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How to Be Happy in a Down Economy

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We’ve all heard in the media about the economy and numerous job layoffs. It’s a problem, no doubt, and one that may take time to resolve. I’ve talked to many people who are worried about their job, finances, and overall security. Many people are anxious, fearful, and even depressed about the current economic times.  It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the problems going on in this world to overlook the good that is happening in your life; right now! But, I assure you, there is a bright side. There is a way to feel happy even during these down times. The answer is so simple … but often overlooked or maybe even avoided altogether. Can you guess what it is?


We all know people who like to complain. They are the type that complains as if it’s an Olympic event. However, lately there are legitimate things to complain about but is it really necessary? We can’t change many of the things going on in our world and we can’t change how other people respond to bad situations, but we can control how we respond. We make the choice every day to either feel happy and peaceful or anxious and fearful.


So, have you figured out what can make you happy even when things are falling apart around you? The answer is gratitude! Feeling thankful for what is good in your life and focusing on those things rather than focusing on all the things that are wrong in life is what will produce happiness. When we are legitimately grateful for our family, job, finances, neighbors, opportunities, or anything else in your life, you will feel better. Gratitude produces a feeling of joy. It makes us feel good to be thankful for what we have in life. The joy transcends to peace and that peace produces happiness even in tough times. The circumstances don’t change but how you feel does change. And, if given the choice, wouldn’t you rather feel happy than stressed?


Has anyone ever paid you a compliment that you didn’t accept? For example, has someone told you your new dress is very becoming and you responded by saying, “Oh, this old thing?”


Maybe at work someone complimented you on a job well done and you responded, “It was nothing.”


Why is it often difficult to accept a compliment? Why can’t we be grateful and just say “thank you?”


When we decline a compliment, we think we are being humble, but the message it delivers to our subconscious is altogether different.


Rejection of a compliment sends a message to the brain that we are not pretty, or smart, or hard working! This response also makes the person who paid us the compliment feel bad because we didn’t accept it.


When we are grateful and accept the kind words someone has given us, it makes us feel good inside. That compliment is stored in our “hard drive,” and continues to deliver positive energy.


Have an attitude of gratitude. Make a choice to be grateful and happy. Be grateful for the job you have, even if you are not happy in that job. Be grateful for your co-workers, even though they may drive you crazy. Be grateful for your boss who is hard on you, but also challenges you, and makes you stretch further than you thought you could.


I guarantee if you will start being grateful for the things in your life that make you happy, or even unhappy, you will experience a wonderful upsurge of new energy. 


Suddenly, change is in the air! You might arrive at work one day and notice that you really do enjoy your job and appreciate the uniqueness of your co-workers. You might even think everyone else has changed, but it’s really you who flipped the switch to the Happiness Channel.  


Why not give that flip-switch a try? The alternative is staying exactly where you are; and if that doesn’t feel good, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Focus on what is good in your life. I guarantee you will like your results. Continue to do this and you will always be “Winning in Life”!

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