This article is an excerpt from our soon to be released empowering book for women: "Euphoria: Unlock Your Inner Power to Live a Happy Life"
"Our capacity to draw happiness from aesthetic objects or material goods in fact seems critically dependent on our first satisfying a more important range of emotional or psychological needs, among them the need for understanding, for love, expression and respect."
-- Alain De Botton
Happiness is a choice. If you want to be happy you must choose to be happy. You must take the responsibility of cultivating happiness. It just does not happen out of the blue; you have to work for it!
You must create a practice of cultivating happiness every day to be happy. You can either choose to look at the world from either a glass-half-empty or glass-half-full perspective.
Choose half full, it's much easier!
Looking at the glass half full involves appreciating all the things in your life; like your next breath, your home, your family, your job, your abilities, your projects, what you are learning, what you are experiencing, your phenomenal mind that comes up with creative solutions to problems, the relationships you have and are building, the city/ geographical area you live in, the nature that you see, and birds you hear. Isn't there a lot to be grateful for?
When you start practicing gratefulness, you start to understand how small you are compared to the fabric of this universe. You start to discover how amazing your world is and how much more there is to discover. Eventually, you can't help but appreciate your journey through this life experience.
Positivity is required
What is positivity? The official definition says it is the practice of being or the tendency to be positive or optimistic in attitude. To be positive or have a positive mindset, you must train your mind to look at life positively. Positivity is present in every human being, we have the ability to nurture it and let it grow or ignore it and let it wither. When we have high levels of positivity, the benefits are enormous.
It feels good to be positive. Being hopeful and optimistic improves our overall mental outlook and also is good for your physical health. Chances of recovery from a physical injury or an illness, improve significantly if a patient is hopeful and optimistic.
Positivity also keeps the mind and emotions stable and balanced, by keeping negative emotions at bay. The most interesting benefit of having a consistently positive outlook on life is the recently-discovered phenomenon whereby relentless positive thinking can alter your brain chemistry. Staying positive, even in the phase of adversity, can expand the mind and helps the mind easily find solutions to problems.
Positivity also helps us maintain our focus longer and aids in the creative process. As a person who is self-employed, I have seen the benefits of a positive mindset. Positivity is necessary for our business. It creates a good work environment with good energy and high levels of productivity. If you are self-employed, I urge you to practice positivity because it boosts your imagination and helps you deal with complex business problems more effectively.
You are also more creative in terms of creating products and services that resonate in the marketplace. Negativity unfortunately drains imagination and creativity in general and just overall promotes a feeling of hopelessness and victimhood. It’s far more beneficial to take control of your mental state by boosting your positivity levels to have a more content life and business.
To be honest, with most of us having to keep up with a busy lifestyle, and the demands of work, home, social obligations, it’s easy to forget, and practicing positivity can sometimes slip through the cracks. And before we know it we are complaining more, which is usually the first indication that our happiness levels are draining fast. I was not a person who practiced positivity. I think I have generally been optimistic, I didn't think about it much. I now know that if you are not mindful of creating positivity in your life, you can lose it and it can escape from your life.
What I realized is that, because positivity wasn’t a mindful part of my life, I was unprepared to deal with periods of sustained stress. The first life gut punch was my father passing away, it was devastating to me, I developed a serious case of anxiety and walked through life in fear of the next shoe to drop.
Next, I became self-employed and no longer had the security of a paycheck at the end of the month and therefore did not have a financial safety net and quite frankly, my anxiety tripled! That negative emotion just spawned new negative emotions and created a downward spiral, that drained joy, energy and creativity, and passion.
It took these kinds of events to force me to do something about it, practicing positivity lifted me out of that negative fog little by little till my mental state was much more balanced and happy.
For me, to exercise creativity meant I had to combat negativity. It was a mortal war for my happiness and you should look at it as such. I had to learn to avoid negativity and to stay clear of negative energy.
I know what you are thinking, "that’s some new age stuff", right? But hear me out, it just seems that everyone is miserable these days, which is understandable. We are in the midst of a global pandemic, unemployment is at its highest levels since the great depression, but we must not give in to despair. Generations before us have survived wars, economic uncertainty, and pandemics before.