Often times, it can feel like we have to make big changes to boost our happiness and live with a sense of fulfilment. However, it's the subtle changes that move us closer to living a life underpinned by happiness.
Every day there is a myriad of opportunities to put our best foot forward and step into a positive, satisfying mindset. By choosing these small actions we are consciously putting ourselves on the path for happiness. Here are 7 small things you can do to be happier today:
1. Be patient
It’s amazing the difference that patience can make to your life each day – particular when there are certainly endless instances that will test your patience daily. Whether it’s a slow moving line at your favourite coffee shop, or a delay to your morning commute, you have a choice to lose your cool or to quiet simply be patient. Of course, these moments are frustrating, however if you succumb to impatience and frustration with the little things, this can accumulate and effect your overall outlook. It might take some practice at first, but being patient is a wonderful first step on your pursuit of happiness.
As Steve Maraboli says, ‘smile at strangers and you just might change a life.’ When you wear a smile you are spreading the gift of goodwill each and every day. Plus, studies show that smiling helps you release endorphins, which increases your blood flow and lowers your blood pressure – meaning smiling is quite literally good for your heart!
3. Come back to reality
Never underestimate the power of being present and root yourself in reality. Left to it’s own devices, your brain will wander both into the future and way back to the past, leaving you swimming with thoughts. But, when you choose to be present, you are choosing to savour the moment and experience the here and now without judgement, but instead with awareness. Keeping your mind clear and focused.
4. Listen to people
A skill that coaching teaches is to listen – really listen to others and refrain from offering opinions or input. It’s a profoundly impactful skill, as people want to be heard and engaged within a meaningful way. When you’re really listening to another you’re reacting to their story, as opposed to sharing your own. This is a powerful skill because it reminds you that sometimes it’s about others. It brings you out of your own experience and allows you to connect more deeply with the people in your life.
5. Look within
It’s easy to fall into the mentality that happiness can be cultivated outside of yourself. Tradition and new media perpetuate the idea that being happy can be bought, however, the reality is that it starts from within. When you reflect on your thoughts, feelings and behaviours and work to align these in a positive and healthy manner, you start to create a life that is rooted in happiness.
6. Have a mantra
A mantra is an affirmation to motivate and inspire you to be your best self. Research suggests that simply repeating your mantra out loud or in your mind can reduce stress, anxiety and increase your sense of wellbeing. Have a mantra that brings you joy, and repeat it daily. Write down the good stuff
7. Write down one good thing a day
The simple act of ending each day by reflecting upon and writing down one good thing that happened will have a profound impact on your life. Not only will it teach you to look for something positive, even in the hardest days, it will also engrain gratitude into your daily routine. This will ultimately rewire your brain to look for the good, and find joy in each day.
Happiness is an ongoing, life-long journey. Some days it will feel tougher than others to practice these simple, yet powerful acts of happiness, however committing to these small shifts will have a great impact on your sense of happiness. And perhaps even the happiness of those around you.
After graduation with TCA in 2017, our accomplished Life Coach, NLP Practitioner and writer, Gabriela Brandy left her job and launched her own coaching practice. She has since been able to make a living as a writer and coach, whilst also being able to travel, create, teach, inspire and connect with amazing people all over the world. For Gabriela, coaching isn't simply a set of techniques to learn, but a way of life and that she couldn't have got where she is today without it. As Gabriela points out, 'That's the thing about coaching. It's always there for you - if you're prepared to take a moment and look."
Since graduating in 2016, our qualified coach Kris Verle has set up a thriving online coaching business. For Kris, technology has allowed him to run his life coaching business entirely online from Bali, while organising retreats internationally and with the freedom to live and work anywhere. We caught up with this TCA alumnus to learn more about his experience of studying with us, and his top tips about coaching.