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Happiness Hack #61 – Relationships are as Important as Food and Water

Although it takes longer to see the effects, depriving yourself of social connections can take a physical toll just like not eating. Your brain responds both positively and negatively to the presence and quality of relationships in your life. Scientists are beginning to find that the loss or lack of social relationships creates actual physical pain and not just the emotional pain we are familiar with.

More importantly, positive social relationships activate pleasure centers in the brain that make us feel content and fulfilled much like having enough food makes us feel. Those pleasure centers are activated when we create charitable relationships like giving money to people in need rather than spending it on ourselves or when we nurture close personal relationships like helping someone close to us who is in distress. When scientists tested trade-offs of money for happiness, they found working with charities, visiting with friends, and maintaining a close relationship with your significant other were worth tens of thousands of dollars in annual income. All three levels of relationships; charitable, friendly, and close personal relationships, contribute more to your happiness than significant amounts of money.

To be happier, focus on maintaining strong social connections. Work with charities, spend time with friends, and nurture your close personal relationships. They are as important as eating and will have a positive physical impact on your well-being.

 

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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

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Happiness Hack #60 – Create a Bed Time Routine

I know that sounds really boring, but how exciting can you really be if you are not happy, not focused, can’t remember things, and suffer from anxiety? Those are all symptoms of not getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Since most of us have morning deadlines related to school, work, or exercise, we have to go to bed earlier to make sure we get 7 hours of sleep.

So create a bed time routine. Start by determining what time will give you 7 hours of rest and add an extra 30 minutes for transition time. You need your downtime, so start your TV watching or Internet surfing a little earlier. Be sure and turn off all electronic devices 30 minutes before you go to bed. The light from your computer, phone, and television screens send signals to your brain telling you it is day time and you should be awake. Reading a book or just spending some time thinking will help you fall asleep faster. For the first 30 days, until you have truly established a routine, you will often lay awake feeling unproductive and having hundreds of thoughts racing through your mind. But over time, as the routine sets in, you will fall asleep quickly and wake up feeling refreshed, focused, and less anxious.

Create a bed time routine, so that you get at least 7 hours of sleep every night and you will feel smarter and happier.

 

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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

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Happiness Hack #59 – Choose 3 Small Things

In a chaotic world it often feels like we don’t have control and that life is just rushing at us with a constant stream of challenges and things to do. To be happier, practice your autonomy. Research shows that we feel happier when we have autonomy and can make decisions about what will happen in our lives rather than being victims of the constant chaos of life.

So to be happier, take control of a small part of your life by finding 3 small things you can accomplish today. This is your list and can include things you want to do for others or small actions that will make your day a little better. The most important aspect is that you choose them. Then, make sure those three things get done. Try to get them done earlier in the day if possible, so there is less chance of being interrupted by the chaos of life. Each day pick 3 more things that you can control and you can accomplish.

Feeling like you can gain a little more control over the chaos of life will help you feel a lot happier.

 

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MyHappiness App

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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

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Happiness Hack #55 – Schedule Opportunities for Happiness

It is a common belief that happiness should be spontaneous. It is something that should just happen. But we often get so busy with the chaos of life we eliminate opportunities for happiness. We are so focused on what has to be done; we don’t leave time for spontaneity to occur. It is natural for responsibilities and obligations to force themselves to the front of your conscience and as a result conquer you entire calendar. Happiness is less aggressive and waits for an opening. If you want to be happy, you have to create room on your schedule for happiness.

So schedule opportunities for happiness. Put time your calendar to spend with friends, call a family member, exercise, work with a charity, or just do something fun. Schedule happiness opportunities daily or at a minimum weekly. To be happy, we have to take an active role in our happiness. We can’t just assume happiness will exist; we have to create opportunities for happiness.

 

Schedule opportunities for happiness and you will be happier. The people in your life might even appreciate it as well.

 

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MyHappiness App

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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

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Happiness Hack #54 – Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Don’t Get Angry Over a Parking Spot

Have you ever been waiting on a parking spot and had someone sneak in at the last moment and take your space? How angry did you get? What about when someone cuts you off in traffic or won’t make room for you to merge? Do you get angry when the weather changes and throws a wrench in your plans?

We often give up our happiness to small inconveniences we can’t control. Little things happen and we let our initial feelings of frustration and anger smolder all day and eventually explode at the next small inconvenience.

Happiness is based on our ability to let things go and to understand what we can control and what we can’t control. Initial feelings of anger and frustration are natural and are created by chemicals released into our brains. But those chemicals usually only last about 6 seconds and everything after those six seconds has to be manufactured by our negative ruminations.

Let the small stuff go. Focus on what is good in your life and spend your moments appreciating what you have instead of ruminating about what didn’t go your way. Think about what is positive and let your happiness conquer your frustration and anger.

Don’t sweat the small stuff and you will be happier.

 

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MyHappiness App

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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

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4 Happiness Hacks and the Science behind Them

  1. Turn off the digital devices and turn on the charm.
  2. Get some exercise.
  3. Go outside.
  4. Say Thank You.

Infographic Courtesy of Coursefinder.

Happiness-hacks-CourseFinder

 

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MyHappiness App

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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

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Happiness Hack #53 Find Patience

Find patience for all the things you can’t control. Your thoughts, your actions, your reactions, and your happiness are always within your control. Everything outside of you is not. Sometimes you have to grin and bear it and sometimes you just have to laugh. But you don’t have to become a victim and succumb to the stress of life’s chaos that is outside of your control. The Serenity Prayer sums it up well:

 

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.

 

Find the fun and laughter not only in the good times but also in your mishaps and you will be happier.

 

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MyHappiness App

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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

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Alexia’s Legacy: Create Time for Family and Friends, Even in the Middle of Chaos

She was tragically taken from us, but her legacy lives on.  Every few weeks we will share excerpts from the book.

 

Ray,        

So today I got a lot of little things done for my classes. It was A LOT of reading! I also had some time to get some little household type chores done, take some me time, and get some exercising in.

This evening for me was overtaken by RA things. I spent two hours working through a harassment situation for one of the residents and finished that up just in time to run to get ready for our fire drill. Those events pushed back my plans to go see a movie with friends. Although later than planned, we did still go which was a nice change of pace after the heavy topics that filled this evening! I’m now exhausted and heading off to bed! Talk to you soon!

Alexia

 

Ray,

Today I drove home to Houston, spent some time with friends, and now am writing in my journals and headed to bed!

Alexia

 

Ray,

Today mom and I had a relaxing girls day bumming around town. I also ran around playing with my dog for quite a while today for some exercise! I have written in my journals and mom and I are now watching a movie while we lay in bed to fall asleep.

Alexia

 

Ray,

Today I relaxed and spent more time with my mom and got some exercise in, and I am now getting ready to do my journals and head to bed!

Alexia

 

Ray,

Today was, over all, a pretty good day! I played volleyball intramurals tonight and it was so much fun! I just finished a quiz and packing for this weekend’s trip! I can’t wait to catch you up on all of the PLP recent events as well as RA! See you Monday!

Alexia

 

Hi Ray!

This long weekend was much needed! I spent some time with family/friends, catching up on my rest, and being productive. It was a good mix and I feel a lot better going into this week!

Thanks and talk to you soon!

Alexia

 

Ray,

I had some fun play time after a department meeting with McKesson and I had some great friends time tonight to help vent a bit and help mentally relieve some stress which was awesome! I did my journals and am now headed to bed!  Talk to you soon,

Alexia

 

Lesson: Create time for family and friends, even in the middle of chaos.

Make time for family and friends. Don’t let the chaos of life derail those plans. The people in your best relationships are understanding and supportive, and therefore easier to blow off. But those relationships are also the most important things in your life and a key to your success and happiness. Every now and then, the chaos of life will interfere with your time with those important people. But don’t let it postpone those visits indefinitely. Make sure they happen on a regular basis and you get your needed energy boost and support from your best relationships. More importantly, you need your opportunity to give back to those relationships, as it will make both you and the relationship stronger. As a leader you need confidence, energy, and diverse opinions you can count on. Those all come from your positive relationships. Make time to nurture your important relationships, especially in the middle of chaos.

Opportunity: Make a list of your most important relationships. Reach out and schedule time with them today.

 

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MyHappiness App

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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

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