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5 Ways to Become a Happier Person

Life has an interesting way of throwing all sorts of good, bad and ugly stuff in our way, and at times, it can seem that everything going on is negative. For many of us, that can become overwhelming. I meet people all the time who are dealing with different extremes of negativity.

For me, I found that negativity was triggered from witnessing the dramatic and agonizing U.S. Presidential election. However, for some it can often result from simple things, like the change in weather.

I’ve often been stressed, and admittedly have periods of negative thinking. The good thing is that I can recognize that in myself and deal with things accordingly, since I know my own triggers.

I was recently thinking about the things that I need to do in order to recalibrate my way of thinking. I’m going to need to make some deliberate changes to my way of thinking. It may not be easy, but here’s what I’m going to do.

1. Recognize Toxic People

“People inspire you, or they drain you—pick them wisely.” – Hans F. Hansen

Do your best to avoid people that add no value to your life!

Unfortunately, many of us have people in our lives who do not provide any positivity or emotional benefit, and in most cases they can be friends, family, coworkers and colleagues. You know these people, and I’m sure they are unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them. There are others, however, that seem to get satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons.

Toxic people may try to control you, disregard your personal boundaries, take from you without giving back, live in constant drama, never admit responsibility, may be dishonest, and often love to play the victim. Do you know anyone like this?

As important as it is to accept and learn how to deal with different kinds of people, toxic people will never be worth your time and energy—and they can take their toll on you. Toxic people are negative people and they create unnecessary complexity, strife, and stress.

If you know any toxic people that are impacting your life, you’d be wise to eliminate or reduce your exposure to them. I suggest you search the Internet for guidance, as there are many well-written articles on how to spot a toxic individual and how to effectively deal with them.

Bottom line. Get rid of people who stress you out, and find a way to surround yourself with people who add value to your life and strengthen you as a person.

2. Tune Out Negative Press

Many years ago, a business-coaching program that I joined suggested to the group that we should consider reducing or totally avoid watching news programs. Since then, I’ve dramatically reduced, and in some cases stopped watching many of the local, national and international news programs. I honestly have been a lot happier as a result.

You might say, “How can you avoid current events? Are you living in a bubble?” Well, the reality is that news events always have a way of reaching everyone, and I’ve never felt unaware of the significant events happening around the world. As a business owner, my focus has been to always stay well apprised of related industry news, updates and events. That type of news, I find positive, as it keeps me focused on growth and progression.

Fast forward to the past twelve months and like many, I got sucked into watching (and getting hooked on) the U.S. primaries and election. I couldn’t stop watching the “show”, which was unfortunately filled with ugly fighting, name-calling and all the negative rhetoric, which was in abundance.

It seems that all of the ridiculous stuff that I’d watched over the past year has had a negative effect on me. I’ve now taken a big news purge because I realize that I had to get back to what I used to do, and limit the amount of news that I watch. This simple change really helps me in my goal to be thinking only positive thoughts. On that note…..

3. Think Positive

I choose to be happy and I’ve always considered myself to be a positive thinker. However, at times it’s easy to fall prey to negative thinking. Negative thoughts can drain your energy and keep you from being in a happy state of mind. The more you give in to your negative thoughts, the stronger they become.

I’ve promised myself that I will surround myself with positive thinkers, people that will add value, and I’ll do my best to think positive at all times.

I’ve copied some words from a website titled “Tiny Buddha”. The words are simple but very effective.

Watch your thoughts, they become words.

Watch your words, they become actions.

Watch your actions, they become habits.

Watch your habits, they become your character.

Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

4. Exercise for Your Mental Health

Even the smallest amount of exercise, like going for ½ hour walks, can reduce tension, clear the mind and increase your energy level.

Regular exercise is known to provide a huge array of mental health benefits, such as; improve your mood, reduce stress, improve sleep, increase self-esteem, and reduce symptoms of depression.

You don’t need to do much. Even if the movement is not visually changing your body, the benefits of staying active will bring value and positivity into your everyday life.

5. Take Stock of Your Blessings

It won’t be long until we say ‘good-bye to 2016’ and welcome in the New Year. The changing year is always a good time to stop, reflect and take stock of your blessings. As you reflect over the last year, think about what and who you are grateful for.

We’ve all had our share of ups and downs. For 2017, join me in making a resolution to stay positive, surround yourself with positive influences, and take steps to reduce the negative noise from your life.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017!