Are you ready for a high-happiness diet?
This time of year resolutions are almost gone. The plans to diet, exercise and self-improve are almost out of season now. Did you start out saying this was the year you went on a high happiness diet? How are you doing on creating that happy life? Many of the same things that make diets successful will make that happy life project work better also.
Make room for healthy, happy experiences but cutting out the junk stuff.
Cutting out junk food will improve your physical health. What are the junk things you are doing that are keeping you unhappy? Are there activities or people that you need to get out of your life to create a happier you?
If you don’t clean out the garbage in your house your living space becomes unhealthy. There are probably things in all our emotional lives that need tossing out. Get rid of excess anger and ruminations to make room for happy experiences.
You can’t eat all your happiness at one meal.
You need to eat every day. For a happy life take in some happiness each and every day. You need to eat a sensible diet every day. For the maximum happy life you will need to incorporate small doses of happiness every day.
Do not think that one huge dose of happiness will satisfy you for the rest of your life. Watch for the small things that build your healthy happiness. That good job or new relationship may make you happy for a while but you will need to maintain that relationship and keep up a positive view of that job or soon those things that were supposed to make you happy will fade into extra weight around your emotional middle.
Avoid binging on negativity.
Binge eating is bad for your physical health. Bingeing on negative thoughts is bad for both your mental health and your physical health. You can’t load up on negativity and unhappy thinking all day and then expect one positive event to make your day happy.
To build a happy life you need to consume small snacks of happiness all day long. Don’t waste time on negativity. Solve the problems that can be solved and accept the things that are out of your control.
Watch for the little things in life that bring the smiles. Laugh a little at frequent intervals.
Practice healthy happiness skills.
There are those things that can pretend to make you happy, the happiness imposters. Drugs, alcohol and lots of selfish pursuits try to pretend they will make you happy. Really happiness grows from using positive, safe coping tools each and every day.
If you run by those burst of happy feelings you will miss them. Do things that make you happy. Appreciate those things. Repeat as needed.
Stay off the happiness scale.
Constant measuring, asking if you are happy enough, can impede the growth of real happiness. Focus on maximizing your happiness not measuring it. Do not dwell on what is missing in your life. Make plans to fill up those shortages and then focus on the journey.
Too much checking the map can keep you from making progress on the journey of life. Take those periodic inventories of your life, but day-to-day keep working on making progress on your goals.
Make being happy part of your daily routine.
Do not put off being happy till later. Spend a few minutes each morning telling yourself that some good things will happen today. Watch for the things that make your day better. Say nice things to yourself.
What things can you do for yourself each day that makes you happy? Pet the dog or cat and tell them that it is nice to see them.
Create happiness rituals.
Work small rituals and routines that increase your happiness into your day. Say an affirmation, make yourself a treat. Schedule time for a cute-cat-video to start your day.
Practice your religious or spiritual tradition. Say hi to your higher power and expect that you will get a Hi and some love back. Prayers do not need to be long or complicated to keep you in touch with your source of strength and love.
What small thing could you do each day to get your day off to a great start?
To develop maximum happiness make friends with your emotions.
Do not let sad feelings, loneliness or depression take over control of your life. Do learn to listen to your feelings. If something is not making you happy ask yourself why? Is this about the thing, the job, the relationship, or is it about me.
Unhappy people are unhappy everywhere no matter what happens. Happy people grow that happiness and weed out the things that are sapping the strength from their life.
Develop the skill of being happy.
Being happy is not a result of chance. People win the lottery and still many are not happy. Love comes and it goes. Wherever you go, you are there. Learn the skill of seeing the best in the situation you are in while working towards having the life you want.
Happiness is not a destination; it is a life time journey.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books