Where is your happy place? Is your happy place the beach? Is it the rainforest?…
Boost Your Chances of Feeling Happy With These ‘Happy Hacks’
Small Business owners can be subject to the great highs and the great lows, and frequently.
Anxiety and depression are two of the most prevalent reasons people choose to come and see me. Financial issues, lack of support, extreme hours and tight deadlines without adequate resources are just some of the contributing factors. Having a ‘happy hackers’ approach to negative feelings can make all the difference to you and your business.
So, how can we boost our resilience against anxiety and depression and increase our chances of experiencing happiness?
1. Think social.
No, I am not talking social media, unless you are using social media to organise getting together in personwith another human being. Are you on any kind of social or sports team, are you saying “Hello” to your neighbours or the postie or taking a friend out for a catch up over coffee? If not, get to it. Increasing your social connections is one of the most important things you can do to improve your mental and emotional health. Yes, this can be difficult especially when you are feeling anxious or depressed, so ask for support from a trusted advisor, friends or family who are aware of your situation. This is another way to fulfil your need for social connection!
2. Control freakouts.
Feeling ‘out of control’ increases anxiety and depression. Essential to wellbeing is a sense of ‘destiny through self-design’ or in other words driving your own destiny through and by your own determination and therefore feeling ‘in control’. There are many practical ways to enhance your sense of control. Some practical examples include better time management strategies, learning to delegate or getting mentoring or counselling. The only place we have real control is in how we manage our internal emotional environment. What choices make you feel self-determined? Choice is always available to you.
3. Knowing where you want to go.
Having a sense of where you are heading and why negates feelings of anxiety and depression. What decisions (in terms of your business direction) have been made that might have steered you away from feeling on purpose or on track in your life? The initial passion for business you once felt (as an expression of who you are in this world, where you were going and what you were going to achieve), is the same passion that will keep you energised and positive when things go wrong. Having a destination or goal in sight and keeping it central in your decision-making process will keep you motivated and less subject to highs and lows within any business cycle.
4. What are you worth?
No, I am not talking about your financial worth. I’m more interested in your self-worth and how you evaluate that for yourself. Maybe your finances are one way you do this but we all know how fickle and transient trusting money as your measure can be. What is it that you value about who you are as a person that you can return to as the ‘truth’ about yourself if things get tough? For example, do you consider yourself trustworthy? Loyal? Kind? Compassionate? I suggest using these less ‘scientific’ measures to ‘measure up’ is a healthier way to determine your self-worth. If you are lacking in some of these areas develop them. We are in this for the long haul not a short fall.
Being a contribution to others is a great way to increase feelings of esteem and worth and decrease negative emotions. Finding ways that you can be the difference to others creates intrinsic value. This is not about self-sacrifice; far from it. If you are suffering from your giving you are missing the good stuff. Contribute what you can whenever you can and only then.
6. Deal with the past.
Debrief any deep pains, grief and traumas of the past. Past traumas etc., have a significant impact on how we deal with our current reality and the emergence of anxiety and depression. Again, there are many ways to explore this. Find out what works for you. It could be working with your mind, your body or a combination of the two. Place the past where it belongs; as an experience that is no longer occurring. Take any wisdom from the experience and move beyond it.
Simple. Get out into it!
8. To thine own self be true.
Be who you really are. Anything else is sooooo exhausting. Easy to say, harder to do but totally worth it.
You don’t have to do all of these things at once. Slow and steady is the way to introduce these things. As they feel more natural introduce another strategy or come up with something else especially for you.
‘Happiness hacks’ are available to us all, so make the choice for a happier and healthier you. Your business will reap the rewards in a big way.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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