Congrats, you’re about to make it to Day 21!

You came to Happy in 21 to transform yourself. You came to Happy in 21 to let go of negative energy and be kinder to yourself and others. Remember that 21 days is how long it takes to build habits. Our hope is that you can continue these new skills for the rest of your life.

Review of What You’ve Learned

At Happy in 21, we have guided you through the five daily rituals that are essential for becoming happier: journaling, thanking someone once a day, writing 3 positive things about yourself, exercising, and meditating. Do you remember some of the tips that we have shared with you? How have these helped you realize something about you and your world?

 

Random Act of Kindness 

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Thanking someone once a day

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Writing 3 Positive Things About Yourself/3 Things of Gratitude 

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Exercising

 

Meditating

You CAN keep going!

The longer you have a habit, the harder it is to change (for better or for worse). So remember that the longer you continue this journey, the easier it will be to maintain. We just journeyed together for 21 days. Why not continue for 42? Then 84. Then 168. Before you know it, these habits will become an inseparable part of you, and your happiness will remain always. We encourage you to continue your 42-day journey by mentioning @Happyin21.

Encourage others to follow in your footsteps towards happiness.

Do you feel transformed? Are you happy with your journey so far? Happy in 21 will always be here for you AND your friends. In fact, we will be starting a new 21-day journey soon. Share this post and use the tag #21daysinaugust to spread this tremendous joy.

 

 

Disconnect to Reconnect

Summer Blog Series: 21 Day Road Map to Happiness

Disconnect to Reconnect

SUNNY NOBLE | July 25, 2018

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From watches, to laptops, to cell phones, smart TVs; the world is more connected than ever. More than 80% of the smartphone users admit to checking their phones before they brush their teeth. The society we live in acknowledges we are more plugged in than ever before, to the point it is changing the way we live. Increase screen time has caused our attention spans to decrease, while depression rates have risen. Researchers across the country have proven that smartphones and technology have greatly altered our minds, but fortunately there are ways to decrease the crippling grip that phones have on daily life.facts.jpg

Will you admit that your brain has too many tabs open? Here’s some simple steps reconnect by disconnecting:

  1. Turn off push notifications. Getting 24/7 updates on your cell phone screen will trigger you to check your phone. These distractions can keep you from effectively completing tasks or work.
  2. Put away your phone during meals. Each time you visit a restaurant, you see it: the couple gleaming into their phones and not talking to each other.  
  3. Plan out “technology free hours”. Taking breaks from technology can elevate the addiction that we have with checking our phone hourly. Start by phone free evening hours, and expand if you can.
  4. Make your bedroom a ‘No Phone Zone”. Do not allow yourself or partner to use a phone before or after waking up. Studies show that you sleep better by decreasing the blue light (causes our brain to think it’s day time).
  5. Limit Yourself to one screen at a time. Often times, people will flip to their phone when a commercial is on TV, having two devices going at once. Multitasking throughout the day decreases our ability to stay focused on one task at a time. “If you are focusing on a task and you get distracted—like, oh, I’ll just click over to this other window or I’ll just look at this text message—it takes several minutes to recalibrate our brains back to the original task.” Make a habit of only looking at one screen at a time to improve concentration—and, in some cases, enjoyment says Jesse Fox, PhD, head of Ohio State University’s Virtual Environment, Communication Technology, and Online Research (VECTOR) Lab.

 

Almost everything will work if you unplug it for a little while, including YOU. What do you say. . .  Try it with me this weekend (that’s just 48 hours)! Adopt one or more of the above digital detox strategies; strike up conversation and talk to one another like it’s 1995!

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Be Happy at Work by Doing These 3 Things:

  1. Make more friends at work:

Avery Augustine of Muse makes the case that you can be #Happy by curbing loneliness.  In her article, “Feeling Lonely? 4 Ways to Make Friends at the Office”, she recommends trying 4 things: 1. Don’t Stop Trying; 2. Take Advantage of Social Opportunities; 3. Join Cross-Departmental Teams; and 4.Be Helpful.  The team at HappyIn21 whole-heartedly agrees with her!

  1. Like Your Job More:

Wikihow offers you several tips on how to do this to be happy in the this Wikihow article.  He details how you can alter your mindset at work by changing your internal monologue, avoiding negative people, creating a positive mental image, keeping the benefits of work in mind, and taking note of your positive contributions.  Also, he details how you can make changes at work to be happy; specifically, he details how to request new responsibilities, make to-do lists, and prioritize.  We at Happy in 21 think his take on how to like your job more is nothing short of brilliant!

  1. Maintain a Work Life Balance:

Mental Health America offers several ideas on how to maintain a stronger work life balance in its article, Work Life Balance.  The author of the article details several things you can do at work to have a stronger peace of mind for work life balance; specifically, the author recommends setting manageable goals daily, being efficient with time at work, asking for flexibility, taking breaks, listening to music, communicating effectively, and forgiving yourself.  When at home, the author recommends unplugging, dividing and conquering, not over-committing, getting support, and more.  We at Happy in 21 wholeheartedly agree!

Relax, Relate, and Release

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.’ Yes, I truly love the song “Happy” by Pharell Williams. It’s a great song to listen to and exercise. You are probably wondering why I am talking about exercise and the use of the Happy song. Well, I want to disclose to you that exercise is a great way to gain happiness.

Yes, the cat is out of the bag. Therefore, you should put on those sneakers and get physical.

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A review in the New York Times shows how people who worked out once a week were happier than people who do not work out. Assuming this information, you can start your fitness regime one day a week and increase the time. I will be right there with you trying to bust a move and boost my happiness.

Over this summer, I will try to get into some fitness classes or use my nearby park. Here are five favorite fitness classes you can try over this summer:

 

  1. Zumba – Dance and aerobic movements performed to energetic music.

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Photo Credit: Vida Fitness Center

 

  1. Pilates – An exercise that helps build flexibility, strength, endurance, and control in the entire body.

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Photo Credit: Men’s Journal

 

  1. Swimming – Go to your local YMCA or community center and dip in the water. Or you can take the time to learn how to swim.

 

  1. Walking – On a day with a cool breeze, you can walk in your nearby park or around your neighborhood. Try to do a 2-mile walk to get your heart rate up.

 

 

  1. Kickboxing – An exercise full of kicking and punching.

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Photo Credit: Rock Star Dance Fitness

 

Now you can fit some exercise in your schedule and relax, relate, release.

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Keep checking out our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for upcoming tips and tricks for Happy in 21. You’re almost there to complete the 21-day challenge! Hang in there.

#sohappyrightnow

 

 

 

Meditating Across the Globe

I have to be honest, I didn’t understand the power of meditating and I also didn’t realize that I have been meditating in one form or another throughout the years.

Let me first tell you that I am a Global Warrior. What is that you ask? My goal is to visit all the countries on the UN list. There’s a lot of planning, researching and creation of travel sites’ checklists prior to committing to a trip. I was an expert on traveling through a country in rapid speed, like the time I went to Lesotho just to get my passport stamped and eat their “famous” chicken, which turned out to be KFC. Because I sped through some of these countries, I couldn’t always remember which country I was in or had visited. I mean once you go to Bora Bora all the other Indonesian islands are the same, really? How daft could I be, each island is so precious, yet during those global warrior days, it was all about checking off that country by receiving the beloved passport stamp and completing that checklist.

However, I have had three a-ha moments, that changed how I now travel and they all involved meditation.

  1. FIND A PLACE: Poseidon’s Temple in Greece. After a long day of touring ancient ruins, I found myself on top of a cliff. Not just any cliff, but Poseidon’s Temple. As I walked around and listened to the waves crashing on the side of the cliff, I felt one with the universe. I couldn’t tell you how many people were around me or what the tourist guide was informing everyone. I can tell you that my mind was emptied of all checklist and of all demands that I typically throw at it. That visit changed my life, not because it is one of the most beautiful sights, but because my mind actually took in the wonders without any thought. In that short time of mindfulness, I found a tranquility that became a drug for me.

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    Beaches of Seychelles (My Honeymoon!)
  2. LET GO OF ALL YOUR THOUGHTS: Bangkok, Thailand. How can you even think about meditating on the busy streets of Bangkok? I mean, it’s impossible, right? Prior to getting married, my husband-to-be and I went to Thailand. Our first stop was Bangkok, I had my handy list which directed me to go straight to the beaches where I could meditate to my heart’s content. I learned from Greece that I needed the sound of waves to attain that peacefulness. Oh, how wrong I was. You, too, can relax in the most-busiest of cities. My soon-to-be hubby had never visited Asia and was mesmerized with the Thai culture. I wanted to go-go-go and he wanted to stay-stay-stay. Yep, you guessed it, he travels without a checklist. So, begrudgingly we stayed three days in Bangkok, which turned out to be 3 relaxing days in the most hectic city in the world. Knowing that my checklist and schedule were not going to be followed, I let go. I breathed in the beauty of Thailand which put me in a wonderful trance.

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    Lucca, Italy – View from our villa! (Graduation & Birthday celebration)
  3. CAPTURE THE SOUNDS AROUND YOU: Anywhere. You want to know the perfect place to meditate? This is the best place in the world! It’s called and is: Anywhere! Picture this, the night before Christmas all stores are closed except Walmart. As usual, I ran out of time and patience, so I run into Walmart. And it was as you would expect, the lines to check-out were so long you couldn’t see the cashier. The Muzak over the speakers with the same holiday music playing over and over again, children screeching for their favorite toys, and the stress of not making it home on time were simply unbearable. However, as I stood there over my cart, I found a calmness with the different sounds that had just annoyed me a few seconds prior. Somehow I turned those sounds into a soft beat to push me to a meditated state. With all the chaos around me, I was at peace.

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    Japanese Gardens in Kyoto (Just because)

While meditating across the globe is phenomenal, (the beaches in the Seychelles, the hills in Tuscany and the temples & gardens of Japan are not too shabby as illustrated by my personal photos above), so is meditating anywhere you release your mind. I have learned that just by being in the present eases you into meditation. So, find a place, let go of your thoughts and capture the sounds around you. Then enjoy the peacefulness that your mind will enjoy. You may not get that passport stamp, however, you will go to the most awesome place your mind can take you!

Exercises for Happiness

New research on positive psychology exercises has found a number of ways to give your happiness a boost and lessen your depression. If you are trying to manage your stress better, lift some of the holiday blues, or simply become a bit more happy, pick one of these 7 exercises and try it for a 1 week.

  1. One door closes, another door opens: Consider a moment in your life when a negative event led to positive consequences that you were not expecting. Write about this each day.
  2. Gift of time: Offer the “gift” of your time to three different people this week. This might be in the form of time spent, helping someone around their house, or sharing a meal with someone who is lonely. These “gifts” should be in addition to your planned activities.
  3. Counting kindness: Keep a log of all the kind acts that you do in a particular day. Jot them down by the end of each day.
  4. Three funny things: Write down the three funniest things that you experienced or participated in each day; also write about why the funny thing happened
  5. Gratitude letter/visit: Write a letter of gratitude to someone who has had a positive impact on you. If feasible, you might consider delivering the letter to the person.
  6. Three good things: Jot down three things that went well for you each day and give an explanation as to why these good things occurred.
  7. Use your signature strengths in a new way: This is the most popular of all positive psychology exercises. Take the VIA Survey that asks you about your character strengths. Choose one of your highest strengths (your signature strengths) and use it in a new way each day. For tips on how to use any of the 24 character strengths in a new way, go here. #happyin21 #sohappyrightnow #payitforward

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-matters-most/201212/7-new-exercises-boost-happiness

Ninja Blessings – Random Act of Kindness

Anil Beephan

Running out of ideas to complete your daily random act of kindness? Check out this guide to Ninja Blessings!

Ninja blessings are a quick & easy way to make someone’s day!  It’s so simple, you can do a Ninja Blessing while ordering your morning coffee… literally.

 

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*** Costume is optional

 Follow This Three-step Guide to Try Your First Blessing

1) Join A Line At A Local Coffee Shop (Or Cafe)

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2) Order & Pay As Normal

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3) Leave Extra Cash With Cashier For Person After You

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The concept of  “Ninja Blessings” merge the discreet qualities of a ninja with the act of a blessing. Why? While doing a good deed for a stranger, we naturally look for public gratitude. It fulfills an external expectation and satisfies and internal sentiment… but what would happen if that instantaneous & public recognition is removed from the equation? Would you continue to do the nice deed or would you lose motivation due to lack of incentive?

Ninja Blessings are meant to redefine how we perceive a nice deed. The concept is quite simple: While ordering a coffee or other product, simply give the cashier some extra cash to cover part (or all) of the bill for the person behind you. The key to successfully completing the Ninja Blessing is remaining anonymous to the people around you, specifically to the person that it will directly benefit.

So how does this end? You leave with a sense of joy, knowing that you were able to do a good deed without the expectation of public gratitude. Why does that matter? By removing public recognition, we complete these tasks for the purpose of being nice and/or obtaining a feeling of inner happiness. Additionally, we begin to recognize the true reason as to why we do nice deeds for strangers.

I urge you to give Ninja Blessings a try! You never know what you might learn about yourself while making someones day!

Stay Happy, Friends!