What if I told you that you could be happier? Would you take five simple steps to raise your spirits, lessen stress, and change your outlook on life? I hope so. Here are five steps that you should take right now.
by Gina Roberts-Grey, LCSW
1. Wear Your Happiness
Salon and Day Spa Owner and Operator Ann Stevens sees the effects of back-to-school and pre-holiday stress on her clients. “Some clients experience temporary hair loss or adult acne due to stress and discontent.” “Working full time, going back to school and becoming a new step-mom took a toll on me,” says LaTisha Johnson, one of Stevens’ clients. This fall, Johnson is committed to a balanced skin care routine mixed with a bit of pampering to stimulate a positive state of mind and spirit.
2. Stick To Your Budget
Whether your budget is severely strict or lavishly rich, going over it increases your stress and depletes your mental reserves of happiness. Dr. Richard Boyum recommends parents set reasonable limits as they shop for back-to-school items. Instead of buying your children multiple back-to-school outfits along with their school supplies, choose just one outfit for the first day of school. After all, additional clothes will not make your child smarter. Only studying will.
3. Nobody Likes A Sourpuss
If you’re looking to enhance your outlook, evaluate with whom you are spending time. When a friend is consistently down, that attitude becomes contagious. Trevor Reed MA, MF, of Los Angeles, California says that an important step toward happiness is reducing negative influences. Talk to your friend and explain that her negative outlook is a downer. “If your friend doesn’t understand that her constant negativity is draining you, she can’t change her pattern.” You need to find a new friend.
4. Send Cheerful Greetings Year Round
Consider sending holiday cards at times other than those of peak mailing. “When an individual receives a dozen cards in a day, it’s hard to reflect upon the meaning and message” says Dr. Boyum. Send Halloween letters instead of Christmas cards. This is sure to put a smile on someone’s face. Individualize a paragraph in each letter for a touch of personalization. Also, remember that most individuals empathize with the busy lives we all lead and are not offended by computer-generated messages.
5. Read Happy, Be Happy
“Surrounding yourself with positive thoughts often has a positive effect,” says David Leonhardt, publisher of The Happy Guy humor column. In his work, Leonhardt offers readers hundreds of inspirational quotes to stimulate thought and happiness. Whether you read the same quote each day or opt to read various books, using time to stimulate your mind and absorb positive feelings fuels and generates positive feelings.
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