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7 Things You Can Do To March On The Road to Happiness

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Our family went hiking in Myanmar last year. The hike went through extremely basic villages and it was the first time my kids saw villages that don’t have electricity, people drink from a well and local kids play soccer barefoot with a bamboo ball.

It was eye opening to see how little these local kids have and how happy they seem. “Mom, what’s happiness” my 5 year old asked hearing my comment. “Feeling of satisfaction, pleasure, cheerfulness, and enjoyment… “ I explained.  “So why when kids have so little they can be so satisfied and happy?” my kid insisted. She was right. Happiness above all is a DECISION. It’s a state of mind. We can decide to be happy and content or decide to be gloomy.

Many spend their lives waiting for happiness: Only until we get that job. Until we find love. Until we lose a few more pounds. Until we make more money. True happiness comes from within and needs to be actively pursued.

This is actually great news for everyone because with just a few simple changes to your daily habits – you can be a happier person. You don’t need much to be more successful at everything you do. You just need to decide to feel content, and happiness will follow.

Here are a few simple changes anyone can do to march on the road to happiness:

1. Understand you’re responsible

You are in charge of your own happiness. Don’t wait for others to make you happy or blame others for making you feel bad. Understanding that you are responsible is the first step.

“If you want to be happy, be.” – Leo Tolstoy

2. Fake it till you make it

I learned this one the hard way. When my mom was dying of cancer I had some of the worst days of my life. However, I did learn that when you smile even if breaking inside, the world smiles back and you start feeling better. So when things are rough, force yourself to smile. Think of something that made you feel great and visualize it. It will feel completely fake at first but soon enough you will simply feel better. 

 

3. Sleep is key

Sleep deprivation is a key reason for depression. You are much more likely to feel negative emotions with lack of sleep. So get yourself enough hours of sleep especially when you are stressed. Also positive thoughts before going to bed proved to help the overall feeling. You can use ThinkUp app or any other motivation and affirmation techniques to fall asleep. You will sleep better and wake up a more positive person.

 

4. Remind yourself of things you are grateful for

What are you grateful for? Remind yourself of things you are grateful for and things that made you happy each day. Look for the positives in every experience. You can use a journal or simply sharing them with a partner or friends. With my kids we used to play “Good news, bad news”. Each would need to tell something great that happened to them and something not so great and we would talk about both. I would start to get the conversation going. The bad news mostly turned out not so bad and the great news were many times a reason to celebrate so we all became happier.

 

5. Give more

Give more and be genuinely happy for others and you’ll see how well you feel. Compliment others on their achievements; help friends in need, offer a hand and your day will look better. I used to have a rule – one good deed a day. Whether I helped an older lady carry bags, assisted a blind man cross the street, volunteered for a great cause, helped a friend or even just gave a complement to a co-worker. I always felt much better afterwards. Try it!

 

6. Exercise

Even just a few minutes may be enough. Stretch with calming music or even add affirmations to the routine. Go on a hike or join a group exercise. You will relax and start the day on a high note.

“To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise.” – Gene Tunny

7. Cultivate optimism

Positive thinking is an important part of self-esteem and overall life satisfaction. Optimism also tends to make your personal and work relationships better.  It’s not only about expectations, it’s about how you interpret everything in life. For example instead of: “I’m going to fail the test tomorrow so I’ll go watch TV” an optimistic will say “I’m concerned from the test tomorrow but I’ll study and give it my best shot”.  Force yourself to an optimistic state of mind and slowly it will become more natural.

The road to happiness is long and windy with quite a few forks in the road. A positive mindset is key to make even the uphills feel great. Don’t worry about wrong turns, you’ll find yourself back on the road again. So smile and see the world smiling back. Enjoy the journey!

Have you found your happiness yet? Leave your thoughts below!

Ilana Golan is a serial entrepreneur, speaker and advisor. Currently Founder and CEO of Stiya - Storytelling platform through automation and AI and an active advisor to a few startups. Mentioned as top 40 women to watch in 2016.  Before that, she founded Quali US and grew it to $15M yearly revenue. Prior to Quali, Ilana served in various engineering and product roles in companies such as Intel and been part of a startup exit of $300M (Verisity). Ilana started her career as an F-16 flight instructor and became the first woman to become a commander and in-charge of training of all F-16 pilots in Israel. Connect with Ilana on her website: http://www.ilanagolan.com/.

Life

These 7 Daily Resolutions Can Change Your Life

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We all strive to be better every day. Most of us want a new day to bring something new, and we plan for it as well. Of course, the execution is debatable as procrastination is real and it becomes an overwhelming feeling at times. Also, not to forget the customary practice of making resolutions on new year’s eve!  All of us are fascinated by the thought of preparing long lists of resolves to mark the beginning of a new year. Not sure how many people are able to translate these resolutions into functional realities. (more…)

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4 Reasons Why Content Is Pivotal For Mental Health Healing

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One of the most important things for an entrepreneur’s mental health is expressing their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. This is where content creation and writing becomes pivotal. Whether you read something that resonates with you or you write a compelling blog post, the act of expressing yourself through content can help to put a smile on your face and make you feel better about things.

Most entrepreneurs don’t spend as much time taking care of their mental health as they should. Over the course of your career, you will experience a lot of ups and downs; these emotions have the potential to take a toll on your mind and body if you don’t learn to manage them properly.

Here are four reasons why expression through content is pivotal for healing, slowing yourself down, and giving yourself grace when the going gets tough.

1. Content can be a form of self-expression

When you are an entrepreneur, you frequently face feelings of insecurity, doubt, fear, apathy, and exhaustion, just to name a few. Some days it feels like no one is on your business’s side and everyone else has it all figured out. On those days some of us try to look at our website’s analytics to cheer up. 

But an even more freeing task is creating content. You create content to improve your business and reach more people’s lives. But, there is something special that happens when you write with the intention of expressing your thoughts and feelings — you open a door to yourself. 

Content is inherently personal, which means content creators open themselves up when they share their thoughts on a platform. Everything from the title of the post, the keywords they choose to include, and even the content itself helps you to understand who the author of that post truly is. And as an entrepreneur, this can be an important experience because it allows others to empathize with you.

2. Self-reflection will lift you up

As you think through what to write about and how to express yourself, the process of self reflection is a valuable step you need to go through. You’re able to reflect on the blessings you have, assess what you learned from the negative experiences, and create a plan on how to maintain the positive experiences you’ve had. 

There are a few ways that self reflection can help you with mental health healing. The act of reflecting on your experiences helps to create clarity in feelings, thoughts and emotions which will eventually lead into acceptance for what has happened or is happening currently without feeling overwhelmed by it all. This process also leads people towards finding new things they enjoy doing. Self reflection is therapeutic and can be implemented anytime you feel the need to overcome overwhelm.

“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.” – Hal Elrod

3. A sense of belonging and camaraderie

It is important to have a support network of people who will listen and understand what you are going through. When you post a blog or upload a video on YouTube, there are others who feel the same way and experience a sense of connection with you.

When you put time, attention and thoughtfulness into your writing, it is amazing when someone reads what you’ve written and comments on it thanking you or expressing how they resonate with what you’re going through. It’s hard to put into words how powerful it feels when someone who has gone through the same experience and reads your words then reaches out.  There is power in expression but miracles happen when people bond over a similar experience.

4. Library of content to share with more people

It can be very difficult to know what content to share with people as the symptoms of mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.) vary from person to person. But as you accumulate more and more content, this will increase the number of articles or videos available for readers to choose from depending on their specific purpose. It also builds your personal library of resources you’re able to share to different people you encounter or engage directly with.

As chaotic and distracting social media can be, it can also be a beacon of hope with the right content. Many people share viral posts, or content that interest them. Since your content is valuable and personal, the more you share it, the more likely it is to be shared with the right audience.

You never know who is watching (reading)

Your content is speaking to someone and even though they may not be actively engaged, their experiences with your work are impacting them. Think about the last time you watched TV: did everyone in the room have something entertaining to say? 

You never know who’s watching because there’s always somebody reading your posts or viewing your videos-even if they just skim through it briefly. This is why creating content worth consuming is critical, not only to get you out of your funk, but also to serve your audience.  Be authentic and stay true to yourself; make every post count as an opportunity for connection with your best self and for potential readers to bond with you.

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Life

5 Ways To Invest In Yourself and Change Your Life

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Warren Buffett once said, the best investment you can ever make is in yourself. Time and money spent on bettering yourself are never considered a waste. Whether it’s through learning how to make money online, exploring new ways to increase your financial security, or watching TED talks to expand your knowledge. Do not be stingy when it comes to self-improvement because it will definitely pay off in the end. 

Need some ideas to get started on your journey to becoming a better you? Here are 5 ways to invest in yourself and transform your life. 

1. Change Your Self-Concept

Having a negative self-concept can have a tremendous impact on your life. Limiting beliefs and self-doubt are some of the main reasons why many never achieve or attempt to pursue their dreams. Take a moment and think about all the negative thoughts you have repeated to yourself throughout your life. How have these thoughts impacted the way you live life? From now on, create a new self-image by turning these negative thoughts into positive ones and appreciate your good qualities. 

2. Sign Up For An Online Course

If you’ve been wanting to brush up on your Photoshop skills or learn how to code professionally, this is the perfect time to get started. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can access an endless amount of valuable information online. For example, sites like Coursera and Youtube are both awesome resources for online learning. With a few search strings and clicks, you can find all the information you need. 

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” – Robin Sharma

3. Learn From a Mentor

No matter which stage of your life you are currently in, working with a mentor can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Not only can they guide you in the right direction, but also transform your vision, provide you with new insights, and connect you with amazing resources. If you’re feeling unmotivated or unsure about what you want to do in life, consider finding a mentor to help you navigate this process. 

4. Start A Side Hustle

The salary from a 9-5 job would rarely allow you to reach your maximum income potential. Why not achieve financial success while pursuing your passion by starting a side hustle? Whether it’s through starting an ecommerce business, freelance writing on the side, or starting a Youtube channel. There are infinite numbers of ways to make money, and there is bound to be one out there that fits your passion and skills. 

5. Nourish Your Body

As many may say, “health is the new wealth”. Without a healthy and functioning body, living a fulfilling and comfortable life becomes difficult. To take care of your body and prioritize your wellbeing, start with small habits such as eating healthier foods and exercising regularly. Bike or walk to work instead of taking the car, and opt for a healthy protein bowl instead of greasy burgers at Burger King. With time, these small habits can make an incredible difference.

Check out the infographic below, to see more ways you can invest in yourself:

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Life

How to Turn Inward and Detox Your Mind

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When we are overwhelmed by confusion, our psyche tries to establish certainty to alleviate our discomfort. This is usually accomplished by mentally imagining and acting out a plot. Unfortunately, much of the time, we mentally visualize pessimistic (or worst-case scenario) scenarios to provide certainty. (more…)

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