We all want to be happy, right? But sometimes, when you have a disagreement with your other half or your boss pulls you up at work, it can be hard to feel the love. Read my book, If Life Gives You Lemons (Gibson Square, Dhs48) and along with practical and mental exercises, reading just one sentence of positive thought a day can boost your happiness overall. Research has proven that the brain reacts biochemically to upbeat thoughts, so when injesting positive prose for 10 seconds a day, serotonin is released for an automatic ‘up’ state. A smiley new you awaits.
STEP 1: BELIEVE
Happiness is fuelled by your own thoughts of what you believe about yourself. “When you look at your beliefs, chances are that phrases like ‘I’m a failure/ I’m stupid/ I’m worthless’ will come to mind,” face these and see that they’re wrong. “Write the belief down and, next to each one, write down a reason as to why the belief is not true. Keep looking at the reason – over and over again – and soon you’ll see that it comes with no justification.”
SMILE BOOSTING SENTENCE: “If you don’t see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.” Zig Ziglar.
STEP 2: TIME FOR A CHAT
Think about how your best friend speaks to you. They’re nice to you, yes? Now it’s time to speak to yourself in the same way. “When you listen to the way your internal voice chats to you it’s likely that it’s littered with negative statements like ‘You’re stupid’ which is terrible for your self-belief.” When the negative statements start, imagine what your best friend would say to you. “By listening to destructive mental chatter you’re subconsciously blocking serotonin, which means happiness won’t happen.”
SMILE BOOSTING SENTENCE: “If we treated everyone we meet with the same affection we bestow upon our favourite cat, they too would purr.” Martin Buxbaum.
STEP 3: GET A BALANCE
I recommend this martial arts-based technique as a bid to create a more focused balance in your body and mind:
1. Stand up straight with your feet facing forward and a hip width apart. Make sure there is space in front and behind you.
2. Keep your head up, shoulders relaxed, arms by your side and consider this stance to be your state of inner balance.
3. Allocate one side of your body to the word ‘yes’ and the other to ‘no’.
4. Think about incidences in your life – from a remark your boss made, to sticking to a diet plan.
5. With each incidence, for each one that felt positive take a step forward leading with the ‘yes’ side of your body saying ‘YES’ out loud. For every one that feels negative take a step back with your ‘no’ side of the body, saying ‘NO’ out loud. Doing this will show how much balance you have in life and what you need to address to maintain stability. An unhealthy state would be moving forward too fast without control, or too far back and ending in the corner. You need to find the middle ground.
SMILE BOOSTING SENTENCE: “If you can’t forgive and forget, pick one.” Robert Brault.
STEP 4: FIND A SPACE
Worries and fears can be suffocating and when living with them all the time they can make the air around you toxic, but my research has found that by finding a clean space your happiness levels lift. Get yourself to the local park, wander along a riverbank or visit an art gallery. Likewise, the physiological changes in your body when laughing – the movement of your facial muscles – are enough to enhance your spirits. Even just thinking of a joke will produce a natural high and the boost you need.
SMILE BOOSTING SENTENCE: “If you’re not using your smile, you’re like a man with a million dollars in the bank and no cheque book.”
STEP 5: DISCOVER YOUR PURPOSE
My studies have found that every human has a sense that their life has a purpose and to find true happiness you need to work out what your purpose is. Okay, this might sound as easy as attracting the affections of George Clooney, but, once you start practicing the tips above, your purpose will come. Whether it’s to be a good mum or to be at peace with yourself, it will become clear because when you think about it, it’ll make you feel happy.
SMILE BOOSTING SENTENCE: “If you want to be happy, be.” Leo Tolstoy.
BE HAPPY IT ONLY TAKES 10 SECONDS PER DAY, TRY IT FOR YOURSELF, IT IS WORTH THE EFFORT!