3 EASY THINGS YOU CAN START DOING NOW TO “MAKE A HAPPY DAY”
1. Wake up Refreshed – Sleep ‘till You’re Finished.
I have never been a morning person. I always marveled at the ambitious people who popped out of bed ready to run their morning mile and get their adrenaline rush before going in to work. (The beautiful people) Nope, not for me.
My main goal in the morning was to try to “sleep ‘till I was finished.” I cherished every sleeping second, before I had to roll out of bed. I prepared the night before, and timed every morning activity with precision to ensure the maximum sleep possible. In my book, the early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
I don’t knock the morning exercisers though. I actually envy them. I’ve even thought once or twice about trying it myself…. But I got over it. Maybe it’s something I can aspire to.
The National Sleep Foundation says sleep needs for adults are 7 to 9 hours each night. (8 to 10 hours for teenagers, and 7 to 8 hours for older adults)
While sleep needs vary, researchers at the University of California discovered that some people have a gene that enables them to do well on six hours of sleep a night. This gene, however, is very rare, appearing in less than 3% of the population. For the other 97% of us, six hours is not enough for a healthy life.
How does enough sleep create a happy day?
Sleep habits are more important to your happiness than you think.
Studies show the quality of your sleep directly affects your mental and physical health, your productivity, immune system, creativity, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!
The way you feel while you are awake depends in part on what happens while you are sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health.
Sleep deficiencies can affect your quality of life and your safety. The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant (such as a car crash), or it can harm you over time. For example, ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.
I used to wake up in the middle of the night thinking about my ‘to do’ list for tomorrow. Before I realized it I had lost several hours of sleep as I turned things over in my mind, trying to memorize the list so I would remember everything in the morning. This had to stop. If you have a similar problem causing you to lose sleep, here is a proven technique I used.
Keep a pencil and note pad beside the bed. A pencil is better than a pen so you can write while laying down. When the ideas and worries start flowing and you keep turning them over in you mind, fearing you will forget them by morning, write them down. Then pull a ‘Scarlett O’hara” and say, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Go back to sleep knowing you are in control and can handle it the next day. You won’t forget your ideas, and will feel a sense of accomplishment as you successfully complete the tasks on your list tomorrow because you slept well last night.
2) Repeat Positive Self-affirmations
In the morning, and throughout the day, repeat positive affirmations instead of self-sabotaging, negative thoughts. It will boost your positive self-esteem, and a stronger sense of self-worth makes you more likely to improve your own well-being.
Just as negative thoughts can become self-fulfilling prophecies, so can positive thoughts. Choose to emphasize the positive aspects you have or desire in your life. It will be just as powerful and much more helpful in your quest for more happy places.
Here are some tips and examples for creating your own positive affirmations.
- Write them down.
If you have been very negative in the past, positive affirmations may feel awkward. You may start with only one statement, but as your words become your reality, you will become more excited about the possibilities opened up to you, and will be motivated to add more.
- Use action statements like “I am” and “I will”. For example:
“Every day, in every way, I am getting stronger and stronger.”
“I will treat others the way I want to be treated.”
“I will resist the temptation to smoke today.”
- Use gratitude statements like,
“I am so thankful I woke up healthy and feeling great.”
- Make a statement about an accomplishment as if it has already happened.
“I am so happy I am now at my ideal weight of 135 lbs.”
- Be specific.
“My knowledge and strength in negotiating contracts makes me successful in my job. It’s what I do well.”
- If negative thoughts creep in, replace them with a counter-argument.
“I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.”
How do self-affirmations work?
- Increases self-esteem: Similar to repetition in physical exercise, positive mental repetition strengthens our self-esteem. When you repeat positive statements often, and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes. Over time, you will begin to think and act differently – with a more positive mind-set.
- Attracts positive things into your life: Self-affirmations can also create higher vibrations for happiness that through the Law of Attraction magnetizes resources and opportunities to come to you. In simple terms, the Law of Attraction says that you will attract into your life whatever you focus on. Whatever you give your energy and attention to will come back to you. This is why it is important to focus on the positive. So, if you stay focused on the good and positive things in your life, you will automatically attract more good and positive things into your life. If you are focused upon lack and negativity, then that is what will be attracted into your life.
- Helps you solve problems: Daily positive affirmations put you in a good mood, help your unconscious mind focus on your goals, and helps you solve challenges and obstacles that might get in the way. Research from a team led by Carnegie Mellon University’s David Creswell found that people can boost their ability to solve problems under pressure by using self-affirmation.
- Improves your mood: How you feel in the morning affects how you feel at work for the rest of the day. In one study, researchers analyzed the moods and performance of customer service representatives. Those who were in a good mood in the morning were more productive during the day and reported having more positive interactions with customers. Repeating positive affirmations in the morning can make you feel good and ready to tackle whatever is thrown at you in a positive way.
3. Give Genuine Praise or Compliments to Someone Else.
Just as positive self-affirmations can give you a brighter outlook on the day, so can genuine praise or compliments give someone else a boost. As a side effect, you feel good about “making someones day.” Praise, just like love, is one of those things in life that can be given away without taking anything away from the giver. And it’s so easy.
Here are some tips and examples for giving praise and compliments:
- Look someone in the eye and be specific. “You have a talent for explaining things in an understandable way.”
- Focus on things they control like their accomplishments and skills. It recognizes the effort they have put into something.
- Timing is important. “You are so effective at giving presentations,” goes a long way toward easing someone’s jitters just before an important presentation. Be on the lookout for opportunities to praise. Give praise at the time it is noticed.
- Witnesses are always good, (especially if it’s the boss). Give praise in front of others. It may also spur others to chime in with their compliments adding more validity.
- Sometimes asking a question or asking for help is a form of praise. “How do you manage to always meet you deadlines? What is your secret? Can you give me some pointers?
How does giving praise create happiness?
Compliments are gentle two-way gifts of respect that benefit both the giver and receiver. Recognizing the good in others brings out the good in ourselves. It also strengthens relationships and builds trust.
Giving praise shows our awareness and mindfulness of the people and environment around us. Compliments can be powerful motivators because people tend to do more of what they are praised for.
I’ll close with a word on how to accept compliments from others. Don’t invalidate someone else’s praise of you by disagreeing with them. If you respond by making negative comments about yourself, you discredit their opinion and may even imply their standards aren’t very high. Many times other people see more in us than we do, so if you are surprised at a compliment consider this an opportunity for some introspection and soul-searching.
Receive compliments graciously, and with a smile. Always say “thank you.” Simple responses like, “Thank you for noticing,” or “Your opinion means a lot to me,” are appropriate responses. Then add the compliment to your positive affirmations.
I challenge you to do the following for at least one month:
- Get an appropriate amount of sleep.
- Write down at least three positive self-affirmations and repeat them each morning and throughout the day.
- Give a genuine compliment to at least three people each day.
Let me know what your experiences with this are by sharing in the comment section.