How much sunshine do you have in your life?
Here in the UK we tend to get dark days much more than light days, especially right now in the middle of winter.
Yesterday, most of the UK was plummeted by high winds and driving rain, causing chaos, turmoil and flooding. Also being January, the days seem very short with darkness drawing in seemingly much too soon.
As everyone gets back to their work routines and the celebratory days of Christmas are now a distant memory, this is supposedly the time of the year when some people are liable to get down and depressed.
Last January, some clever PR company even latched on to some research into the perceived doom and gloom of January and declared the fourth Monday of the month as the “Unhappiest Day of the Year”!
In the end, this “scientific research” which considered factors such as weather, seasonal debts, broken New Year resolutions etc, was declared as pseudoscientific nonsense, promoted by PR companies to promote their client’s products.
A year later, as we approach the 4th Monday of January, I would like to share my simple but proven tips on having sunshine in your life all year around. And there is no PR company involved either 🙂
In a previous post, I have already talked about how the weather is just weather and nothing more. It always amazes me how much people continue to base their moods and dictate the quality of their day by the prevailing weather conditions.
Some people always seem to be happy, smiling and full of sunshine. Others seem to believe that they have a right to be happy, and that other people should make them happy. Some people even believe that when they are not happy, they have a right to complain about it and that complaining will cause them to be happy.
So just how can you keep a sunny outlook all year around? Here are my tips:-
1. Accept that it is Okay and Normal to be Happy
Do not see being happy as being unduly selfish, or materialistic, or self-centered.
2. Live your Life with Positive Optimism
Negative thoughts and worry zap your energy. Thinking of the good and positive things in your life generates feelings of warmth, affection, appreciation, hope, and security, and draw positive things to you. Also spend more time with positive people.
Limit your input of negativity such as through the media. Stay well informed, but watching news reports over and over again about things you can do nothing about will bring dark clouds into your life. Limit the amount of TV you watch.
3. Show Gratitude
Just take a second and realise that you are alive! Be happy with what you’ve got – not what you want. Focus on what is right in your life rather than what is wrong. Appreciate what you have. For example, stop obsessing about wanting a slimmer body and be grateful that you can walk.
Sounds simple and it is. Try this today when you go out – smile at everyone you see. You will be surprised at what comes back to you. You will feel happier and you will be spreading happiness around you.
5. Make at Least one Friendly Phone Call each Day
Do so with no intention to get some business or anything else. Just a friendly hello without any expectation.
6. Appreciate the nature around you
Literally stop and smell the roses. Every now and then, look at a sunset, cloud formation or trees. We are too busy – convince yourself of the beauty of nature and keep at it.
7. Eat Healthy and Quality Food
How sunny you feel depends so much on what you are putting into your body. You need and deserve quality foods. Determine what food really works for you, and develop a personal way of eating that will support you. Consult a nutritionist if necessary.
8. Exercise Regularly and Make it Fun
Take 45 minutes out of your day to work your muscles and strengthen your body, mind and spirit. Remind yourself of the benefits and adapt exercise habits as part of your daily routine of self care. Stop thinking of exercise as an option – start now and experiment until you find something you truly enjoy.
9. Get Sufficient Sleep
You need adequate sleep to keep you shining.
Determine just how much sleep your body needs and make sure you get it. Avoid watching TV, reading, doing work in bed. Make your bedroom a peaceful place for you.
10. Remember the Happy Times
Remember the good times when you are not feeling so sunny.
Happy memories are a reminder that the world is not always out to make you miserable.
11. Let it All Out
Laugh, cry, scream or anything else you get the urge to do, but do whatever it takes to let out the emotions you are feeling. You will feel so much better and lighter afterwards. We all need to vent at times.
12. Do Something for Someone Else
Random acts of kindness are magical and giving of yourself is one of the best highs you can get. For example, let other drivers into your lane. Have a friendly conversation with the cashier at the supermarket.
Become conscious of your positive acts. When you give the gift of a smile or a kind word, you create a wonderful ripple effect of sunshine that touches many, and helps build bridges between everyone.
Here’s to many more weeks, months and years of sunshine.
And don’t ever let anyone tell you again about the “unhappiest day of the year”!
I am new to your site and would like to congratulate you on the great work you are doing. There are some amazing posts. I was particularly moved by the carrot, egg and coffee post.
I totally agree that we should keep a positive outlook throughout the day and throughout our life. Being grateful for something attracts more of that thing into our life. Similarly, being positive and happy would attract more positivism and happiness into our lives.
Of course there are days when we can all feel low, I
Yesterday, My 96 year old grandmother was buried – she was without doubt, an amazing woman who retained the ability to understand and communicate coherently till the end. The event should have celebrated her long and incredible life, but it was marred by family feuds and developed into a rift that is unlikely to ever heal. So, today I explored why this has happened and what action can I take to repair the situation, to enable brother and sisters to speak and share grief, instead of adding to it with discord. The root of this feud is money and different beliefs, so tonight I read your thoughts with gratitude. You always make complex situations simple and offer the hope that this world can find peace. That individual’s have a responsibility to search their heart and offer a honest response, and to try to repair the thoughtless damage that can be caused!
Thanks for your thoughts, I will continue to try love without thought of return, to give and recieve small postive acts with a open heart and to remember my Nan, a woman who remembered the Zepplins, saw so much change, had thirteen children and never lost her sense of humour, she never had a great deal of money, but gave so much to so many!
I often find that smiling at someone who is not expecting to be smiled at, can be reciprocated with a surprised
….ooops! Apologies for the two sentences above…my comment took off without permission before I had finished writing it! What I started to say was that very often when we smile at someone who is not expecting it, it is reciprocated with a priceless, surprised gratitude full of enough warmth, joy and love to transform the whole day. The receiver becomes the giver and the ripple ripples on…! Thanks for a beautiful post Arvind. 😀
Rosemary, thanks for both your comments, I understand what you meant:-)
Earlier on today, I smiled at someone at the train station who was not expecting it – and he rewarded me with a big grin. It really doesn’t take much to get the ripples flowing!