How to Become a Happier Person.


How to Become a Happier Person


Image courtesy: © Thinkstockphotos/ Getty images

Life can get you down for a host of reasons, but it only becomes something you have to address if you have been discontent for a long time. All you need to do is change a few things around, organise your life a little better and make a commitment to becoming a happier person. Here are five things you can change to put a smile back on your face.

Find a hobby
If the corporate world is getting you down, try doing something you are passionate about. Most people live their entire lives wishing they did something they love. While it may be unrealistic to think of starting anew, you can always pick up a hobby. Start a collection of some sort and don’t be embarrassed by it. You could even pick up a new sport or devote your evenings to a good swim, the sky is the limit. Adding a sense of fulfilment other than your job, will go a long way in making your life a little happier.
Where do you start: Make a list of things you really love doing, even if it’s just watching movies. Start with two or three passions, and you’ll lose interest in the ones you aren’t zealous about.

Find a friend
Indians for centuries have had a strong support structure in the form of families. Unfortunately or fortunately, over the last couple of decades, nuclear families have become the norm. This has made the need for a support group even more. From work friends to college friends to chaddi buddies, people need others to share their ups and downs. Now, this does not mean adding more people on your Facebook page. Social scientists have found that meeting a core group of people that you know will stand by you add to your overall well-being.
Where do you start: If you find yourself too busy to meet any one, it is about time you started. Fit friends into your schedule rather than just talking to them over the phone. Engage in activities that will get your friends together, even if it means just having a cup of coffee on a Sunday afternoon.

Organise your future 
This doesn’t mean cleaning out your closet. Set yourself a few attainable goals in every area of your life. Whether it is financially, in your career or in your personal life, the idea of committing to something and watching it come to fruition can be a rewarding experience. Studies have shown that people who make short-term plans deal with life much better than others.
Where do you start: Make goals with different time frames. Start with the obvious daily ones, then have twoyear, five-year and 10-year plans. Write them down and knock them off ones you’ve completed them.

Make the job switch
Now, being absolutely content with your job might be too much to ask for, but it shouldn’t be a chore either. Most Indians spend more time at work than they do at home, so obviously it ranks high on your happiness index. The happier you are in your job, the happier you will be in life. So if you are stuck in a job you hate, maybe it is time for a change.
Where do you start: Don’t jump the gun, make a list of things that you don’t like about the job and the things that you love. You need to know whether it is your career that you are discontent with or your company. Get enough research done and also try and develop more skills so that you are prepared for any transition.

Feel healthy
Though pigging out on the juiciest burger might give you instant happiness, studies show that it is your overall lifestyle that actually matters. Exercise, a proper diet and avoiding things you know will harm you do more than just improve your physical well-being. The healthier you are the better you will feel about yourself and your life.

Where do you start: Remember that living healthy is difficult and requires a lot of work on your part. Make a commitment to eat healthy and stay fit through regular exercise. You might miss out on a few foods you crave, but remind yourself to focus on the bigger picture.


10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy: Part I

10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy: Part I


10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy: Part I


Life is all about the pursuit of happiness, isn’t it? Well, some of us, along the way tend to sabotage our own happiness and joy. Take a look at the habits you never thought could make you a terribly unhappy person.

1. Choosing to stay dissatisfied
If you view your life from another’s perspective (something I highly recommend you yourself don’t do –
comparing yourself to others), you will actually see that your life is the envy of so many others. You really do have a lot more than many. But all you do habitually is feel dissatisfied. Things are great but you keep looking at things that are not right or that could be better.

Habits can’t be eliminated they have to be replaced. If you think of taking something out of your mental schedule, you need to put something else in deliberately or some other sneaky disempowering habit will take its place. Replace this one by consciously choosing joy and remembering to be happy. Even when it feels impossible to do so, choose happiness and smile. When you smile long enough and look around you for only what is beautiful you will start to feel the happiness.

2. Compounding your worries
Again, I don’t know WHY we do this one, but it is a classic and I am sure you are guilty of it as much as me. We are having a neutral day, and things are fine, but we have one worry niggling at us, then one little event happens which we view as fuel to stoke the flame of the original worry. This then grows and grows as we deliberately look for all the probabilities we could worry about and before we know it, our lives become one big mess. We are so, so worried about so many things and we just can’t see beyond the fog.

Replace this one by forcing yourself to think about the possibility of this worry actually not happening, tip the scale to the other 50%. It can either go one way or the other. What you think about affects your own mood and will in turn affect the result. So the next time you sense a worrying thought, imagine instead what life would be like it didn’t happen and in fact the opposite did. Spend time in the joyful state of this fantasy. It’s all the same anyway. Not real, so why not play with it positively?

3. Feeling resentment
Have you heard the quote, “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Replace this habit with a short exercise. Realise that resentment is a feeling of a past or a situation that you cannot change. Accept it and let it go. If you have been rejected in any way by someone, realise that it was not personal and that we all do what is best for us at a particular time. Watch my Letting Go Video. Use the acronym HALT to assess where this resentment could be coming from – Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. When we feel either of these, we create a mental fertile ground for
resentment, bitterness and other negative emotions which we can all do without.

4. Comparing and giving into jealousy
This is a big one, as I mentioned in the first point. Comparing yourself to others in any context is the No.1 kill joy you could be feeding. Stop It. Can’t stop it? Watch this hilarious video by Bob Newhart. You know, you can read a hundred self improvement articles and books, but with some habits, you just have to STOP IT! Like with picking your nose in public, you don’t need 10 tips on how to stop it, you just have to stop it!

But I will say this much, when you compare, you are comparing the inside of you to the outside of them and just like with a watermelon, you are aware of your inside squishiness and comparing it to the other’s hard green exterior. It is easy to look at others who appear to be more successful, slimmer, better in various ways, but comparing your life to someone else’s will only make you feel dissatisfied and incompetent, however you look at it. So just STOP IT!

5. Negative self-talk about yourself & thoughts about others
If anyone spoke to you the way you sometimes speak to yourself, you would not be their friend. Pay close attention to some of the disempowering, mean things you say to yourself and replace them with powerful and happy affirmations. “I am not good enough” or “I am not XYZ” needs to be replaced with “I am good enough” like a MANTRA that you chant all the time that plays as background music for you everywhere you go.

The habit of always thinking that people are thinking badly of you or out to get you is another futile exercise that is sure to squeeze out any possibility of joy in your life. Be realistic and rational, people have their own lives; you are really, really not that important to them and if you were, then they need to refer to point number 4, they are unhappy and dissatisfied. Rejoice in one of two possibilities, either they are generally also good people like you and don’t mean you any personal harm or they are envious of you and be flattered by it. Again watch the “Letting Go” video.

Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock photos/ Getty images


10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy: Part II

10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy: Part II

By | posted Jul 21st 2014 at 11:17AM

10 Habits That Could Kill Your Joy – Part 2


6. Hanging on to old beliefs

Take a few moments to listen to your inner soundtrack when you read or hear what others express. Notice that you have your own beliefs working as a filter or a lens through which you see and listen. Do you have an “always” and “never” mentality?
This is when you have a belief or statement that you use to generalise everything you experience. I won’t list too many of the common typical statements here but they resemble:
“People can’t be trusted.” (Or a certain sect of people can’t be trusted.)
“It is very hard to succeed.”
“Birds of a feather flock together.”
“Once bitten, twice shy.”
“I never win.”
“I always get sick after XYZ.”
It is the habit of generalising where you make things either “good or bad”, “right or wrong” and you live in judgment. This is a double-edged sword as you will apply the same harsh rules to yourself. There is no middle ground.
Ease up and cut yourself and the people in your life some slack. Things may not be exactly as you see it. Your beliefs may be outdated and disempowering. Give life a chance and learn to trust a little.
Here’s what Tony Robbins says, “All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in beliefs. So how do we change? The most effective way is to get your brain to associate massive pain to the old belief. You must feel deep in your gut that not only has this belief cost you pain in the past, but it’s costing you in the present and, ultimately, can only bring you pain in the future. Then you must associate tremendous pleasure to the idea of adopting a new, empowering belief.”

Every opportunity I get, I remind people that they are good enough, to be, do and have whatever it is they truly desire. “I am good enough” is the mantra to replace all the others that don’t evoke positive emotions in you.
In order to truly start embodying the new belief, you have to add action based on it. Not doing so, will only feed your old limiting belief. For example, if you had a belief that you are broke, you need to do something every day that shows you that you are wealthy and blessed. Take small steps to help breathe life into your new powerful beliefs.
Notice too when your thoughts and comments are extremely one-sided and judgmental. When you look through the filter of your beliefs, you can’t see both sides of the coin. Use the acronym W.A.I.T. (Why Am I Talking?), and take a few minutes to view the situation from different angles.
7. Not keeping your relationships in good repair.
Not giving affection to the special people in your life and giving too much time to the people who sap your energy.
We cannot deny that the people in our lives have a great influence on how we feel and we need to choose wisely. If you have a helper or employee who manages to upset you or bring out the worst in you, first, look at yourself and see if you are deliberately keeping this person in your life because you want a punching bag, or if this person perhaps is mirroring attributes about yourself that you are ashamed of and try to hide? If you can be honest that it is neither, then you can either change your attitude towards this person or you can also choose how much of power and time you’d like to give away to them.
More importantly, nurture the relationships you love. Make time daily and even several times a day to connect and GIVE love to the people you care about. Instead of waiting for them to show you appreciation and care, why not give it? The only way to have more joy and love in your life is to BE loving and joyful. Watch that your communication with loved ones is not always about getting them to do things or complaining to them.


8. Ignoring your health 
This includes binge drinking, smoking or eating. It also includes always making excuses or postponing exercise or being healthy, thinking you are enjoying life and will be healthy later or tomorrow. Realise that you would enjoy life more if you looked after your health. Not making time for exercise is just making time for illness. Keep pace and maintain a sustainable lifestyle so that you can live it for the long haul with balance. It takes only a few weeks to form new habits and tastes. Even something like sugar, after a few days of drinking tea or coffee without it will get you used to the taste and you will start enjoying it. Exercising every day too, once you stick with it for the first few weeks, you will feel more uncomfortable when you don’t! Create healthy eating and exercising habits that will last you a lifetime. When you are older, you will thank you for it. Start today, if not now, then when?


9. Having unrealistic expectations of yourself
Having unrealistic expectations of yourself and others is the surest way to kill your joy. You just can’t lose 10 kilos overnight (even Lipo takes time). Your relationships won’t improve without your loving energy and dropping most of these killjoy habits. You won’t be able to pay off $32k debt in a week. Your new business won’t be profitable from Day 1. So be kind with yourself, be realistic and give 100% effort and then accept where you are with the faith that you are getting there, slowly but surely.
10. Entitlement issues with others
Your family doesn’t owe you anything, your friends don’t have to pay for your drinks, your child may forget to acknowledge your help. Your brother may not buy you gifts, your partner may not remember your anniversary. No one owes you anything. The sooner you accept this, the quicker you will take responsibility of your joy and become adept at creating it in your daily life independently! I believe that Emotional Independence is one of the most important skills you can learn.
Instead of always setting people up to fail, make crystal clear requests of them if you really want something and if you still don’t get it, check your communication skills and also learn to give more to yourself by yourself, so that you don’t feel your joy is dependent on anyone else. Being selfish is a word that has been misused.
Looking after yourself and doing things everyday that make you smile, whether it is playing or listening to music or taking a walk or even playing scrabble, look after YOU and GIVE yourself permission to have fun! Balance isn’t about staying in the centre. Even a car cannot move forward in neutral gear. It is about swaying from side to side. Be kind with yourself and acknowledge your efforts to replace your killjoy habits with joyful ones.

Image courtesy: ©Thinkstock photos/ Getty images

5 Excersize myths you should know.

 5 Exercises myths you should know

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There are many people out there looking for fitness and weight loss advice. At times it has become very difficult to differentiate fact from fiction. Every week there is a new Fad diet, or a new product that touts you can still eat the tasty stuff and not gain an ounce of weight, additionally you go to the gym and just get on the cardio machine for 10-30 minutes assuming it will make a huge difference. I take a new approach of looking at the various myths we have been told work, but upon further inspection are just myths. – Staff Writter (

MYTH #1: The best way to lose weight is to drastically cut calories

“Our bodies are smarter than we think,” says Jari Love, star of the Get Extremely Ripped: 1000 Hardcore DVD. “When we eat too little, our body believes that it’s starving so our metabolism slows down and holds onto fat as a potential energy source.” A much better approach: Eat more often, but eat less food at one time. For the fastest weight loss, break up your total daily calorie allotment—don’t eat fewer than 1,200 calories if you’re a woman or fewer than 1,800 calories if you’re a man—into five to six small meals to keep your metabolism humming.

MYTH #2: Heavy weights will bulk you up

“This just isn’t possible for most women,” says most person trainers “Ladies have too much estrogen in their hormone makeup. Yes, heavier weights build muscle and strength, but most of us women aren’t lifting anything so heavy that we are at risk for building man muscles.” Plus, muscle is the secret to a revved up metabolism, as it burns more calories than more fat, even when you’re sitting on the couch or at your desk.

MYTH #3: Keep your heart rate in the fat-burning zone

If you’ve been exercising at 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate in order to shed flab faster, you could be slowing your slimdown. “The fat-burning zone is a complete myth,” says Wayne Westcott, PhD, Prevention advisory board member and fitness research director at Quincy College. “While it’s true that you burn a higher percentage of fat calories when exercising at a moderate pace, you burn fewer calories overall.” For instance, if you get on a treadmill and walk at a 3.5 MPH pace for 30 minutes, you might burn 250 calories. If you raise the speed to 7 miles per hour, you’d burn 500. Bottom line? “It’s much better to go at the faster speed.” Prefer the elliptical trainer? Make sure you’re not making one of the

MYTH #4: Boosting cardio is the best way to bypass a plateau

“The most effective way to lose weight is to include both cardio and weights in your routine,” says Love. “One study found that when individuals cycled for 30 minutes a day, they lost 3 pounds of fat and gained a half pound of muscle in 8 weeks. But individuals who cycled for 15 minutes and weight trained for 15 minutes a day lost 10 pounds of fat and gained 2 pounds of calorie-burning muscle.”

MYTH #5: Ab exercises are the fastest way to a flat belly

“Doing abdominal exercises can strengthen the different ab muscles, but it won’t burn body fat and reveal the ‘6-pack look,’” says Aaron Swan, Private Trainer at the Sports Club/LA-Boston. “Abs are made in the kitchen—not from doing crunches.” A proper diet low in refined carbohydrates and full of lean proteins, healthy fats, and lots of low-glycemic fruits and vegetables will bring you closer to the flat belly you’re after. Still, you should work your tummy!

Source: Prevention Magazine