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  • Written by Eric North aka “The Happiness Warrior”

The holidays can be a wonderful time of year for many of us, but it can also be a time when we can feel alienated, guilty, overwhelmed, frustrated, disappointed, and alone.

As The Happiness Warrior, I want to show you how to create the mindset for enjoying this time of year on your own terms without apology or regret. This comes easily as soon as we understand that happiness is a state of mind that is not dependent on outside forces. As the old saying goes “happiness comes from within” and when we know this, we are invincible. Life gives us choices and when we’re honest and listen to our inner voice we’ll soon find that we have everything we need to make new and make the holidays our own!

We place so much of our happiness on the approval of others. We often fear that we’re missing out on an Instagram photo of our “perfect lives” with people who don’t really matter. The darkness and the cold can also make us feel more disconnected and lonelier. We become more vulnerable to the pressures of outside forces to make us appear happy and content. Our personal authenticity becomes an afterthought in our desire to conform and live our lives for others. Is this the life that we deserve?

This is the time of year when the habits and rituals that we’ve created and developed over the last year often reveal us their greatest power. When we’re patient and live in the present with authenticity, we can feel more connected with ourselves.

We can also avoid the guilt and unnecessary stress that comes with being very “busy” to frantically meet others perceived expectations. The reality is that many of us create the illusion and frenzy of being “busy” to feel avoid the feelings that come when we can release and let go. When we see our truth and focus on our true feelings, we can begin to release holiday-related tension and feelings of doubt. We can find happiness in the joy of being our true selves.


These are my personal tips and recommendations for managing the holidays on our own terms and feeling great as we start the new year:

1.      FOMO—Fear of missing out. This is perhaps the number one reason most of us accept invitations that we know deep down that we won’t enjoy or feel connected with. The need for acceptance is an external validation that has little basis in the reality of how we’re perceived. It can be very liberating and life-affirming to say “no” at times and be careful when we say “yes”. Listen to your intuition, the first thing that goes through your mind is often the best choice and the one that we’ll be happiest with.

2.      Managing expectations is also tricky but being able to rationally say “no” and/or scale back our input is a good self-esteem builder.

3.      Do the inner inner-work which includes awareness, contemplation, imagination, planning, and creativity. I find great peace in directing my awareness towards breathing and focusing on minute details of my immediate surroundings. This creates a state of mindfulness and is especially useful in times when self-created negative feelings of anxiousness or guilt pop into my mind. Contemplation helps us reach a state of pure concentration. This gets easier the more we practice this with breathing and meditation.

4.       Outer work is finding our path and happiness in whatever we do. It can be a career, relationship, art, music, or anything that makes you feel whole and complete. Intention is a superpower, and it will help create a life with more balance and greater self-esteem. Helping others to build their own self-esteem will amplify these feelings and make us happier.

5.      Talk to strangers, sometimes it’s a pleasure to open ourselves to someone that just happens to be there. These moments may be brief, but they raise our vibration and attract other people with positive energy. I tell myself every day when I leave the house that “I like everyone”. That way I feel empowered and confident in my everyday interactions. A kind word to someone in need is always powerful and good for our spirit.

6.      My primary Happiness Warrior Core Value is to “take care of my body as if my life depends on it”.  This includes healthy unprocessed food, regular cardiovascular exercise, weightlifting, regular sex, and healthy sleep. I do all these things every day!

This helps me to keep my focus on taking care of myself so that I can take better care of others. This provides balance, creates an abundance of happiness without the need of external sources of validation.

7.      Get as much light as possible. Take a break at noon and stand outside facing the sun even if it’s cloudy. When outdoors, focus on getting more light and fresh air into your life. Sleep at night with your window open for deeper sleep. Even if it's just opened a crack, you’ll feel more invigorated in the morning.

8.      Journal or begin writing your thoughts down. Often this will turn into a self-esteem building exercise. This is the time to think about affirmations and values that are important for growth.

9.      Stay close to your closest friends and let them know that you are present in their lives. The kind of friends that you always feel like you’ve never been apart from when you see each other. I have just a handful of these people in my life and am forever grateful for them.

10.  In winter months try to stay warm, when possible, except when exercising. Cold temps are a known trigger for temporary depression. Studies have shown that keeping warm can reduce winter blues by half!

11.  Schedule outdoor activity, just a short walk can make all the difference in mood. Make exercise a priority on your calendar, even if you don’t feel like just getting up and start moving, it works!

12.  Give yourself a morning affirmation. Always start the day with an empowering statement to manifest your intention. We create the world we want to live in. Our words have energy and spirit and knowing this makes them more powerful.

13.  Keep active in body and mind and mindfully meditate on what an incredible human you are.

Wherever you are for the holidays or whatever you’re doing make sure that it’s something you want to be doing. There may be obligations that we don’t want to upset and need to attend but don’t forget to give yourself permission to be happy with who you are. Forgive yourself for the past. Nothing else matters when we live life on our own terms with authenticity and aligned with our core values.

IG @TheHappinessWarrior1
Tw: EricLNorth1

Eric North The Happiness Warrior

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