself – it may feel corny as you write them out, but they feed you that little bit of positive reinforcement throughout your day and slowly creates a more positive mindset from within rather than validation from other people.

Keep a Daily Journal – You might associate journals with teenage girls but journal-keeping has come a long way since the 80s! Writing down how you feel is a good therapy session. If it’s negative it can help get it in the open because physically writing it out and re-reading can give you further perspective on the subject. It allows you to really reflect on why you feel that way and find a way to change it. You can also just use a journal to set out your positive intentions for the day and helps keep tabs on your productivity keeping you aligned with your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. I personally use The Daily Greatness Journal but even just getting a plain notebook and doing it ad hoc is still very powerful.

Writing things down helps with awareness. Most of the time we’re on autopilot and don’t structure our daily routines. This means we aren’t always being mindful of how we live our lives. By writing things down, we can start to understand how we think, why we think the things we do, challenge these perspectives, know ourselves better and see the world in a more positive light. So get out that pen and paper and harness the power of writing things out 🙂

 

 

The 7 Deadly Happiness Sins: What We Should Avoid

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I was a bit hesitant on writing a post about the things people do wrong when it comes to happiness – I’d rather write about the mindsets and perspectives we should adopt to live a happier life – but I think sometimes it can be easier to spot what we aren’t quite doing rather than be told what we should be doing! 🙂

As humans, we can sometimes get into habits that we pick up from an early age or we can be easily influenced by what our parents think or thought, what society thinks or just general opinions that people we come across have.

1. Devaluing happiness

There’re so many articles about how to be happy that a lot of it has become quite cliché. We can roll our eyes and dismiss it all. But in doing this we can devalue the potential of creating happiness in our lives. Our ideas of happiness can be misunderstood – happiness comes in the form of the big achievements rather than in the walk to work or the conversation we had with the postman or neighbour. By doing this, we’re never really that happy and we devalue happiness in the process. Never find yourself in a position where you feel happiness is overrated and you should just accept the crap going on in your life. This will just keep you from experiencing the joy of happiness altogether.

2. The need to be superior to others

How many times have you argued with someone and you have the overwhelming urge to be right. You absolutely have to prove that they’re wrong! This comes from a place of superiority. Accept that everyone essentially thinks they’re right. Accept that what you think isn’t ‘better’ than someone else. Everyone has different perspectives based on their life experiences – let it go. Recognising that trying to prove your point is essentially, well, pointless! It only generates feelings of frustration and lessens your happiness.

3. The need to be loved

We all want to be loved but the problem comes when we feel we need to be loved. This indicates a lack of self-love within ourselves because if we truly think we’re awesome there is no need to be loved because you already feel it. If you feel this need to be loved you may want to look at possible low self-worth issues or the idea that you’re not enough unless you’re loved by people. Happiness comes from within and this starts with the love you have for yourself.

4. Being overly controlling

The need to control, again, comes from a lack of self-worth. You feel that things must be a certain way for you to be happy. But true happiness comes when you release control and be happy with whatever the outcome will be. Once you do this you instantly feel more at peace and realise by controlling outside factors you were actually restricting your own ability to be happy.

5. Lack of trust in others

We do live in a untrusting society but this doesn’t mean we have to buy into being untrusting ourselves. The majority of people are honest and sincere at their core. Believing otherwise stops you from experiencing that trust and also stops the other person experiencing being trusted. It’s a wonderful feeling to choose to believe you can rely on other people to do something without worrying. Learn to trust and your happiness will grow.

6. Lack of trust in life

Faith is massive when it comes to happiness and by ‘faith’ I’m not necessarily talking in a religious sense. Trusting the direction of your life and believing whatever happens is for your higher good in the long run will give you that sense of peace that comes with being happy. The problem comes when we spend precious time worrying that our life isn’t how it should be or we must be doing something wrong every time something ‘seemingly’ goes bad. Relax and trust it’s ultimately all good.

7. Ignoring your inner-energy

We are extremely powerful beings. Our thoughts shape our beliefs which, in turn, shape our lives. We have the ability to change how we think. We have the ability to change our beliefs and our mindsets. We have gut feelings that steer us in the right direction if only we wouldn’t ignore them. Dismissing our inner-energy and walking around disconnected with it, is a sure-fire way to know you’re not reaching your full happiness potential. Meditating even for a few minutes a day can help you connect with your own unlimited supply of happiness. Everything you need to be happy is found within you.

 

 

Happiness Is All About Our Perspective

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How often do we just accept our perspectives on things?

Our perspectives come from our beliefs – the beliefs that are formed from the people around us or the experiences we’ve had. But we hang on to these perspectives for dear life believing that how we see things is the correct way.

I think if we want to be happy we need to question the way we choose to see the world around us.

Everything in this world is neutral. Every situation, circumstance, object or person is neutral and it’s only the label we put on these that cause them to mean something to us.

I can’t remember where I read this but there’s a good analogy about a rainy day. A rainy day is not good or bad. A couple on their wedding day will see a rainy day as bad yet a farmer wanting his crops watered will see a rainy day as good. Neither is a right or wrong perspective but you can guarantee which set of people will be experiencing a more stressful day as a result!

The importance of this is that it can be applied to anything in our own life. We can choose to see a positive perspective or a negative one. We are the ones doing the labelling and whatever we choose will also condition and train our mind over time to see these different situations and circumstances in the same way.

Once we label something it has the tendency to stick. If you always associate a rainy day as ‘bad’ then there’s more chance of you always associating a rainy day as a negative in the future.

So how can we use this to increase happiness in our lives? Every time you choose to label something happening to you as ‘negative’, stop and question yourself. Is it really negative? Could it just be the way I’m choosing to look at it? How could I spin it to a positive? Even doing this in a small way will condition your mind to see the good in even dire situations and you will start to see more positivity around you and feel it within yourself.

 

Once we do this we can also start to understand other people in a more empathetic way. We can realise others are seeing things and reacting to things based on their limiting beliefs, their current life circumstance, thoughts they’ve created from other people, or the culture and society they live in. Understanding this means we can detach ourselves from getting upset or offended so easily by others.

So remember, everything is neutral and you are the one giving it meaning. To live a happier life, start to see things in a more positive light and question why you are giving certain negative meanings to things. It can be a good step towards leading that happier life 🙂

Setting Energetic Goals For Happiness

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We all want to improve ourselves in some way. The start of a new year seems the perfect time to re-evaluate ourselves and think of ways we can make our outlook on life more positive.

It’s easy to set goals such as getting fit or getting involved with different activities and these are great ways to increase our happiness. However, without consistency, achieving happiness in this way can only be short-lived.

That’s why setting goals around improving your energy is a much better way of cultivating the happiness we all want to have.

By energy, I mean the way we feel about things, people and situations. Asking yourself what is the energy is behind what you want to do – are you feeling good about it or are you feeling forced and reluctant?

Getting more in tune with our emotions is hugely important in guiding us on the right path. Many of us choose to ignore our gut feelings or dismiss our intuition about things but it’s exactly this that is routing us to a better direction.

Energetic goals could be anything from changing your mindset, trying to be more understanding about other people’s situations or opinions, being more open with people or more vulnerable with your feelings, or just not giving in to the comparison game. All these things involve your inner energy and emotions and effect how you feel which, in turn affects how you act and make others around you feel.

In fact it’s a massive circle that starts with you. If you change your mindset and outlook to a more positive and open one, it will radically change how you feel about yourself, those close to you, strangers you come into contact with, your reactions to negative situations and rubs off on everything around you.

So instead of trying to lose 10 pounds or vow to make more money, try evaluating your energy and set your goals around how you feel. How do you want to feel today, this week, this month or by this time next year? By doing this other areas of your life will magically transform for the better and increase your ability to see and feel happiness all around you 🙂

Why Feeling Sorry For Yourself Is So Destructive For Your Happiness

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Life is full of ups and downs and the way in which we react to them are very different depending on our mindsets. But something we can all be guilty of is feeling sorry for ourselves.

While it’s normal, natural and healthy to feel our negative emotions to a situation, when it becomes too persistent and prolonged – even a habit – then it can have a detrimental effect on our happiness and well-being.

Do any of these describe you?

  • You tend to complain about life not being fair
  • You feel like you always have bad luck in life
  • You often think and feel the world or other people are out to get you
  • You think people who have great lives are the ‘lucky ones’
  • You struggle to find anything to be truly grateful for

As human beings, we are always drawn to the easier route and in this case it’s easier to feel sorry for ourselves than to pick ourselves up and face our problems. We can let our overwhelming feelings of pity get in the way of moving forward, creating a better mindset and better perspectives.

The problem with this is, we never really allow ourselves to reach our true potential of happiness.

It can blind you to the good that is right there in front of your face. You can push people away with constant ‘glass half empty’ chatter because, sometimes without knowing it, negativity can spread like wildfire to others around you.

None of us are perfect and we all throw ourselves a pity party every once in a while but to be more consistent in our personal discovery of happiness it’s really important to make a conscious effort to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and move forward.

More often than not, negative emotions will breed more and more creating an everlasting circle and it’ll become a destructive habit. We believe it takes too much effort to start changing our thoughts, beliefs and perspectives  – that they’re too ingrained in us and something we have no control over – but it’s not true and to change our thoughts is never as hard as you think it is.

Next time you notice a prolonged period of time where you feel nothing ever goes right for you, just stop and take note of it. Make a conscious choice to see the opposite perspective. The people out there who are ‘lucky’ are no different to you and me other than the way they choose to see the world.

Make your happiness a choice…it’s not always something that just magically appears but does needs cultivating and consistent habits in order to achieve it 🙂