Gratitude and Happiness in 2017

Every year we set aside one day to remind ourselves of everything that we are grateful for. However it’s important to be mindful of the many things we have to be grateful for, every day. Here at HappyIn21 we try to incorporate being grateful into our way of life. It is actually scientifically proven that those of us who choose to be grateful on a daily basis are actually consistently more happy than those who do not.

Here are some tips on how to incorporate and maintain gratitude in your life on a day to day basis:

•Focus on what you do have instead of what you lack

•Be aware and live in the moment—try not to dwell on the past or on the future.

•Share feelings of love and positivity with your friends and family

•Feel a complaint coming on? Replace it with a statement of gratitude, either vocally or internally (or both!)

•Make a list or keep a journal of the many things you have to be grateful for

Just a small adjustment in the habits that make up your daily routine can result in a positive impact on your overall happiness and well being. You are capable! HappyIn21 wishes you positivity and warmth this holiday season. We are grateful for you!

Digital Detox

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Digitox has become almost a fad. But it is one of the fads that we don’t want to go away. There are many benefits to going off-line: better posture, better concertation, memory skills, meeting people and making meaningful connections. You can digital detox in an expensive hotel or resort, go to a special camp where they lock your cell-phones away, but I personally have always opted for a much more simple and budget conscious option: go on a yoga retreat and let your phone run out of juice, be around people. An old-school digital camera can help keep those memories. You can also take a jeeping trip to Moab where there are jeeps, sand, mountains, and no cell phone reception. You can’t simply jump into a digital detox, as with any detox, some sort of preparation is necessary. Here are 7 simple rules for 7 days that you can implement one by one to prepare to Disconnect to Reconnect:

  1. Download a phone usage App and limit yourself to 2 hours a day.

It’s possible, trust me. And the two hours also include Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, web-browsing.

  1. Don’t take your phone out while walking.

May be you will finally star paying attention to your surroundings and people around you. You may not meet the love of your life but at least you will learn to navigate the streets.

  1. Don’t take your phone at social gatherings. Google is the proverbial conversation killer. Just enjoy your conversation with another human being in the room.
  2. Don’t use your phone after 9 pm. Trust me, you sleep quality will improve dramatically.
  3. Turn off the notifications. They are distracting you from anything you do: your job, a conversation, or the road if you are driving.
  4. Don’t use your phone when you are alone. Read a book! Try a new recipe, or go for a walk!
  5. Don’t charge your phone for a few days – go on a digital detox!

Have You Tried Meditation?

Many busy people want to slow down, unplug, and restore balance to their lives, but don’t know where to begin. Have you tried meditation? Do you want to try but don’t know how?

Even if it feels strange to you at first, learning to meditate can be a game-changer in your life! You may meditate on a regular basis, or just add it to your schedule when you’re having a particularly stressful week, or find yourself in a high-anxiety situation.

“We can all get so caught up in dreaming about things for the future or replaying things that happened in the past. Being able to shift away from some of that and being happy with what is, is a huge benefit,” says Claire Mark, a meditation instruction based in Chicago.

Benefits to meditation include:

  • Increased happiness
  • Clearer thinking
  • Stress reduction
  • Better sleep
  • Improved concentration
  • It’s free

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Sit or lie comfortably.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Make no effort to control the breath – simply breathe naturally.
  4. Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.
  5. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly.
  6. Focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.
  7. Maintain this practice for 2-3 minutes to start, and then build up to longer periods of time. If you are having trouble meditating on your own, check out Headspace or Insight Timer, which are phone apps that provide guided meditation from instructors.

Happy in 21 recommends meditation at the same time, in the same place for at least 21 days to form a habit. Are you willing to give meditation a shot?

What makes you happy?

Below are some quotes from our students on happiness, please share with us what makes you happy and tell us what puts a smile on your face 🙂 

“What makes me go strong in my life is athletics. Exercising clears up my mind and fills me with serenity.”

“Looking after my pets makes me so happy and it can help me get through anything.”

“My children are my true inspiration. Having them in my life keeps me going.”

“Dancing is life to me. When I am happy, I dance and when I am sad, I dance too.”

“Helping others makes me so happy. I like to do volunteer work.”

“Travelling is like therapy to me. I enjoy exploring new places.”

Happiness Starts With One Person… YOU!

It’s true. Happiness starts with one person… YOU!

We all have good days and we all have bad days. We all laugh and we all cry. After all, we’re all human. We also all have it within ourselves to have more good days than bad days, and to laugh more than cry. We’re all the drivers of our own happiness, as long as we choose to be.

Here are 3 simple ways to help you put yourself and your happiness first, as observed from what has worked for me and people I know.

1) Identify What Makes You Happy
What makes you happy? Identify itIs it a nice cup of coffee first thing in the morning? Write it down. Your favorite food or TV show? A hobby, your career? Write multiple things down. It’s so important to know what makes you happy as an individual, without anyone else’s influence.

2) Do More of What Makes You Happy
What would you describe as the perfect day? Go do it. Have the perfect day; with yourself. Do as many things that make you a happy individual as you can. Read your favorite book or watch your favorite show. Cook your favorite meal or go to your favorite coffee shop. Get some exercise or go for a drive. If it makes you happy, just do it. Make time for these activities as often as you can. Do it for yourself, without worrying what anyone else thinks.

3) Spread Happiness
Happiness is contagious. When you’re happy, it’s more likely that the people around you will be happy, too. More importantly, it’s important to remember to try and stay positive, even when the people around you are not. If you’re happy with yourself, it’s a lot harder for other people to bring you down. It’s okay to be selfish when it comes to finding your happiness, as long as you share it with others and inspire them to choose their own happiness, too. .

Ending the Day Happy!

  1. Make your bed

Start off your night right by making your bed so that once you are ready to hop in, it’s all cozy and comfy for you! I for one love getting my bed all made and all my pillows organized so that once it is finally time to jump in, I can just take a running start and jump in there. Maybe even spray some scents or light a candle to help give your room a nice aroma as you get into bed, just make sure to blow it out before you fall asleep!

  1. Put your comfy clothes on!

Time to throw on your most comfy and cozy clothes! Whether it is a huge sweatshirt, some big comfy pants, or just a nice light t-shirt and shorts, throw those comfy clothes on! Pajama time is one of my favorite times of day because you can lose the less comfy work clothes and put on the comfiest clothes you have in your collection!

  1. Wash up

My second favorite thing to do as part of my nightly routine is to wash up! Whether I am taking a nice quick shower to clean up and cool off, or washing my face with a nice face wash it is always so refreshing! My favorite way to end the night! Get yourself all cleaned up and get ready to hop in that nicely made bed of yours!

  1. Do some reading/Watch something

A great way to wind down at the end of a busy day is to do some light reading or to watch a nice show before heading to sleep! Activities like this are great for clearing your head and helping you calm down after maybe a busy day! I personally love to watch a nice episode of a favorite show on Netflix, or read a nice article or magazine that peaks my fancy!

2 minutes to change the day

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Don’t underestimate the power of a hug.

In good and challenging times, we can center ourselves and empower ourselves.  The challenge HappyIn21 is not only a way to gain happiness, it is a chance to own your own self.  When you create peace of mind and joy from the inside, managing external life events becomes easier.

Your life situation doesn’t change, but for some reason you are a person that folks describe as happy and joyful.  Does being happy create a great life or does a great life create happiness?

Watch the Ted Talk… start the challenge…be the person people describe as happy.