As we grow older and gain more wisdom through the years, we realize that money or popularity by themselves do not spell success. Rather, it is the presence of happiness in our lives that makes it all worthwhile. We may be the wealthiest person on our street but if we’re miserable, we are far from successful.
The problem most of us face is getting caught up in the daily grind of life and becoming worn out, overworked, and over-caffeinated. Of course, with all of life’s little and big stresses come the tendency to blame, criticize, and generally take a negative outlook on life.
And when we are too negative, there’s no way we can get near our fullest potential or even just be close to it. Generally speaking, negativity sucks the life from us and everyone around us.
Attitude is a decision
Everything that happens in our lives is just a series of events. It’s how we react to these events that shape how our lives turn out. We can choose to react positively or negatively to anything that happens to us.
Think about the following example:
We’re driving down the highway when we notice a car tailgating us. As we speed up, it speeds up as well. Now, most of us get angry and belligerent when this happens and will probably use a certain hand gesture when they eventually pass us.
This will usually put us in a sour mood and we might even let this episode ruin our entire day.
Being tailgated is not a positive event in and of itself but if we choose to look at it from a different viewpoint, it can be.
What if we instead chose to believe that the person tailgating us had a pregnant woman in the vehicle who was about to give birth and needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible? Or what if it was a father of a 6-year old girl who was rushing to see her because she had a tragic accident at school?
Would we still be upset at them? I think not. Instead, we would get out of their way as quickly as possible and be glad to do it.
This mentality can be used for virtually any event in our lives. Think about the power behind this for a moment.
We can literally change our outlook on life by choosing to view things in a positive light. And do you think this will lead to us being happier? Of course.
But getting to the point where we can shift our mindset from negative emotions like fear, anger, and frustration to positive ones like forgiveness and empathy takes time and takes work.
But it can be done through changing our habits.
5 Daily Habits That Can Make Us More Positive and Happy People
This is much easier said than done because negativity is literally everywhere. The evening news, reality T.V. shows, violent movies, aggressive drivers, coworkers complaining, listening to people waiting in line at Walmart.
The list goes on and on.
So, how do we reduce these things which are a large part of most people’s lives? Simple. Take a break from them.
Each day, we simply remove one negative influence from our daily routine.
Turn off the T.V. early, avoid talking to your friend who only wants to complain about their spouse or walk to the store instead of driving.
This can be one of the most powerful and emotionally uplifting things one person can do for another.
Consider the following actions:
Giving a homeless man your last $10 dollars because he needs it more than you do. Letting a person cut in front of you in line at the supermarket because they are clearly having a rough day. Or think about carrying an elderly person’s bags to his car because you see them struggling. Those are all examples of unconditional giving.
We should ask ourselves to give this way at least once each day and no doubt we will find our lives improving dramatically.
As much as we hear it already, exercise, particularly vigorous exercise, really is a cure all. Getting those muscles pumping and oxygen working through the body does wonders for our emotional and physical health.
If you aren’t exercising right now, you need to start. Exercise can be in the form of walking, jogging, cross training or playing tennis. The key is to start moving your body.
You will feel better and look better and when those things happen. Plus, you will feel more confident, positive, and happy. That’s just a plain and simple fact.
Talk to strangers
Many of us walk around leery of other people. We form snap judgments about them and tend to avoid direct eye contact and/or conversation. Why? Because our negative society has taught us not to trust people.
But the reality is that 99% of the people we see every day are good, decent people.
So, the next time you’re on an elevator with a stranger, say hello, and ask them how they are. Do it sincerely.
When you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, you can strike up a conversation with the person behind you. You’ll be amazed at how your whole being will change when you do this.
This sounds very cliché, but it’s so true. Most of us find it hard to form a sincere smile upon making eye contact with someone. Maybe we give a quick nod or “hello”, but there is a great deal of power in offering a genuine smile.
We just may make someone’s day and will surely feel better ourselves as well. Making someone happier, even if it’s temporary, will have a profound effect on our own happiness.
Make it a point to do this with at least five people each day.
Simple Versus Easy Decisions
Choosing to be positive is a simple decision, but it’s not easy. Most of us have many bad habits that make it difficult to be positive during stressful or difficult times.
We must form new habits to break the old ones and the only way to do this is a step at a time.
Trying to drop all of our old habits at once is a recipe for failure. Instead, try adopting a new positive habit each week.
Eventually, we will have many positive daily habits that will change the way we look at the world and will ultimately alter how happy we are.
Written by Steve Roy, a contributing writer for DevelopGoodHabits.com, a site dedicated to helping you eliminate bad habits, creating better ones and making major life changes. To learn more, check out the free report 77 Good Habits to Live a Better Life.