Happiness, we say, is a choice. Happy people understand this, while unhappy people struggle with judging themselves for not being able to easily shift to a happy state of mind.
The first step towards moving into a happy state is to understand that happiness is something we need to learn and, for some reason (that we will not discuss here), school teaches everything else but happiness. Use the “school of life” to practice happiness and remember that your “choice muscle” needs to be active all the time. Always notice you have options in everything you do, think or feel, and that you choose the things that are best for you.
Here are some specific tips you can blend into your every day:
- Smile a lot. If smiling is too hard for you, take a pencil and hold it with your teeth. There are enough smiling muscles involved for your brain to think you are smiling and start producing “happy” chemicals.
- Sing! Singing works just like smiling, causing your body to produce “feeling good” chemicals. Sing in the car, sing in the shower, sing when you prepare dinner and sing when you feel frustrated and notice how the negative feelings melt away.
- Hang around positive people. Having happy people around you will make it easy to learn happiness. Happy people have fun around them and their ability to overcome challenges is higher than that of unhappy people who tend to lay blame and feel victimised. Choose the people you hang out with to suit your needs.
- Laugh. Much like smiling, laughter is a great way to overcome physical and emotional challenges. If it does not happen naturally, try laughter therapy.
- Get a move on. Being physically active makes you happy. Find some activity you like to do and notice how it changes your mood: sex (yes, of course!), any kind of sport, dance and yoga. Make a habit of being active in any way you feel like.
- Get creative. Creativity is a great way to find happiness. Think of creative things people do for a living or as hobby and notice how much happiness it gives them. Paint, draw, dance, sculpt, do some craft, invent a gadget, cook something new, write poetry or tend the garden. Tap into your creative abilities and find your “happy spot”.
- Hug. Hugging is a way to give and receive happiness. Physical touch is essential to your development and hugging is a great way to get that physical touch in a positive way. Hug a lot!
- When in a conflict situation, remember that being happy and being right do not necessarily go hand in hand. When in doubt, choose happiness over being right.
- When feeling down, recite to yourself “This too shall pass” and imagine a brighter future.
- Act like a child. Do childish things to feel young and fresh: jump on a trampoline, sit on a swing and skip. Remember, “We do not stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing”.
- Be kind. Do random acts of kindness every day. It can be as simple as saying something nice, offering help, giving up your place in a queue or allowing another driver to enter a busy road.
- Be grateful. Practice gratitude: say thank you for everything you have and appreciate in your life. Gratitude is a way to increase happiness and eliminate taking life for granted.
- Meditate! Find a relaxation you feel comfortable with. Meditation relaxes the mind. You can listen to music, use crystals, take a bath, use candles or repeat a mantra. All of these do the same thing to your mind. Take the time off every day to regenerate yourself.
The great thing about happiness is that it is on a scale – your own scale. No one can tell you what will make you happy and you have the absolute power to determine your happiness and to achieve it. Happiness is your choice.
Another great thing about the pursuit of happiness is that it has a compounding effect (much like accumulating wealth). It is a journey and the main thing in it is to START NOW!
Choose a happy life and make a promise to yourself to become a happy person one step at a time.
Until next time,
Be Happy in LIFE!