Happiness can be elusive. We’re always wishing each other “Happy something” – New Year, birthday, day at work, etc. We think about happiness as happening “when” we achieve/get/become something. However, we do not always realize that the real secret to happiness is that it’s a choice in your thoughts.
This is why I have compiled 14 secrets to being happy which will surely help you in staying optimistic and gleeful everyday! Life will still continue to throw monkey wrenches at you, but you’ll be able to see these unexpected plot twists in a more positive light and quickly regain your balance and state of happiness.
Here’s what I’ve got so far:
1. Appreciate life. No happy person has ever complained of boredom. Learn to see the world again through the curious, eager eyes of a child instead of the jaded, “been there, done that” perspective of someone who has chosen to stop seeing with wonder and appreciation. Try calling the next time you go out an adventure. Remember when you were a kid and everything was a new adventure? Like that.
2. Find the solution rather than just seeing the problem. Where unhappy people say, “I need to lose weight” or “I’m broke,” happy people see solutions. Happy people say, “I’m leaner and every day closer to my ideal weight!” or “I’m finding cool new ways of making money.” My mum always said to me “For problems we find solutions” I’m forever grateful for this teaching!
3. Learn continuously. The 3rd secret to being happy to is to realize and accept that that you can’t ever know it all. Ever. I know it can be hard to admit, but it’s true! Sorry. Happy people approach life with an open beginner’s mind, recognizing that there is much they don’t know, even if they’re experts in their field.
4. Count friends on 5 fingers. Happiness lies in close, meaningful relationships so happy people choose their friends wisely. Rather than having a huge crew of casual friends and acquaintances, they nurture the deepest relationships that will last a lifetime.
5. Follow your passion. Happy people have jobs, toilets to clean, kids to look after, bills to pay… yet they somehow find time or make the time for their passions. I find it important to have a little bit of what I’m passionate about in every day. Whether it’s learning about something important to me, creating something, dancing, gym or cooking something special, I’ll make sure it’s in my day. You will never hear a happy person say, “I don’t have time” when it comes to doing what they love. The TV gets turned off; the social obligations are respectfully declined, and happy people spend blissful time engaged in their passions.
6. Laugh. A lot. Happy people are always smiling and laughing – or so it seems…! Yes, they have the same emotions as everyone else, but as quickly as they can, they find the humor in a situation and start laughing. Laughter is contagious and can quickly change the mood of an entire room full of grumpy or sad people!
7. Forgive. Grudges are burdens happy people refuse to carry, because in hind sight what’s the point? They practice compassion and always try to see;
a) The other person’s point of view in a situation and
b) Their own responsibility in a situation.
Happy people recognize that unkind, hurtful acts are only done by people who are hurting inside. Compassion to the inner pain of others helps happy people forgive and move on.
8. Be considerate and kind. It’s been said that if you perform a kind, considerate act every day for a year, you change 365 lives for the better. However I don’t agree… You actually change 366 lives – including yourself!
9. Invest in your relationships. Happy people realise that relationships are complex interactions of two people with very different backgrounds, expectations and dreams. Where as unhappy people expect others to see things the same way as they do; they expect their partner to fulfill some need; and they are not always respectful and supportive of their partner’s dreams. By contrast, happy people know that their partner’s point of view is just as valid as their own; they expect nothing and so they are rarely disappointed; and they always respect their partner in achieving their dreams.
10. Keep your word. Truthfulness and integrity are far easier to manage than deceit or dishonesty. Happy people don’t carry the burden of untruths or unfulfilled promises around with them. It’s a proud thing to keep your word.
11. Mind your own business. Gossip and drama only serve to perpetuate negativity. Happy people do not judge others. They never spread gossip. They do not participate in drama. Instead, they see others with compassion; they spread only kind words about others; and they show by example that they take ownership of their life experience.
12. Practice excellent self care – body, mind and soul. Happy people treat their bodies well, in order to feel good, have the ability to fully experience and enjoy life and feel self-confident. Happy people stimulate their minds and practice what is meaningful to them.
13. Always find the silver lining. Instead of allowing life to knock you down, it’s easier to yell, “Plot twist!” and see the light of a situation. Happy people are always looking for the hidden blessings and benefits in any situation, and that is what they will talk about years later (when unhappy people are talking about how terrible an event was, happy people will talk about what they learned and how they grew from it). My home burnt down in the the Black Saturday bush fires, along with that was my beloved pets and friends of over 24 years gone forever. Of course this was a devastating event but the way I see it is nothing bad has come from from that day. If it has I’ve handled it in a whole new way. I learnt a lot, a life changing event which was a catalyst to learn as long as I have myself I’m always okay.
14. Always live with gratitude. There’s nothing like a big, heartfelt “Thank you” to put things in perspective and to see the best in people and situations.
To sum up all the secrets to being happy, I can only say one thing: Happiness is a choice, and it’s not always an easy one to make if you’re in a challenging situation or if you’re used to complaining, judging, avoiding, blaming or condemning. If you adopt just one or two of these happiness mantras, you will increase your level of happiness, I swear!