5 Tips to Stay Up When the Economy is Down

By Marci Shimoff in Happiness on March 4th, 2009 / No Comments

“How can I be happy when the economy is tanking?” It’s a question I hear a lot lately. It seems that as the financial picture becomes more depressed, so do we. That’s why now, more than ever, we need to learn to be happy from the inside out – no matter what’s going on in our lives.

What would it take to make you happy ? A fulfilling career, a big bank account or the perfect mate?  What if it didn’t take anything to make you happy? Well, it’s possible.

Doing the research for my book, Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out, I interviewed scores of scientists, as well as one hundred unconditionally happy people, and discovered the way to experience a state of inner peace and well-being that’s isn’t dependent on external circumstances. I call this being Happy for No Reason.

When you’re Happy for No Reason, you don’t need to manipulate the world around you to make yourself happy; you bring happiness to your everyday experiences rather than trying to extract happiness from them.
Here are a few tips you can use to become happier – and stay that way:

People who are Happy for No Reason incline their minds toward joy. Have you noticed that your mind tends to register the negative events in your life more than the positive? If you get ten compliments in a day and one criticism, what do you remember?  For most people, it’s the criticism.

Scientists call this our “negativity bias” – our primitive survival wiring that causes us to pay more attention to the negative than the positive.  To reverse this bias, get into the daily habit of consciously registering the positive around you: the sun on your skin, the taste of a favorite food, a smile or kind word from a co-worker or friend. Once you notice something positive, take a moment to savor it deeply and feel it; make it more than just a mental observation. Spend 20 seconds soaking up the happiness you feel.

People who are Happy for No Reason trust in a friendly universe. One of the most prevalent habits that happy people share is believing that this is a friendly universe. When things don’t seem to be going their way, instead of feeling like victims, they look for the lesson and the gift in the situation.  In other words, they believe there is a higher purpose that is supporting their ultimate good.

Try it yourself: The next time you face a challenge, take a moment to reflect silently, asking yourself, “If this were happening for a higher purpose, what would it be?”

People who are Happy for No Reason let love lead in their life. One way to power up your heart’s flow is by sending loving kindness to your friends and family, as well as strangers you pass on the street. Next time you’re waiting for the elevator at work, stuck in a line at the store or caught up in traffic, send a silent wish to the people you see for their happiness, well-being, and health.  Simply wishing them well switches on the “pump” in your own heart that generates love and creates a strong current of happiness.

People who are Happy for No Reason make the cells in their body happy.  They create the physiology of happiness. The way that you eat, move, rest, and even your facial expression can release your body’s natural happiness-enhancing neurochemicals: endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. To dispense some extra “happiness juices” – smile.

Scientists have discovered that smiling decreases stress hormones and boosts happiness chemicals, which increase the body’s T-cells, reduce pain, and enhance relaxation. You may not feel like it, but smiling – even artificially to begin with – starts the ball rolling and will turn into a real smile in short order.

People who are Happy for No Reason surround themselves with support. We catch the emotions of those around us just like we catch their colds – it’s called emotional contagion.  So it’s important to make wise choices about the company you keep.

Create appropriate boundaries with emotional bullies and “happiness vampires” who suck the life out of you.  Develop your happiness “dream team” – a mastermind or support group you meet with regularly to keep you steady on the path of raising your happiness.

“Happily ever after” isn’t just for fairytales or for only the lucky few.  Imagine experiencing inner peace and well being as the backdrop for everything else in your life. When you’re Happy for No Reason, it’s not that your life always looks perfect – it’s that however it looks, you’ll still be happy!

Paperback Book Release Special:

Based on the New York Times bestseller Happy from No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out, which offers a revolutionary approach to experiencing deep and lasting happiness. To order the newly released paperback and receive free bonus gifts, go to: happyfornoreason.com

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