How To Be Happier Right Now

Five experts offer five quick ways to improve your lot

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1 HOW TO TAKE MORE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE

The tip: "Paradoxically, the best solution to the problem of overload is to do less. Every day, make a point of saying 'no' nicely to one thing — either in your work or in your personal life.  The therapeutic effect will astound you." 

Book: The Power of Doing Less by Fergus O'Connell (Wiley)
How it works: O'Connell points out the obvious fact that we will never get everything done. Rather than letting fate decide (as represented by our bosses, guilt, or the expectations of other people), we should decide for ourselves. 

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2 HOW TO BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE

The tip: "When needing to supercharge your confidence, recall a time you felt at your very best and squeeze the fingers of your right hand down firmly into your palm, imagining you are pressing an invisible control. This will recreate and intensify those feelings. You can then replicate them easily any time you need an immediate confidence hit."

Book: The Confidence Factor by Annie Ashdown (Crimson)

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How it works: Ashdown breaks down seven simple steps to strengthening your confidence, like a muscle. Each chapter includes practical advice for immediate implementation: think of it as circuit training for your self-confidence.

3 HOW TO WORK FEWER HOURS 

The tip: Use 'Stochastic Resonance' to become a more efficient worker. This is the idea that a weak signal becomes easier to detect if you add white noise into the background. It's easier to maintain a train of thought in the presence of a certain amount of random background activity. In a cafe, you are never actually disturbed, unless someone briefly asks, 'Is this seat free?' But at the same time you don't have to struggle against a background of silence and will find it easier to focus as a result.  

Book: 'Out Of Office' by Chris Ward

How it helps: Ward explains how you can be far more productive and creative in your working life, in order to work less hours but still achieve more.

4 HOW TO MAKE MORE TIME FOR YOURSELF

The tip: "Turn unproductive evening hours into productive morning hours. Instead of puttering around the house or watching TV you didn't mean to, go to bed 30 minutes earlier and wake up 30 minutes earlier. Use that time to tackle whatever personal priorities otherwise get short shrift: exercise, reading, creative pursuits, personal admin, strategic thinking, even a relaxed breakfast with your partner. When we schedule important things first, they tend to get done." 

BookWhat The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam (Penguin)

How it works: Vanderkam identifies an efficient means of using every hour productively: matching your to-do list to your natural body clock.

5 HOW TO BE HAPPIER

The tip: Make a list of the people you find most annoying, and those you judge the most. Next to each, write what you find frustrating about them. Some may be rude; some may be self-absorbed. If so, you may well have been suppressing similar notions about yourself. Try writing 'I can be rude' and 'I can be self-absorbed'. How do you feel about these statements? Once you accept every aspect of yourself, you're likely to have far fewer problems with other people — and be significantly happier within yourself.

Book: 'Change From Within' by John Purkiss (Jan 2014)

How it works: Purkiss' central argument is that when you change, the world around you changes. So the quickest and surest way to change your life is to change yourself.

SEE ALSO:
Six Ways To Better At Work Right Now
The Lazy Man's Guide To Being Healthy
Life Lessons From The World's Happiest Man
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