”Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?”
“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best — ” and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.”
Winnie the Pooh is a very nice bear. He has always seemed like a pretty happy bear to me.
So here are a few of my favorite happiness tips from that honey loving bear.
Don’t get bogged down in details.
“You can’t help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn’t spell it right; but spelling isn’t everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn’t count.”
Getting bogged down in details, focusing on the small problems can have advantages. But it can also make you miss the big picture. What’s really important in your life.
Don’t make the classic mistakes of spending too much time nitpicking or making mountains out of molehills. Relax instead. Focus on the positive things you have and want in your life.
Focus on that. Work towards that. The days may seem long but the years are often pretty short. So live them instead constantly watching, inspecting, criticizing or overthinking them.
Be proactive. Take the lead.
“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
It’s easy to get locked into a reactive mindset. You just follow along with whatever is happening. You do what the people around you do. You react to whatever is going on.
And so you get lost in your circumstances. This way of thinking doesn’t feel too good. You tend to feel powerless and like you are just drifting along.
A more useful and pleasurable way of living is to be proactive. This feels better and provides better results. But on the other hand it’s also more difficult. It’s easier to just drift along in the reactive stream of life. And if you want to be proactive then you may have to take the lead quite often. You have to get out of your comfort zone. And that can be scary.
Still, living proactively is so much more rewarding and exciting.
Keep conversations positive and simple.
“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?””
What do people want in a conversations and relationships of all kinds?
Longwinded negative babbling?
Or positive talks that are focused and where it is interesting to listen and exchange ideas?
Although the answer is probably both, I rather spend most of my time doing the latter. Three tips that help me to keep the conversation positive and focused are:
- Live a positive life. If you focus on the positive in your daily life then it’s usually no problem to keep focusing on it and talking about it in conversations.
- Be aware and alert. If you know that you have a problem with excessive, negative ramblings then that awareness can help you to stop yourself more and more often before you go off on a rant. Or even before you pick a negative conversational path.
- Focus on the other people. If you focus too much on yourself then it’s easy to get lost in your own awesome thoughts and words and forget that you are having a conversation. It also makes it easy to get lost in your problems and make them bigger than they are. If you instead focus more outwards on the people you are talking too it becomes easier to see how the conversation is going and to keep it balanced.
Do nothing once in a while.
“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
Although it feels good to work towards you goals and doing the things you love I find that things go better and I feel better if there is balance. If I just take some time each week to do pretty much nothing. If I just spend time with myself on a solitary walk for example while listening to the birds.
It may sounds slightly cheesy but if you don’t unload your mind and just relax and do nothing sometimes then life tend to get more burdensome and difficult than it needs to be.
“A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.”
A very obvious tip. But it is one of the most effective ones to live a healthier, more energetic and happier life.
I think that one of the most important factors for getting regular exercise is simply to find something that you like. Something that fits you.
It did for example take me quite some time of trying different ways to do cardio exercise (running, bicycling etc.) before I found body weight exercises.
Experiment and find what works for you and what fits your personality. This will make it a lot easier to stick to your positive change and develop a relaxed consistency where you are enjoying yourself.
Appreciate the little things.
“Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon”
Daily happiness is to a large part about appreciating the small things. If you just allow yourself to be happy when accomplishing a big goal or when having some great luck then you are making life harder than it needs to be.
Instead, focus on appreciating things that you may take for granted.
Take two minutes and find things in your life you can appreciate now. If you want a few suggestions, here are a few of the things that I like to appreciate:
- My food.
- The weather.
- My health.
- Friends and family.
- This blog and the opportunity to write about what I want.
- You, the reader.
- Myself and the fine things about me.
The funny thing is that if you just start appreciating something you can very quickly start jumping around with your attention and appreciate just about anything around you. You may start with the food you are eating right now. Then move your attention to the phone and appreciate that you can contact anyone – and be contacted by anyone – you’d like. You might then move your attention outside, through the window and see the wonderful sunshine, then kids having fun with a football and then a really attractive person walking by. And so on.
Or you can take a couple of minutes each night and write down 5 things you are grateful for in a journal.
Doing any of these two exercises will over time make it easier to naturally in everyday situations be more appreciative and grateful for your life.
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