What makes you happy? Does your happiness level fluctuate depending upon how much money is in your bank account? Are you happy when your hubby takes the kids out of your hair for an afternoon? Is there something that you are waiting for (a raise, marriage proposal, Chicago Cubs World Series…) in order to be happy?
That’s the thing about happiness–it is too often dependent upon happenings. We allow our circumstances to dictate the way that we feel about life and how much pleasure we derive from it. One second we’re happy because our favorite magazine arrived in the mail and the next second we’re irritated because our new puppy chewed up our most comfy pair of slippers.
Rather than living life in a constant state of emotional flux, our well being would be better served if we could learn ways to cultivate true and sustained joy and contentment. Sure–we’ll still look forward to those moments when our happenings lead to happiness, but our overall FabYOUlousness won’t be so dependent upon outside forces or circumstances.
In order to cultivate a true and lasting state of authentic FabYOUlousness, give the following suggestions a try…
15 Ways to Take Control of Your Fab-YOU-lousness
1.) Pick your battles. Some things just aren’t worth it. Seriously–they aren’t. Let them go. I know that it can be so easy to get caught up in battles of who’s right and who’s wrong–but the real question should be who cares? I’m not saying that you should roll over and be a doormat who never rocks the boat; I’m just saying that some things truly are not worth the effort of a battle. Learn to pick and choose wisely.
2.) Prioritize your health. It is hard to feel FabYOUlous if your health is out of whack. If your immune system needs a boost, take your vitamins. If you’ve put on a few too many pounds, get moving. If you’re exhausted, get some rest. Investing in your health is one of the most important investments you can make and one of the surest paths to a FabYOUlous life. For simple suggestions on how to improve your overall level of health, check out our Physically Fab page.
3.) Find a hobby. We all know that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy right? Well, the same is true for us Jills too. In order to take control of our FabYOUlousness, it is imperative that we find some down time to enjoy ourselves and discover what exactly it is that we enjoy. For me, my hobbies include blogging, reading, knitting, crocheting and writing. Taking time to enjoy these activities ensures that I am more relaxed and less stressed during the times that I must be focused on work. The same will be true for you too.
4.) Hang out with the right people. Do the people that you spend the majority of your time with lift you up and make you feel good about yourself and your life–or do they drag you down with negativity, drama and bitterness? Do your friends inspire you to go after your dreams or do they stifle your growth and discourage your aspirations? It is remarkable how much influence our closest circle of friends and family can have upon our own personal level of FabYOUlousness. In fact, the late personal development expert, Jim Rohn, said that each one of us is the average of the five people with whom we spend the most time. With this being the case, it is absolutely crucial that we choose those five people very carefully. For some great ideas on how to cultivate meaningful connections with people who will help you to be your most FabYOUlous self, check out our Fab Friend Connections page.
5.) Enjoy nature. I am so blessed to live at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains in an area that has several gorgeous lakes, beautiful seasons and abundant wildlife. Whenever I feel like my life is beginning to spiral downward, nothing rejuvenates my outlook and settles my spirit more quickly than time spent in the great outdoors. City slickers should not despair however–even the most urban of settings typically have beautifully landscaped parks or botanical gardens that are open to the public. If a day hike or trip to a nature preserve isn’t possible, just stepping outside at night and taking a few minutes to breathe the night air and admire the starry sky can do wonders for one’s emotional well being. Take control of your FabYOUlousness by making it a habit to spend regular time in natural settings.
6.) Learn to manage your anger. The word ‘anger’ is only one letter away from the word ‘danger’ and that is exactly where you can land if you don’t learn to manage explosive emotions. For some easy and practical advice on how to effectively manage your anger, click here
7.) Walk away from explosive situations. As was mentioned in the previous entry, learning to manage your anger is an essential ingredient when it comes to taking control of your FabYOUlousness. One key component to this is knowing when to walk away from a no-win or explosive situation. This is a lesson that I wish I could have learned earlier in my first marriage. Rather than sticking around for endless rounds of fighting and constantly throwing more gas on an already raging firestorm, I should have just cut my losses and walked. It retrospect, I can now see how my sticking around ultimately accomplished nothing and how much better served I would have been if I had simply walked away. What about you? Is there a volatile co-worker that tries to stir things up at your office? Does your brother in law insist on talking politics with you even though he knows that you do not support his views? Are you constantly trying to stay out of the line of fire of a ‘friend’ who has a hair-trigger temper? These situations do nothing but drain our emotional resources and leave us feeling angry and exasperated. In order to take back control of your FabYOUlousness, it is important that you learn when to stay and stick up for yourself, but also when to stop pouring gasoline on the fire and walk away.
8.) Confess life filled words. There is so much negativity in the world, the last thing that we need to be doing is contributing more negativity via our own words. The things that you say (especially to and about yourself) hold incredible power. In fact, the word “abracadabra” which is commonly used by magicians, derives from an Aramaic phrase meaning “I create as I speak.” Be sure that the “magic” you’re creating is positive in nature. Rather than saying to yourself “I’m so fat” or “I’ll never get a raise” try saying things like “my body is strong and getting stronger” or “wonderful opportunities are coming my way and I’m ready to seize them.” This shift in phrasing will pull you into a more positive frame of mind and invite more positivity into your life. If you are on Pinterest and would like some suggestions for positive affirmations, check out my Affirmations Pinterest board.
9.) Set healthy boundaries. This is something that I have really had to work on in my life, but in doing so, my levels of happiness and overall FabYOUlousness have improved dramatically. In a nutshell, having healthy boundaries simply means knowing where your physical and emotional limits are and respecting those limits. Solid boundaries are essential to our personal well being and the well being of our relationships. For suggestions on how to set an maintain healthy boundaries click here.
10.) Practice gratitude. Few things contribute to our level of FabYOUlousness more than practicing gratitude. Unfortunately, maintaining an attitude of gratitude can be much easier said than done in this modern age of overly sensationalized news. Everywhere we turn we see or hear stories of disaster, tragedy or scandal. Still, there have been numerous studies to show that gratefulness has real and significant positive effects on our overall well being, therefore; an attitude of gratitude is one that we should all strive to attain. Click here for some FabYOUlous tips to help you to begin practicing gratitude in your own life.
11.) Play to your strengths. What are you naturally good at? Where do you always seem to excel without putting forth a ton of effort? In order to take charge of your FabYOUlousness, it is imperative that you learn to maximize those talents and skills that come naturally to you. As I apply this notion of playing to my strengths to my own life, I can see its validity. For example–I am bad at math. No matter how long I study or how hard I try, I will always be bad at math. Time and effort might make me a little less bad at math but still…”less bad” is not the same thing as being good. Thankfully though, I am good at writing and speaking. I’ve noticed that my level of success and happiness skyrockets when I spend my time and energy working on projects that utilize my natural gifts of language and communication. Because writing and speaking are natural strengths of mine, I find that I enjoy those activities immensely…or maybe it’s the other way around–maybe I am strong in the areas of writing and speaking because I enjoy them so much. Either way, it doesn’t take a mathematician (thank goodness!) to understand that playing to our strengths + loving what we do=a FabYOUlous life. To become crystal clear on your unique strengths, I recommend reading the book, Strengths Finder 2.0 by Don Clifton. This book offers access to an online strengths assessment that will pinpoint your top five strengths and clear explanations of the 34 most common strengths.
12.) Listen to upbeat music. Listening to a favorite song can have a real effect on various parts of the brain, with studies showing that areas responsible for things such as memory and vision, can ‘light up’ in response to music. According to Dr. Victoria Williamson, lecturer in Psychology at Goldsmith’s College, London, “There’s a very wide range of reactions in the body and mind to music, and brain imaging studies have shown that various parts of the brain may be activated by different types of music”. Whatever your musical preference, a 2011 Canadian study, published in Nature Neuroscience, has shown that plugging in to your favorite music can help to melt away a bad mood. Furthermore, researchers at McGill University in Montreal showed that listening to pleasurable music of any description induced ‘musical chills’, which triggered the release of the feel-good chemical dopamine.
13.) Embrace Your Flaws. Newsflash–you’re not perfect and you never will be. Neither will I and neither will anyone else on this planet. We all have flaws. In order to truly take control of your FabYOUlousness, you’ll need to not only learn to accept your flaws but to embrace them. Our flaws are what make us unique, keep us humble and give us our humanity. Rather than dwell on your flaws–own them. Lady Gaga was recently criticized for a gaining some extra weight gain but rather than dwell on the criticism, she launched her famous “Body Revolution” which has helped numerous young women to take pride in their bodies. Another way to embrace your flaws is to flip them. Maybe you feel as though you are too quiet and shy. Well, guess what–that probably means that you are a great listener. Stop being ashamed of your imperfections–instead, be flawsome and be FabYOUlous.
14.) Define success by your own terms. What does success look like to you? Not your parents, not your boss, not your spouse…what is your definition of success. Are you living the FabYOUlous life that you want to be living or are you living the life that you feel pressured to live in order to live up to someone else’s expectations of you? If you’re not sure about the answer to this question, it is time for you to do some serious soul searching. Get out a journal and a pen and start journaling about the things that you need to have in your life in order for you to feel that you are truly living life on your terms. Once you have a grasp on what your version of success looks like, you’ll be able to start plotting a path to take your life in that direction.
15.) Meditate. You’ve heard this advice before but I’m going to tell it to you again…meditation works wonders for anyone wishing to take control of their FabYOUlousness. Seriously, you need to establish a daily meditation practice. This was a challenge for me at first, but now that I’ve been meditating for a while, I can absolutely see the benefits. If you are new to meditation or simply don’t think that you have the will power to tame your “monkey mind”, click here for simple steps to creating a daily meditation habit. I promise–you can do it.
None of these 15 suggestions are complicated but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are easy. Try focusing on one suggestion for a week and then move to the next. As you start to integrate these practices into your daily routine, you will notice a definite increase in your sustained levels of joy, contentment, satisfaction and of course…FabYOUlousness.