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By Carrie-ann | Dec 20, 2018 | Lifestyle balance

How business owners relax at Christmas

As small business owners we often break for the Christmas holidays feeling worn out. Not good, especially when the rest of your family is jolly and asking why your face is so long. 

We must remember that happiness is just an emotion and we can give it a little boost. You deserve a break even if you do only switch off from work after you’ve stuffed yourself on Xmas day and fallen into a food coma.  Easier said than done (I know), but try to think that work will still be there when you get back to it.

What you can do today to increase your happiness
Happiness means different things to different people. For some it is a lifelong goal, for others it comes easily. Some people find happiness in family or nature, and for others, it is a state to slip in and out of. There are definitely ways to boost happiness, and in a way it is a bit like travel. Happiness is not just the destination, it is also the journey.

It is said that feeling happy attracts more happiness, and makes it easier to create more. If happiness is associated with positivity, then negativity is one of the enemies of happiness. Logically, reducing the negative must accentuate the positive, and bring more happiness into your life.

How do I focus on joy?
When someone says they love you or does something to show that they care, give these gestures the importance they deserve. When you think about people, instead of fixating on what they have done to annoy you, concentrate on their good aspects, and not only will you feel happier, but you will probably find your mood is lighter and people around you will want to do more things to make you smile. People often respond better to praise than criticism and will blossom when encouraged. Let go of the need to blame, and the need to always be the one who has the last word. Sometimes it’s better to be loved than to be right.

How can I increase positivity?
For a start, listen to yourself. Are you always complaining, looking for flaws and tearing people down? Stop doing it – you can stop right now. And if you catch yourself doing it again, because this is probably a habit, then stop again. Keep stopping yourself until that becomes a habit. Then listen to the way people around you talk. Are they relentlessly producing negative comments? Maybe it’s time to find more positive people to associate with. Or point out to them how negative they sound (although you might want to suggest that diplomatically, and by praising the good stuff they come out with). Those who are unbearably negative may be people from whom distance is advised.

How do I control all the negative things around me?
The answer is: you can’t. You cannot control the weather, the media, foreign policy or your neighbours, so don’t even try. You can’t save anyone, or make them a better person. All you can really control is yourself, so learn to control your emotions and how you react to situations. Master your emotions and most of the hard part of maintaining a state of happiness is accomplished.

Important: Don’t live in the past
The past is useful and we should certainly learn from it, but don’t let it define you and don’t live there. Don’t allow the past of other people to hold you back either. The past cannot be changed, all you can change is how you live your life right now. If something happened in your past that you do not think you can put behind you, then seek professional help. Experience should increase wisdom and build character, and sure, some of it may have been painful, but bitterness will only drive people away and poison the future.