There are times in life where you meet people that not only inspire you, but that also make you feel warm just being in their presence. Well about six months ago I met a person just like that. His name was Max and at first I didn’t realize how amazing he was. He was so friendly, kind, and humble that I had no idea that he had been through so much and had gained so much wisdom along his path.
You see Max has done a few things that I’ve seen so many people struggle to do. First he lost a bunch of weight, largely on his own, and with a simple straight forward approach. Then instead of resting on his laurels he started a company to help other people find the satisfaction they wanted out of life.
On top of it all Max has achieved so much, but doesn’t brag. He speaks about his own transformation in such a off hand and authentic way that it makes you feel like you too could do anything you set your mind to. Pretty cool right?
So when Max contacted me about writing a guest post on my blog I jumped at the chance. I’m proud to present his post about a few simple tools he’s used to create happiness out of thin air.
Make Wiser Decisions With 5 Happiness Hacks
By Max DuBowy
In April 2012, my sister and I hosted a 50th birthday party for our dad. Everyone we invited to the surprise party was full of smiles and laughter. Contrary to our guest’s joy, I felt sad and unhappy. During the party I went into the bathroom, looked at myself in the mirror and saw an overweight, chubby, depressed 21 year old. I thought to myself, “You’re fat, unhappy and unworthy of love.”
I cried for a few moments in the bathroom and then realized my burning desire to be happy like my dad and our family friends. The following day, I decided to share my feelings with a close family friend. She had no idea I felt that way. She offered her sympathy and lent her advice to lose weight and become happy. In that moment, I told myself I would never return to sadness and self hatred. I decided to change and find happiness.
Over the last three years, I slowly developed new habits resulting in long term results. I moved to a new city, lost 40 pounds, made new friends, rekindled my passion for theatre and discovered a new passion for entrepreneurship. In this journey, I made small tweaks in my daily routine to enhance my happiness and overall well-being. These are 5 simple happiness hacks I implemented that you can use to make wiser decisions immediately:
Play Like a 10 Year Old –
Last week, a friend and I went to a trampoline gym. For an entire hour, we repeatedly bounced, flipped, fell down and stood back up. By the end of our workout, we were sweaty and exhausted. For the first time in 14 years, I felt like a 10 year old again full of laughter and energy!
You don’t have to go to a trampoline gym (even though I highly recommend it), its just important to take time to play and stop taking yourself so seriously. You can walk to a park, play on the swings, swim in a pond, or play hide-and-go-seek with a friend. Even if its just for 20 minutes/once a week, make sure you exercise regularly to increase your happiness hormones.
Shake Your Money Maker –
Make a playlist with your favorite, upbeat music, then listen and dance! If you’re self-conscious and nervous about getting caught, lock yourself in a room for 5-10 minutes to have your own dance party. Dim the lights, turn up the volume, and let the music move you.
Music has the natural ability to help you feel happy when it’s matched with your desired mood. When you want to be happy, listen to songs that make you feel good! When you want to feel relaxed and stress free, listen to music that soothes you. If you don’t have time to make your own playlist, use free mobile applications like Pandora and Songza to find your perfect happy playlist.
Help a Sista’ (or Brotha’) Out –
Stop thinking about yourself and identify what you can do for someone else. It doesn’t have to be significant. It can be as simple as buying your co-worker coffee or relieving your spouse from doing the dishes. Even though you may not be rewarded with instant happiness, doing something for someone else makes the other person feel great and they are more likely to return a favor. That person is bound to help you out in the future. So ask yourself, “What can I do for someone else today?” Now do it!
Boast Your Inner Giant (to yourself) –
You have to talk positively to yourself and stop self defeating thoughts. Keep a journal, talk into a tape recorder (you’re pretty awesome if you still own a cassette player), or write daily affirmations on a whiteboard near your desk. Identify your positive qualities, stories, and achievements, then write them down!
Make sure you don’t become a bragard in front of others. Instead, compile your positive thoughts in a personal, secure location (ie – journal) that’s within reach. Refer to it regularly when you begin to think negatively. Replace every negative thought with three positive thoughts, and you’ll begin to look at life through a positive lense.
Think Pina Coladas & Getting Caught In The Sunshine –
Determine an event you’ve always wanted to attend or a destination you’ve wanted to travel to, then plan it! When you have a vacation or event to look forward to, you immediately become excited about the future. The future is full of possibilities, so discover places to try new activities, learn a new skill, or relax on a beach with a pina colada.
To recap, make sure you regularly decide to:
- Listen and dance to your favorite music
- Help others
- Build positive thoughts
- Plan an event or vacation in the near future
Always surround yourself with other happy people and mimic their behavior. It’s critical that you make this part of your daily practice and take time to define your own happiness.
Need More Help Creating Happiness?
If you need more help on creating happiness I’m excited to invite you to a webinar I’m hosting next tuesday called Your Success Launch. At this event I’ll share some more amazing tips about being happy as well as some awesome prizes and giveaways. And if you register using this special link just for MindFitMove readers you can come for free
Did I miss a happiness hack? Let us know in the comments, then share this article with someone who could use a little happiness today!
Photo credit: Girl with Bubble by Viktor Hanacek on Pic Jumbo
Max DuBowy is an author, success scientist, and musical theatre performer. His mission is to help college grads and creative entrepreneurs achieve their emotional, physical, financial and spiritual goals to be happy, confident, and successful faster. He holds a BA in psychology from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and has been performing in musicals professionally the past 15 years. For more tips and techniques to be happy and successful, visit Your Success Launch to receive your complimentary “7 Secrets to Instant Happiness” ebook.