When you feel resistance, what do you do?
When you feel sadness, what do you do?
While the prevalent (and totally fine) response I see to hard times is to ride them out, maybe self-soothe and self-care like mad through it- (all great things)- there’s another way to actually generate happiness. It’s perhaps a bit counter-intuitive when you aren’t beaming with joy, but it’s totally awesome.
Do things to make other people happy!
“A new study conducted by Canadian psychologists says that our own personal joy is created simply by being nice — not in terms of being respectful or polite, but by bringing out the good in other people through kindness. One of the study’s authors, Lynn Alden, who is a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, says that we should focus on being kind to others in a selfless manner, not a selfish one. “It’s more of an attitude change – being alert of things you can do for other people and doing them spontaneously because you want to do them. It has a side effect of making you feel good,” she explains. She continues to say that we are actually “hard-wired” to appreciate others’ happiness.”
What can you give today that can make someone happier?
A compliment, a gift, a donation, encouragement… a snack, a hug… a smile?
Start smiling and you’ll already be happier. Even if you “fake” a smile it will start your body into happiness mode. Seriously, this is powerful stuff. But moreover, as echoed in THIS awesome post on The Start Of Happiness:
“A smile is a contagious thing. Give to the world and the world will give back to you. Smile at the world and the world will smile back at you. You will brighten the days of those around and make a difference in their lives… simply by smiling!”
This is awesome stuff.
Now, what else can you give, consistently, to help other people?
A client shared with me how every block in life is diminished after a big round of heart-filled giving. In this case, giving out thank you cards.
Whatever feels right and hits your heart with reverberating awesomeness is what you can and should do!
BUT… what if you need to be the one given to because you give so much already that you’re spent?!
That’s a sign you aren’t giving with your heart. It’s the giving out of fear and painful obligation and entanglement and over-commitment that drains us of life. I’ve done this for a lot of my life and the best fix: learn to set boundaries with the people you just can’t help but over-give to. Unless you’re a caretaker responsible for someone’s livelihood or have very young children, you can set boundaries and those boundaries will help you to stop this drain.
Now… you can give joyfully!
I can’t stress it enough. I used to try to pull encouragement and advice from others when I felt down and lost… and … while it’s important to have that support… I’d feel worse without taking some kind of action.
Now…if I feel empty, I give more. If I feel lost or confused, I share more to make other people happy and I connect more to life.
It’s fine to be sad for a bit, it’s totally OK to experience every emotion… but happiness is something huge and life-changing and you don’t need to overstay yourself in the cloudiness. There’s so much joy to make and to spread…!
In an unpopular business move (haha, I never make any rational-seeming business decisions but they all feel great!) I’m re-naming the already popular 30 Day Negativity Detox at the end of the week to The Joy Immersion. Because that’s what it is. Sure, everyone will shake off the negative crap… but it’s all done by immersing in the JOY of every day, and making more joy every day.
Welcome to Creating Genius!
I spent the last year creating this e-guide to balancing and unblocking life by pulling together the best of a decade of space-changing and life-shifting feng shui! It’s 50 days and 50 ways to use feng shui to shift your space and your routines to move from “stuck” to creatively inspired and alive.
And… As a special bonus when you get the e-guide– a bonus that thrills me!— I’m leading a private Creating Genius + Artist’s Way Group for all of you, to guide you online through twelve weeks of creative awesomeness this year!
Gather up your magic & make gorgeous dreams come true!