How Happy Are You?

Happiness DefinitionSomething rather startling happened the other day.  There was something that made me really sad.  Lump in the throat, eyes stinging, hold back the tears sad.  And after the feelings passed, I had this stunning realization that it’s been a while since I have felt sad.  That’s not to say I don’t have ups and down, because I do, but it was noticeable that feeling sad, felt a little foreign.

After thinking about this for a while, I started to reflect on earlier times when I was a slave to my emotions and feeling anxious, overwhelmed and sad were normal.  After all, who doesn’t like a good cry?  (Well, most of my female friends know what I’m talking about!)

I then thought about it some more and realized that I have put into action something that I have always read and heard about, which is that happiness is a skill.  It’s something you work at and something that takes time to cultivate.  And I’m convinced more than ever that this is true.

So what have I put in place?  Well, it started about 6 years ago when I faced several health challenges which included breast cancer, several surgeries and a few other challenges.  (I’m putting it all on the line here).  Being the over achiever that I am, 3 weeks after one of my surgeries, I hopped on a plane and joined Andrew in Vegas to speak at the National Ergonomics Convention.  We gave the 3 hour workshop, walked the Strip after and then I basically collapsed. In short, I hit the wall.  And that’s when I knew I had to make some radical changes.

I would like to take a moment to share what these changes and practices are so that you can benefit too.

I Put My Diet on a Diet 

  1. Fresh mixed vegetables falling into a bowl of saladAfter much reading and research, I went completely vegan.  I have never felt better and will never go back.
  2. I adopted a practice;  If I Can’t Pronounce It, I Don’t Eat It!
  3. I eat fresh fruits and veggies every day.
  4. I drink a green juice (fruits and veggies) or green smoothie daily.
  5. I am off of caffeine (you can argue with me on this one, but for me it works!)
  6. I eat organic 95% of the time.
  7. I drink more water (this one took a while for some reason)
  8. I limit my sugar intake and save it for desserts and treats that are truly divine!

I Started to Ask, What Else Do I Ingest?

  1. I started paying attention to what I put on my skin (our largest organ) and adopted the same motto as I did with food:  IIf I Can’t Pronounce It, I Don’t Apply It!
  2. This led to an inspection of my toothpaste, make up, hair products etc.
  3. I expanded this to take notice of what I am ingesting mentally and visually.  Can I make my surroundings prettier?  Do I really need to watch that violent film?  Or the news right before bed?

Then I Asked, What Gives Me Energy, and What Zaps it?

  1. I started doing yoga, taking walks and exercising more!crazy painter
  2. I began to move away from people and relationships (or redefine them) that drain my energy and consciously chose and choose people and relationship which give me energy.  (Very important!)
  3. I began to put put firmer boundaries between work and play (this one is still a work in progress)
  4. I try to truly practice what I preach when it comes to ergonomics.  Hurting sucks!  And it’s draining too.
  5. I protect my sleep as though my life depends on it.  Oh, my life does depend on it!
  6. I try to live in the moment.  The past is over.  The future is unscripted.  All we have is the now.
  7. I started to set intentions on the regular and keep a vision board.  This helps me to bring more of what I want in my life and transition away from things I want less of. (Takes time, persistence and patience but it works!)
  8. Everyday without exception, I say one thing aloud that I am grateful for.
  9. Every night without exception, I do the same.

And you know what?  Over time, these practices have caused shifts.  And these shifts have led to a lot more stability, a whole lot less anxiety and a lot more happiness.  Sustained happiness.  And it’s a good feeling which feeds on itself.  So I intent to keep on doing these things and adding to the mix!  I hope you do too.

So what do you do to make yourself happy?  Please share by leaving a comment on the blog.  After all, your practice can really help someone else.  Won’t you pay it forward?

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 10.49.22 AMUntil the next time!

Vivienne Fleischer-Miller, PBE Co-Founder

If you really want to be happy, get a copy of Time to Reboot and put in the code, feelgreatnow and enjoy a discount on the book (only $9.95)

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