The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell , a Hell of Heaven.  John Milton

It’s easy to believe that the people, places and things in our life determine whether we feel like we’re living in Heaven or Hell. The truth is how you think about yourself, your world and others has a much larger impact on your happiness than life’s circumstances.

That’s great news, because while you can’t always change your circumstances you can change your mind and doing so will transform your life. As Wayne Dyer explains:

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

So as we start a new year, set an intention to focus on fine tuning your mind. Here are 5 proven happiness strategies to get you started.

  1. Notice your thoughts

When negative thoughts and worries appear replace them with ideas and wishes of things that you want to create in your life. It takes practice and patience, but over time you can cultivate the habit of positive thinking.


  1. Express gratitude

Rather than taking things for granted count your blessings. Thank the people who help you — write an e-mail, give your mentor a call or say thanks to the sales person who provided great customer service. Appreciate and savor the delicious moments of your life by taking a moment to fully drinking them in when they occur. Start a gratitude journal and write down what’s going well and all that’s good and wonderful in your life. For more ways to cultivate gratitude click HERE.


  1. Cultivate optimism

Look on the bright side, find that silver lining, notice what’s right in your life rather than wrong. Celebrate the past, enjoy the present and anticipate a bright future. To ramp this one up start an optimism journal where you write about your best possible future. Include all the details — where and how you want to live, your dream career, vibrant health, fabulous relationship…


  1. Stop worrying and overthinking

When you find yourself ruminating, literally chewing an idea over and over again in your mind, stop. Distract yourself with a pleasant activity, call a friend or spend 5 minutes writing down your worries and then let them go. Remind yourself you are safe, and that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real.

While that voice of lack and attack may sound convincing know that the sky is not falling. The doom and gloom tape that you hear is a small, conditioned voice inside of you that got stuck in a lie and wants to protect you. Offer self-compassion to the lost piece of you that only knows fear and keeps you small.


  1. Avoid social comparison

Nothing steals joy and happiness like comparing yourself to others. Rather than looking at how much smarter, wealthier, more attractive… others are enjoy and appreciate yourself. In the entire universe there is no one quite like you. The world needs your authenticity and special skills and talents.

Which of these strategies will you commit to today? Please let me know by sharing in the comments box below.


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