Wednesday, March 23, 2016

5 Habits of Habitually Happy People

by Lynn W.L.

Ok, so my sister Tania has shared with you 3 simple steps to living a happy life, and she gave me an assignment (yeah, that's what older siblings do to the younger ones, lol) to kinda pick up where she left off. So here I am :) But instead of continuing with number 4, I'm gonna share with you a few important habits or traits of people who live a happy life.

 1. Make other people happy.

I'm sure you have helped others in many different ways big or small. Did you notice how you felt afterwards? I bet you were happy! So you should make this a habit.

It doesn't have to be anything big like helping someone with a major project. It can be something as simple as carrying someone's bag or opening the door for them. Practice random acts of kindness. Yes, even to strangers!

How else can you make another person happy? By sharing your own happiness with them. In fact, all you need to do is show you're joy by laughing or smiling. Did you know that smiling at others is one of the simplest ways to show kindness? Happiness is contagious. When you see someone happy you will become happier yourself.

You can also tell good jokes or act silly and make others laugh.

2. Express your feelings.

If you like something or someone, let others know about it like, "Wow, look at that beautiful flower!" or "You certainly look gorgeous!"

We all know things don't always go well all the time. Even happy people get upset or sad from time to time, and that's perfectly normal. The key is to turn around as quickly as possible so we get back to our natural state of joy. But here we have to be careful when expressing or feelings to others that we don't actually escalate any negative situation.

When your sad don't be afraid to cry. Yes, this goes for guys too! You don't necessarily have to cry in front of others if that embarasses you. Go to your room or find a private place and cry you're heart out :)

Its kinda funny how people sometimes ask me, "Do you ever cry?" because I'm always happy when I'm with them. I often answer them with another question, "I'm a girl, what do you think?" and they usually laugh. Crying is a great way to release negative emotions and bring you back to joy.

3. Practice self discipline

When you were little you're parents and teachers often disciplined you and make you do things that you didn't like but they said were important or good for you. As you grow older this happens less often but you may still experience it at work or school like when you have to meet certain deadlines. Your forced to do certain things or suffer the consequences.

But what happens when your by yourself, when there's nobody to tell you what to do? Its easy to just let things go and do whatever you like, but often times it ends up with regret when you have to deal with the consequences.

I can say this from personal experience. I used to procrastinate alot and not do my homework or study for a test until the very last minute, and as a result I would fail the test and get a bad grade. That itself made me feel terrible, and the endless scolding from my parents made me miserable. I wasn't a happy camper then! :)

So over time I have developed self discipline. Well ok, I'm not perfect yet as I still procrastinate every now and then, but I'm much better now, lol. I can tell you self discipline is not the easiest thing but the reward is great, and with practice you can do it!

4. Avoid exposure to negative energy.

There are different sources of negative energy, and each of us is affected differently, so you need to know what things turns you off or puts you in a bad mood, and make an effort to avoid them. But there's one source of negative energy that's quite common and affects alot of people, and that's TV! Many people are addicted to it and they don't even know that its negatively affecting them in many ways.

The news is especially bad (surprised?) because like 90% of it is negative, from your local crimes and accidents to natural disasters to wars and terrorism. Then there are shows that promote violence or invoke anger, fear or sadness. All of that is not conducive to living a happy life.

Tania and I could have had a TV in our rooms as our parents actually offered it to us when we were older, but we chose not to have it. We told them the reason and they were like surprised but agreed with us, and said they could also learn something from us kids :) They actually considered getting rid of the TV in they're room. Well, they decided to keep it but they watch it less often. At least that's what they told us, lol.

Tania and I do watch TV on occasion but we go to the media room, and only watch shows that are educational or entertaining in a positive way.

The same can be said about the internet although there are plenty of wonderful things on there as well. So be discreet and choose wisely what websites you visit, what videos you watch, and what games you play. Also, avoid being addicted to the internet.

I know its easier said than done, especially with smartphones and everything, and Tania and I are guilty of it ourselves as were often glued to our phones even when were with others. Mom always scolds us when we do it like in a restaurant or when other people are talking. She says its disrespectful and takes away from the joy of sharing the moment with people we care about. We agree but its a hard habit to break :)

5. Be spiritual

girl meditating
Ok, don't freak out on me now! :) I'm not telling you to be religious as being spiritual is different than being religious. It simply means getting in touch with your inner self or finding things outside of the physical/material world that bring you peace, love, and joy. This is also known as mindfulness.

If you belong to a particular religion, that's fine. Practicing your faith is one way to be spiritual. But you don't even have to believe in a god to be spiritual. If your non-religious (like my family and myself), you can do it in different ways.

Meditating is a great way to achieve that. We don't go to church or anything, but our family meditates together every morning for about 20 minutes before breakfast, and I do it on my own for like 10 minutes every night before bed. Many studies have shown that meditation has numerous benefits both physical and spiritual. I won't go into the techniques as there are many resources online. Just look it up and give it a try.

If meditation is not your thing, you can still develop mindfulness by like walking in nature and feeling the serenity, and just appreciating all that's available to you in life. This will increase the level of your happiness.

Learning personal growth/personal development (which is what this blog is all about) and finding your life purpose are also forms of spirituality. So yeah, you can still be spiritual and derive happiness from it even if your an atheist.

From paradise Hawaii this is Sharleen (a.k.a. Lynn) reminding you that life is magical. So...

Aloha, and let's make it a magical day!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

3 Simple Steps to a Happy Life

Are you a happy person? Are you happy everyday, most of the time? That certainly does not mean you never feel sad, angry, worried or any other negative emotions. Those are all part of life. In fact, the ups and downs make life more interesting and exciting, just like riding a roller coaster. :) But the important thing is you should be up more often than down. A lot more! When you're down you should do everything in your power to get back up. Believe it or not, being happy is the natural state of being. Life is meant to be enjoyed.

Studies have shown that being stressed or feeling negative in any way contributes to poor health. In fact, stress is the number one cause of most illnesses from minor aches and pains to the most serious ones such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer. So, happiness is essential to living a healthy and fulfilled life.

How can you be happy most of the time? There are several ways to achieve this. Here are 3 simple steps.

1. Have an attitude of gratitude.

Gratefulness is the number one key to happiness. This has been taught by virtually every personal development teacher. When your heart is grateful, it's impossible to feel negative. In fact, when you're feeling negative, the most powerful antidote is to try to find something to be grateful for at that moment, and there are plenty!

It doesn't have to be anything big. Just look around you for something you can appreciate. The warm sunshine, beautiful flowers, birds singing, even the air that you breathe. Those are simple things that most of us often take for granted.

My little sister Sharleen has always believed that life is magical ever since she was a kid. She has this amazing ability to see magic in the simplest and littlest things. I have learned a lot from her in that regard. She still amazes sometimes even today. It's no wonder that she is happy most of the time.

A good practice would be to write down a number of things you're grateful for in your life each and every day, and go over your list often. They can be anything either big or small. They can be people, animals, objects, or circumstances. Your family, your friends, your pets, the people you work with or those who help or provide service to you. The car that you drive or the bus that you ride on, your house or apartment, your computer and cell phone. Your job or school if you're a student like me, the promotion you just got or the test that you aced. Those are just a few examples. You can surely come up with a lot more!

2. Decide to be happy every time you wake up in the morning.

That's right! You decide what your day is going to be like, not other people or circumstances. This sets a positive tone for your entire day. Waking up feeling grouchy or worried about certain things or events sets a negative tone. Visualize in your mind how you would like the day to unfold. For instance, if you have an important meeting or an exam later in the day, just visualize the best possible outcome and believe it!

Sure, you will encounter challenges throughout the day like negative people, difficult situations or things just don't seem to go the way you want them. But again, don't let them have power over you. Your attitude will determine how you react to challenges. So, make it positive and you will live a happier life!

3. Move your body.

The human body is made to be active. In ancient times people had to hunt and perform other rigorous activities to gather food and defend themselves against wild animals and stuff, so their bodies were forced to move constantly. Today technology and modern conveniences make our lives so much easier, but consequentially our bodies move a lot less. Just like stress, living a sedentary lifestyle is bad for your health.

So you need to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Pick something that you enjoy doing so it adds to the joy of your day instead of becoming a chore. Sharleen and I both love karate. I also love yoga and swimming while she really likes gymnastics and basketball.

It doesn't matter what exercise you choose as long as you have fun doing it and it makes you feel alive. Some have even suggested that  s e x  is a good form of exercise, and that's something fun that almost everyone loves, right? Uh oh, what did I just say? Hope I won't get in trouble, haha!

There's a lot more we can add to the list of things you can do to maintain a high level of happiness throughout the day, but we don't want the post to be too long or you might get bored and not read the whole thing. So I'll stop here and let Sharleen continue with the next post. That will also give her something to do. :)

Update: check out her article on 5 Habits of Happy People.

Recommended book:

Watch this video of one of my favorite songs:

Have a wonderful day filled with joy!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Personal Development 101


Personal development is a tool you can use to make your life magical. My little sister Sharleen and I enjoy our lives to the fullest. But it wasn't always that way for me. I was a "problem child" growing up. I was rebellious (still am today, but in a different way, lol) and was frequently in a nasty mood. I hated a lot of things and often gave my parents and siblings grief.

Long story short, I went through counseling. The counselor was a very kind and patient lady who had gone through a lot herself. She taught me personal development principles which helped me a lot. I was able to see plenty of wonderful things that life has to offer, and my attitude towards life gradually changed. Now I always look for and focus on the positive, and have an attitude of gratitude. I also went on school retreats which helped reinforce what I learned from the counseling.

Sharleen is completely different. She never needed any counseling. She has a cheerful disposition, and already had a positive outlook on life even when she was little. She believes life is magical and sees magic in every little thing. I always got along well with her even during my difficult years. She was always sweet and kind, and often told me everything was going to be OK. I actually admired her, and we became best friends.

Sharleen and I have taken a number of personal development courses and read books. One of our favorite authors is Rhonda Byrne who created the popular film The Secret and wrote a book of the same title. Our favorite book is The Power which really teaches you how to make your life magical. We have read it more than once as we learn new things every time we read it. We highly recommend it.

We both have also developed the ability to create magic in our lives on purpose by using the power of visualization and affirmation among others. Our family have nicknamed us the magic girls. The difference is, my little sister is a natural born while I'm a late bloomer :) There is nothing supernatural about this, though. You can learn how to do it too by training your thoughts and expectations, and focusing on what you want.

So in this blog we will share with you articles on personal development and other related stuff which can help enrich your life and make it magical. Some of you may have known us from the barefoot blog where we share our interesting experiences going barefoot occasionally sprinkled with magic :) Just like over there, Sharleen and I will both write the articles here.

So, stay tuned for an exciting and magical journey!