Sunday, February 22, 2009

Get the Habit of Happiness.

There is one way to completely change your life, and that is through changing bad habits for good. The great thing about habits are that we do them automatically, we don't have to think about them and choose. However, bad habits mean we are regularly, without thinking, doing things that do not get us where we want to go, don't give us the results we want. But we can change habits. All we need to do is recognise the habits that are not working for us, find a habit to replace it, and change.

One habit you might like to consider changing is that of saying negative things to others. Speaking complaints. For one thing they bring others down. For another, they make a negative situation last longer, become bigger and more insidious, as you give the bad situation more and more space in your life, and allow others to associate you with the complaint. By stopping ourselves from speaking negatively, we just might reduce the amount of negative thoughts we have. Reduce negative thought, promote happiness, calm and contentedness. And we could all do with some of THAT.

Timothy Ferriss experimented with an bracelet sold specifically to stop this old habit. (And I am sorry, I can't quite locate it now, amongst all that he has written, but it is there on his site somewhere.) You wear the bracelet on one arm, and try to go 21 days without saying anything negative. If you do say something negative you have to change the bracelet to the other arm AND START ALL OVER AGAIN. Ferriss decided that it was a little vague – is negative a bit of a relative term? - so he decided you could relate a negative story to another, but you had to add the solution you had decided on to the end of you tale.

So, why not try it? Get one of those rubber bands that are everywhere at the moment, and try to wear it for 21 days in a row on one arm. Ferriss took 3 months to finally succeed in 21 days straight, so expect to struggle a little with it. You can choose which option you go with, no negative statements, or no negative statement without a solution punchline. Take notice of any changes to your attitude as you conduct this experiment (maybe a diary, or a moment before sleep) as it may inspire you to make more and more positive new habits in your life.

Good Luck. Of course, if you decide that you could do with further calm in your life, you can try meditation!

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