Deep down all everyone really wants is to be happy. What if I told you there are ways you can become happy in just five minutes?
There are literally thousands of articles and books on how to be happy. People scour self-help shelves looking for the magic key to happiness. They believe if they find just the right book or listen to just the right audio recording, they will be happy forever. Someone out there must have the answer to what will make us happy, right?
The truth is no one knows what will make you happy, only you do. It's also not some elusive thing that you need to search for the rest of your life. As human beings, we often make things much more complex than we need to and finding happiness is no exception.
If you find yourself feeling unhappy, go through the following steps and then use one of the 5 minute processes below, depending on where you are and what you are doing at the time. They each take only 5 minutes and some of them, even less.
1. First of all ask yourself the following questions. Why am I feeling this way? Just exactly what am I unhappy about? What happened that changed my mood? If you can't seem to find a logical reason and the feeling of unhappiness seemed to come over you out of nowhere, go to #3.
2. Once you identify what made you unhappy, ask yourself what thought or thoughts were you thinking that shifted your mood? Often it's just a case of having the wrong perspective on what someone said or did. In that case you can easily shift your mood when you look at things logically and change your thoughts. Let's say for example, someone said something that rubbed you the wrong way or made you feel inadequate and that's what put you in an unhappy mood. Change your thoughts by realizing that people are people and they sometimes say inappropriate things. If you feel they purposely said something to hurt you, remember that what they said is really not about you, it's their own emotional imbalance or insecurities talking, so don't take it on. Also, make sure you didn't blow things out of proportion or took what they said the wrong way. In that case, you can thank them for making you aware of an insecurity that you have so that you can look at where it's really stemming from.
3. If you can't identify why you are unhappy, think about what you had to eat or didn't eat. Many times our unhappiness can come from mood changes due to low blood sugar, too much sugar, processed foods, or caffeine. Even not drinking enough water can put you in an unhappy mood. We all know the signs of severe dehydration, but did you know that long before someone reaches that state that they have been dehydrated for awhile? Mild dehydration can make you feel irritable, sluggish, and moody, so drink a full glass of water and you will feel better. If you had too much caffeine, sugar, or chemicals from processed foods in your body, water will also help flush it out. In the future pay attention to how you feel in relation to what you just ate or drank and ask yourself if you have had enough water.
5 Minutes (or less) Processes
Gratitude Journal - When we think about what we are grateful for, it sends waves of good feelings throughout our body. It also helps to replace negative emotions such as worry or envy with positive emotions of love, optimism, and gratitude. When you count your blessings the world begins to look a lot brighter. Write down ten things that you are grateful for and when you are done read them out loud. For example "I am grateful for the sunshine." "I am grateful for my children." and keep going until you have ten things written down. When you say them out loud start each sentence with "I am grateful." You will feel your mood shift as you enter a space of gratitude.
Rampage of Appreciation - Every time you appreciate something, you are in a space of thankfulness and love and are telling the Universe "more of this please!" You don't have to write anything down or say anything out loud, so this is a good one to do if you are with others or in a public place. First look around your immediate environment and see something that pleases you. If you are driving it might be the trees, big puffy white clouds, or the sun setting. If you're at work it might be the view from your window or a plant in the office. It could even be your computer, copy machine, or telephone that allows you to be able to make an income and easily complete your work. Hold your attention on the object and think about how wonderful, inspiring, or useful the thing you are focusing on is. When you begin feeling good, go on to the next thing in the room or your environment that you appreciate. The more you practice appreciation, the easier it will be for you to remain happy for longer periods of time and to easily bring yourself back to a place of happiness when you feel your emotions shifting to a place of sadness or apathy.
The Glad Game - Do you remember the book and movie "Pollyanna"? Pollyanna tells how this game was invented by her father after her parents had requested that one of their supporting churches send a doll for their young daughter. When the package arrived, however, it contained a set of crutches rather than a doll. Pollyanna's father stood with her, looking at the crutches, and told her that they must look for something to be glad about for the arrival of the crutches and they had decided that they were glad they didn't need them! After that it became a regular game for them which Pollyanna called "The Glad Game." Even after her father's death, Pollyanna continued to look for something to be glad about in everything that came her way. When Pollyanna explained this game to the Harrington family servants who had just returned from one of Reverend Ford's hellfire sermons - the best thing they can think of regarding that sermon is to be glad that they don't have to sit through another one until next week! Be like Pollyanna and find something to be glad about in everything that comes your way.
Get Moving! Many times the sheer act or getting up and getting going will boost your spirits. When you physically move you are releasing energy blocks and endorphins that make you feel good. Even if you don't have a lot of time, you can do twenty jumping jacks or run in place. If you can, take a brisk walk down the street and back. This will do wanders for your disposition!
Don't forget your sense of humor - Our sense of humor is one of the greatest gifts we were given as human beings and we can access it anytime we want. Look for the humor in your situation or mood. It is possible to find humor in almost any given situations. This is what makes comedians so funny. They are able to find humor in the most unlikely situations with their unique perspective. If you begin looking for the humor in your everyday life you will be training your mind to look at the funny side of things and you will stop taking yourself, others, and life so seriously.
Remember that focusing on a problem only creates more of a problem. So rather than think "I'm not happy" or "Why am I so unhappy?" , find the solution to your own unhappiness by using one of these 5 minute processes. You will feel more empowered and become self-reliant when you are able to shift your own mood.