Dec 17, 2012

The Monday Peptalk - (the last of the year:)

We all know that optimistic people tend to live longer, happier and healthier lives. There are tons of optimistic rules and suggestions for a better life. According to Dr Tim Sharp at the Happiness Institute we can train our mind to adopt an optimistic outlook in five simple steps, as told to Body + Soul Magazine. These rules are some of the best I´ve found, since they´re simple, realistic, doable and asks the right questions.

1 Banish negative thoughts
It's important to forget any self-sabotaging thoughts as these will obstruct you from accomplishing your goals, says Dr Sharp. To do this, follow his three-point plan:
  • Become aware of your thoughts. Many of us live on autopilot. Ask yourself, 'What is going through my mind?'
  • Are your thoughts harmful or helpful?  Ask yourself: 'When I think this, how does it make me feel?' 'What impact does it have on my life?' 'Are they constructive?' If the answer is 'no', create a more positive inner dialogue.
  • Find your own affirmation: "If your thoughts are having a negative impact on your self, then it's time to find more constructive thoughts. The ultimate goal is to find thoughts which help you accomplish what you want or need to do."
2 Make it happen
Visualize. 'If I could wake up tomorrow with a fantastic life, what would it look like?' 'What would I be doing that I'm not doing now?' Once you have a clear positive picture in your mind, the next step is recognising your goals and breaking them down into achievable steps. 

3 Don´t go overboard
If setting goals in previous years has lead to disappointment, Dr Sharp recommends making smaller more achievable objectives for greater results. "Focus on the most important thing you could do to make a positive impact on your life over the next 12 months," he says. "Sometimes if we can make just one positive change – whether it be giving up smoking or exercising more – it can be the catalyst that kick-starts a string of other positive changes."

4 Focus on what you´re good at
"We tend to get a much better return on our investment if we work with what we are already good at," Dr Sharp says, suggesting asking yourself, 'What am I best at?' 'What energises me?' 'What inner attributes do I have and how can I use them more?' "When you focus on intensifying your strengths, you will typically perform better and have a deeper sense of satisfaction," he says.

5 Self reflection and gratitude
Finally, Dr Sharp says the best way to infuse more happiness is to be grateful for all the good things in your life and focus on what you have and less on what you don't have.

Happy Monday! 
Soon the Holidays!