A guide to actively participating in creating and living an even happier international life.

Thinking negatively all the time is exhausting and you will drive yourself down. Living overseas and in challenging environments means you have to pay even more attention to yourself and up your levels of self care. Of course, you don’t have to think positively ALL the time, it is only natural to have bad days and crappy negative thoughts.

But you can start bit by bit to make small changes to the way you think, talk and live to enhance your day to day, to get closer to the life of your dreams, to reach your goals and generally feel more zen and at peace with life. Just learning to ‘be’ and how to empower yourself is a lifestyle and requires some action on your part.

1) Start the day with a dose of love

Starting your day with a positive affirmation is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Even something super simple like, “Being here is awesome! I am so happy and lucky to just be alive! Today is going to be a really good day” will make a huge difference to how the rest of the day unfolds.

What you are thinking, feeling, and believing in the first waking moments of your day has a profound rippling effect on your entire day. So choose to be positive. Find something to be grateful for. Engrave those reasons into your subconscious mind to instantly start finding reasons for the day to be great!

The morning is also a great time to do spiritual practices like yoga or meditation, or gym if that’s what gets you ready for the day. If none of those, at least give yourself a little dose of something you love, whether it’s a cup of tea or coffee, music, writing or some extra snuggle time with your cat/dog/partner.

2) You get what you give

No matter who you are or what you do, you are always going to have some sort of negativity throughout your day as you interact with the world. The key is to not take things too personally, remember the bigger picture of your life and not let these moments make themselves at home in your positive environment.

Fortunately for us, positive thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are much, much stronger than negative ones and it’s relatively easy to turn the mind around.

It helps to visualise happy thoughts, events, and memories in your mind. By doing this you will quickly notice a change in how many positive things start popping into your life. You get what you give, you attract what you give off, so be consciously aware of the type of the thoughts and energy you are emitting.

At night as you get ready to go to bed, take a few seconds to appreciate something that has happened in the day, or something that you are thankful for in your life right now and go to sleep on a good note. Your dreams will thank you for it.

3) Bring yourself back to the present

Take a break from the constant stream of thoughts that can sometimes drive us to insanity at the end of our day (to do lists, boss problems, partner disagreements, body image and diet dilemmas) and turn off your jumping monkey mind by bringing yourself back to the present moment. Being fully present clears your mind and brings it back to what’s actually important and what doesn’t need to be stressed.

Being in the present, reminds us that the happiness, fulfilment and abundance that we crave are not the objects, money, events, or other external things. True happiness is a way of living, not something that you are aiming to achieve.

So how do you still your brain? Simply take 1-2 minute breaks several times throughout your day to just breathe and enjoy the miracle of what is going on now, what you have now, how lucky you are. The more often you do this, the more you will automatically believe it and realise how much you have to be thankful for.

4) Brain-body connection and stimulation

The art of learning how to visualise your goals involves a lot of influences. However taking up a hobby that you really enjoy can help drastically in creating a positive sense of moving towards your goals.

These can include playing a musical instrument, a sports team, yoga, gym, painting, writing, travelling, volunteering. All of these acts spread positivity that enhance your sense of self-worth, supporting your inner knowledge that you deserve love and happiness.

5) Trust the universe

Sometimes it gets stressful worrying about making things work out. The trick is to relax, and trust that it WILL happen to you, trust that the universe, or God or energy or nature has got your back and is giving you exactly what you need.

Be patient. Don’t get upset if these things don’t happen immediately. Don’t stress the “how” of things. Let the Universe do it for you. When you take the Universe’s job of worrying about the “how”, this says you’re lacking faith and that you’re telling the Universe what to do when the Universe has far greater knowledge and power than human mankind. You’ll be much happier.

6) Ask “what if?” questions to improve your mood

If you’re feeling low, positive questions greatly help you control your emotional state quickly, and often times work much better than positive affirmations in the form of a statement. Questions open the door to possibility. When you are feeling terrible, just try asking yourself “what if?” questions that end on a positive note.

– What if this all works out exactly how I hope?

– What if the reason things are the way they are is because this is what needs to happen for me to grow, to learn, to achieve my goals?

– What if I go home and let it all be, and it solves itself?

7) Remember to breathe

“Duh?! …”

The breath is handed over to the unconscious mind and forgotten about. Learning to control your breath consciously is a HUGE advantage to becoming more conscious of everything. Our breathing patterns affect our physical health, our thoughts, and our emotions. These patterns also affect our energy flow that can further affect every aspect of our physical, mental, and spiritual reality. You know how people can make themselves sick when they’re feeling low.

Well! You can begin by committing to taking 3 breaks each day to simply breathe deeply for a few minutes. Or try out some Prayanama Yoga breathing exercises, you may be amazed!

And remember, be patient, it takes 30 days to create a habit. Same goes for a new way of thinking. Practice these daily and in a month’s time you’ll be really surprised how positive you feel and what you have attracted into your life. Watch how living with your full potential creates the life of your dreams.

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