Monday, June 4, 2012

8 Ways to Cultivate Happiness for Your Loved Ones

The most important gift we can give our loved ones is the gift of our own happiness. There will never be a time where every last detail of your life is perfect. So, why not go ahead and be thankful now?  And why not share what you've learned about happy living with your loved ones?

We all need "that person" at some time or another. I go through phases where I'm very hard on myself for not being as present as I'd like to be in everyone's lives, for not making more money, for not being able to stand on my head - you name it. When I do this, I'm robbing myself of the joy that the present moment has to offer. It can be a never ending cycle if you let it.  I'm so thankful for my family and friends for keeping me afloat when I feel like I'm sinking. 

Through good times and bad, here are eight ways to exude positivity and hope for your family and inner circle.

Be the voice of reason. When things get tough, someone needs to keep a balanced perspective to avoid things being blown out of proportion. Yes, things can seem like they can't get any worse, but remind yourself and those around you that stormy and sunny days come and go and we need to make peace with them both.

Be mindful of your body language. Just the simple act of smiling will boost not only your own mood but those around you. I'm a big advocate for hugging, too. There's nothing like a bear hug to remind you that you are loved and everything is going to be okay. Also, when someone is talking to you, take the time to look them in the eye and nod and show them that you're present and engaged and that they matter.

Focus on the present. For many of us, it's extremely difficult to move on from the past and not worry about the future. But what about what is happening right now? When you remind others of all there is to be thankful for in the present moment, they may not want to hear it, but at least you are planting a seed that will hopefully grow within them.  If the present moment is not so great, remind them that they do have people who love and care about them to help them get through it.

Point out the silver lining. Whether we are able to see it or not, there is a reason and a season for everything. Teach your loved ones to look beyond the obvious and find the lesson. For some of us this comes more naturally than others, so use your voice to help the people you care about from focusing on all the negatives.

Avoid extremes. We all have good and bad days. But you know how some people are like Jekyll and Hyde and you never know what attitude you're going to get? Yeah, don't be one of those people. Try to stay to yourself when you're feeling under the weather. Likewise, be tolerant and understanding of others when they're in a bad mood. When you can't stay to yourself, try to self-soothe through whatever outlet works for you. It also helps to feed off of the energy of people who are uplifting and give off positive vibes. 

Make observations without criticism. When people ask you for your opinion about their situation, it's important to practice honesty with compassion. Yes, they want your honest perspective but most of us are already hard enough on ourselves than anyone else could be. Sometimes the truth hurts enough all by itself without any extra punch added to it.

Be forgiving. Don't hold grudges. With relationships - romantic, family, and friendships - things go down. People don't see eye to eye. Harsh words are said. Promises are broken. Betrayal occurs. And yet holding on to all of the resulting negative feelings simply prolongs all of it.

Be generous without expecting anything in return. We all like to be appreciated, but some people crave it to the point where they essentially take on a victim mentality. Or they become resentful when they feel unacknowledged. When you sense this in your loved ones, remind them that the gift is in the giving.

How do you play a positive role in the lives of your loved ones???


Anonymous said...

This speaks volumes to what I'm going through right now. Very uplifting and inspiring!

GG said...

Good! Even when folks are receptive, it helps to try, you know? Sometimes we feel helpless because we can't control what other people do, but we can always control what we do.

MzTrayJay said...

Love this! Very inspiring!

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