If you’ve ever played sports, you know what “The Zone” is; that place where everything seems to flow effortlessly from you into the task at hand. The most challenging action seems easy and unconscious, with excellence as the ultimate by-product of your efforts. Exertion is as simple as breathing and the results are nearly always exceptional. The happiness zone is much like this, enabling you to easily find and feel joy daily, if you seek it in all you do.
Of course, if you do know what The Zone is, you also know that it requires training and practice to achieve it with anything like regularity. The happiness zone is no different but, there are steps you can take to help you get there more frequently.
Modified and borrowed from author, educator, and motivational speaker Stephen Covey, here are 11 things you can do to up the odds of reaching the happiness zone more often:
- Be grateful – for everything, and everyone, you have in your life. As Covey said, “When you appreciate what you have, everything you have appreciates in value.”
- Practice optimism – because thinking positively allows you to see the world as a place of potential, even in difficult times. It also boosts your brain, literally making you smarter and more productive.
- Avoid comparisons – with others. Never compare yourself to anyone but the “you” that you were yesterday, and only for the purpose of being a better you tomorrow (not as a way to find fault with yourself).
- Be kind – to others, and yes, allow them to be kind to you. That last part can be particularly difficult; believing you deserve the kindness of others. You do!
- Pursue relationships – with depth and meaning. Superficial relationships are meaningless, yet toxic relationships can do irreparable harm. Allow yourself the joy of healthy, positive relationships with friends, family, and your partner.
- Practice coping – with stressful situations. Remember the sports adage, “You play like you practice.” Life takes practice too, as does finding the happiness zone!
- Be forgiving – of those who’ve done you harm. Hatred is a terribly negative emotion. Give others the benefit of the doubt, and let yourself doubt that they meant to hurt you. Forgive yourself first!
- Enjoy the joy – of daily living. With all its obstacles and problems, the alternative to life may be a very dark place. Allow yourself to be happy in every moment. Allow yourself to share that happiness with others – and, seek joy in others, as well.
- Commit to goals – which you set for yourself. The magic of achievement fosters great self-esteem and perpetuates further success. Use incremental goals to help you reach larger goals and track your success regularly.
- Be spiritual – and allow yourself to discover your place in the Universe; a place of comfort and joy where life is easy and rewarding, and where others share that same sense with you.
- Care for your body – and let it serve you and your purposes. Pain is not the natural state of human existence. Take care of yourself and enjoy all that a body has to offer you.
Remember… The power of positive thinking makes you almost unstoppable. Positivity and optimism are incredibly powerful tools for finding the happiness zone, and are the key components to success.
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