Prepare For Change
The first pre-requisite to change your mind set to live a happier life is to be realistic about where you are right now. Until you begin to face exactly what you’re not happy with then change can be difficult to achieve. Whilst facing up to what the real problems are, you must also be kind with yourself and not be too harsh or judgmental about whatever you’re dealing with. Very often finding something else to do instead is a better way of bringing about change, as the time, attention and money spent on one thing begins to be spent on something else instead. It might be something more creative or productive, or working to help other people. This helps to change your mindset and also your trajectory towards a more positive lifestyle, and can bring surprisingly positive results and also a happier life. The good news is that you can begin right now!
Begin With Your Thoughts
Spend five minutes right now just thinking through what a happier life means to you. Are you searching for something you don’t yet have, or trying to get rid of something you don’t want? If you like you can write two columns: things you want and things you don’t want. By reflecting on these things for just five minutes every day you can begin to get really clear on where you are at and where you want to be. This simple exercise alone can begin to change your mindset for the better.
Work On Your Beliefs
If you don’t believe something is possible, then it never will be. At least not for you. This is a reality which many people struggle with for their whole lives. The mindset you have is in a loop which attracts similar experiences to what you already have, so to change your mindset really is to change your life. We are creatures of habit, whether we recognize this or not. Take five minutes now to write down everything you believe about happiness. When were you last happy? What would give you a happier life? What is holding you back from happiness? Don’t hold back with this exercise, as the more honest you are then the more powerful it will be.
Look For the Positives
Check the time now and remember it or write it down. Over the next 24 hours see how many positive things you can notice in the world. You might see something like a beautiful tree or a cute dog. It could be when you’re out for a walk, at work or something you see on TV. It could be a positive character trait that you notice in someone else. See if you can list 100 things which are positive within the next 24 hours. This will start to change your mindset and reprogram your subconscious mind – it will start to automatically search for a happier life.
This little trick seems too good to be true, but it really does work. Close your eyes and imagine someone you know or have seen who exudes happiness. It could be someone famous or a good friend of yours. Now imagine yourself merging into them, and begin to see the world through their eyes. Everyone is basically the same, and happiness is not a limited resource. Therefore you can ‘tap into’ happiness through your creative mind. It might seem strange at first, but it will change your mindset and encourage you to find a happier life. Try it every day and notice the changes which come.
Take Control of Your Thoughts
To change your mindset and find a happier life then the trick is to take control of which thoughts you want to act on and develop, and also of those which you want to be free of. This might be easier said than done, but anything that happens in our lives begins as a thought, and therefore this free and highly abundant resource needs to be taken seriously. Imagine you have two thoughts at the same time about what to do today. One would get something useful done or help someone else, whilst the other would be a waste of time and might even hurt yourself or someone else in some way. You can think of this as a game. To win the game, you must choose the positive and helpful thought, and act on it. Whilst this may sound too simplistic, it’s important to realize that it is true. How people react to the various pressures and problems of life determine what happens in the future. The challenge is to make the right choices no matter what life throws at us.
Being Responsible for Our Happiness
Consider how being responsible for our thoughts and actions gives us more power and control over our lives, and can ultimately bring us more happiness. If you know someone or see someone who is genuinely happy, what do you notice about that person apart from the fact they are happy? Happiness is not something that just happens and stays with someone for every moment of life. It sometimes needs to be taken seriously, thought about and worked at. Take responsibility right now, and make the decision that you will change your mind set to become responsible for your own happiness.
Sacrifice and Happiness
Sometimes sacrificing something else is necessary in order to bring more happiness. A classic example of this is the successful business executive who has the world at their feet in terms of money and material goods, but is genuinely not happy. They might be single, failing to find a meaningful and honest relationship. They might be married with children but not having any time to see their family. Whatever the problem, it is possible that reducing work hours could massively enhance happiness for that person. There might be less money and material treats, but a happier life is the result. Conversely, someone who is struggling for money knows that they need a job or to build their business. In this case, the sacrifice might be time that was spent watching TV or going out drinking. Instead every day should include time for reading, working on something and making the right contacts. Taking responsibility for building a better balance in life is important for happiness, so consider what could be getting in the way of your happiness and write down everything you can think of. Next, make a change. You don’t need to change everything, but small changes can sometimes bring big results.
Once we believe that more happiness is possible and begin to take responsibility for finding it, positive mindset changes can certainly begin to happen within 24 hours. If you follow the exercises laid out in this article, taking up just a few minutes every morning, then you will change your mindset, begin to see positive changes and will naturally begin to live a happier life. Remember it is natural and normal to be happy, and sometimes you simply need to allow it to happen.
Michael Chapman is the founder of PersonalityDevelopmentMastery.com. Learn how to take charge of life and live actively.