“If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
What does worry accomplish? As far as I know worry has accomplished nothing. Either there is a way to solve a problem or there isn’t and worry does nothing to help solve the problem.
Worry is the anticipation of a negative outcome based on a story that you strongly believe. For most people I simply ask them, “Is that story true?” Most people don’t believe the story is true and so I ask them, “How will worry help you?” The usual answer, “It won’t”.
So, “Why worry?”
The big challenge is trying to release the “what if” thoughts the mind can conjure up. The mind is looking for some way to brace for a potential negative outcome. In other words “fear”. Fear downs out the hope of today in exchange for the uncertainty of tomorrow.
Release the worry and replace it with practical actions you can take. Understand what you have control over and what you don’t. If you can’t control it or change the circumstances you’ve been placed in worry won’t help you. A student may worry about getting a good grade on a test. In that situation they have control over what they study and review to improve their chances of doing well. Worry won’t help them do better or even prepare to take the test.
Think about the situation you face. What is the best action you can take? What do you have control over?
“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”
― Tom Bodett
Happiness is a popular topic in the culture today. People are looking for ways to enjoy life. It is understandable when you see 50% of marriages failing, 71% of people are looking for new jobs, or for any job or are willing to accept a new job. There are a lot of things that steal energy from you that you have to deal with on a daily basis. Finding ways to reduce the energy thieves is going to help you experience more happiness on a daily basis.
What can you do to experience more happiness in your day-to-day life.
1. Find something that is positive in each day. Find two or three things that created a nice feeling for you. Write those things down.
2. Manage your time. Do what you can rather than trying to add too much to your schedule. We live in a world where everything seems like it needs to be done yesterday. Is that really the case? Give yourself more time.
3. Create an open space. This open space is a few minutes of time to do “nothing”. Just sit in a comfortable place, breathe and relax. Set a timer for 5 minutes and just step away from the noise, confusion and motion.
4. Exercise is one of the most important things that you can do to improve levels of happiness. The body in motion improves mood, improves health, improves mental clarity and improves well-being. If you don’t have a lot of time to move find a way to include movement in your day. Five minutes here and five minutes there can add up. Do something that increases your rate of breathing and boosts your heart rate.
5. Get enough sleep. The brain needs to rest. A happy brain will help you manage stress better, focus better, retain information better and it will help you feel better. Turn of the electronics 30 minutes for bed time. Clear your mind of all the noise and start to relax. If you have a lot of thoughts write them down. Create your plan for the next day and let your mind rest.
Five easy things to do to improve happiness. Add those into your life and your happiness will start to increase. Pay attention to your happiness. Give your day a happiness rating and see how it trends over time. Be kind to yourself and you’ll start seeing results soon.
If you have ideas on ways to improve happiness leave a comment. What works for you?