In “The Happiness Handbook: strategies for a happy life”, Dr Timothy Sharp puts forward his philosophy that “happiness is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practised every day…while misery is simply a few errors of judgement and bad habits repeated every day”.
I definitely agree with him and can see a direct link between happiness and enthusiasm. If you think about it, you can’t have one without the other so this month I wanted to look at some simple ways to help you be more enthusiastic in your every day life.
1. Things that make you happy list
Take the time to sit down and construct a list of things that make you happy. They don’t have to be expensive, time-consuming or difficult to organise. When you start thinking about it, it’s often the simple, little things that make the difference. For example, my list contains things like seeing animals in the wild, walking on the beach and having a good hair day! Put the list where you will see it every day to remind you of what it takes to make you happy and refer to it as you need to. Some people find it helpful to schedule certain events into their dairy (wish I could do that with the good hair days…) so they make them happen regularly.
2. Birthday attitude
Have you ever noticed that when it’s your birthday nothing seems to worry or annoy you? You sail through the day in the best mood, regardless of how many candles well-meaning friends and family try to put on your cake! So how does this happen? I think it’s because we make an effort to plan the day so it turns out that way. Well, why not plan one day every month with the same enthusiastic attitude in mind. A friend of mine has taken this idea one step further and created a ‘birthday week’, also known as the festival of [insert your name here]”. What I like best about the birthday attitude is that it doesn’t just affect the birthday person. When you are in a good mood it helps others around you too! Imagine how much nicer people would be to each other if we all adopted this attitude.
3. 1 good thing a day
This is an idea I got from the talk show host, Oprah Winfrey. She has a habit of sitting down at the end of each day and making a note of one good thing that happened that day to remind herself of all the things she can be grateful for. Like all of us, she has days when she struggles to think of something good to write. At those times her note might read “didn’t yell at someone who really deserved it”. I love this idea because it makes you focus on what is going right in your life, instead of what is going wrong. I don’t know about you but when I am feeling positive I am also feeling enthusiastic about life.
4. Find your flow
You know that great feeling you get when you are totally consumed in an activity you enjoy doing? Time just seems to fly by and any difficulties you encounter are soon forgotten. This is called bing in flow. I think the more time you spend in flow the better! So next time you find yourself in that wonderful state of flow, take some time to analyse why it’s happening and how you can repeat that feeling in other parts of your life.
5. Hang out with kids or dogs
Kids and dogs represent two creatures who live in the moment and know how to get the most out of the here and now. They have the ability to show unbridled levels of enthusiasm without worrying about what other people think of them or wondering if they look silly. Instead. They put 110% enthusiasm into whatever they are doing and just enjoy themselves.
6. Laugh more
Scientists are now telling us that laughter is really good for your health. The act of laughing releases endorphins or happy hormones into your system which improves your ability to resist disease. They also help you enjoy life more! Whether it is buying a humorous book, watching a funny movie or playing a harmless practical joke, find ways to laugh more and you will see your enthusiasm levels rise.
“Age may wrinkle the face, but lack of enthusiasm wrinkles the soul” – Danish proverb
Karen is an award-winning speaker on front-line leadership development and owner of Let’s Grow where her mission is to refresh, re-ignite and re-engage your team for success. To find out more visit: www.letsgrow.com.au