Think about it … everything we do is intended to make us happier.
And yet every now and then we get sidetracked and do things that actually move us away from this objective.
We all have the ability for genuine happiness. There is no gene or DNA marker that determines who will be happy and who will not. We make choices throughout our lives, and the outcome of all these choices combined, affects our level of happiness. Make the right selections and happiness can be yours.
This is just a selection of some of the strategies we can utilize in an 11-point guide to help us gain genuine happiness:
- Look For The Positive In Everything:
There is an old saying that nothing is fundamentally good or bad—what makes it one or the other, is merely your response to it. Find the positive and you will be more contented. Those who soar against all odds, do so because they look at the positive that could come out of their situation, however poor it may appear to others.
- Emphasize The Positive:
We all grow up with a “positivity imbalance”—the result of society’s norms and rules being based on restriction and punishment more than approval and reward. From a young age we are taught what we must not do instead of what we may do. Even in day-to-day life, there is more negative influence that positive. Luckily you can work to improve the balance. Celebrate the positive and work to get more of it. When you achieve something, congratulate yourself! Look for things you find uplifting, that make you happy. Get more of that! At the same time, reduce your exposure to negative input, whether it is the daily news, or people you don’t feel good around. You know your buttons…make sure the positive ones are pushed more than the negative.
- Practice Good Self-interest:
When we were young we were taught that putting our interests before those of others is wrong. This is predominantly true for women, many of whom sacrifice their dreams and desires to help others accomplish theirs. It is also common in the business world where the good of the company is considered more vital than the good of the individual. It is respectable to help others, yet we should have restrictions to protect ourselves from being manipulated or mistreated by others. You are important, and if you don’t look after yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually, you cannot assume anyone else will.
- Heed To Your Feelings:
All feelings are good. Every feeling occurs for a purpose: it is bringing a message to you. Now and then that message is pleasing, other times not. Our inclination is to distract ourselves from disagreeable feelings, often through smoking, drinking or drugs of one kind or another. When you are feeling bad, avoid distracting yourself, and recognize the reason—you have a need that is not being met.
- The Gift o Giving:
The more you give, the more you get. There is probably no scientific study proving this to be so, but unconditional giving is hugely rewarding. It appears that the more you give to others, the bigger the delight and elevating effect on your spirit. Help the needy. Give time when you are able. Give secretly, even if you lose the tax deduction!
- Make It Happen:
You have the capacity to make things materialize using your mind. Topmost sports stars, and businesspeople use it, and so can you. There are numerous ways to do it; one of the most common approaches is to use visualization—getting a picture in your mind of whatever it is that you want to materialize. It does not actually have to be a visual picture, although it certainly helps; it could be a feeling, a smell, a sound, or any combination of the senses. Envision finding the perfect parking spot near the entrance as you arrive at the store, theater, or mall … the sky is the limit! We are not accustomed to using this practice, so it takes time.
- Accept The Things You Cannot Change:
We struggle with things we don’t like, and often spend a incredible amount of energy resisting it. Though we should work to understand those things we cannot change, we should at least try to achieve it. If we are unable to, then move on, using the saved energy on something more worthwhile and productive, not to say that you should complacently accept anything. If you really want change, you should work in the direction of that change; but spending time worrying about something without actively working to change it is fruitless and harmful to your happiness.
- Take Accountability For Your Choices:
All that you do, or don’t do, is because of choices you make (or don’t make). It is easier and more convenient to fault others or circumstances for things that go wrong in life, but your life is the summation of all the choices you make along the way, even letting someone else make a choice for you. If you have a propensity to to blame other people or things, it may be frightening to take accountability for what happens in your life, but it is really quite liberating because you understand you are the source of everything good you accomplish. Don’t relinquish responsibility or the achievements in your life.
- Schedule Regular “Self-Care Time”:
Devote some time examining where you are in life, your strengths and weaknesses. How can you turn the latter into the former? Think about your feelings on the whole shebang from your job to how the weather changes and even the possibility of your flight to Mars—then figure out why you feel the way you do. Is your reasoning sound? The better you comprehend yourself, the better you understand your life.
- Take Time To Meditate:
We devote almost all our time thinking of the past or planning for the future. We rarely occupy time in the present. It has gotten to the point where, for most people, it seems impossible to keep our attention on what is happening in the now. Your meditation could be regular quiet meditation or prayer, but it could be as simple as merely focusing on each breath as it goes in and out for three to five minutes, releasing the past or future thoughts as they come to mind —and they will!
- Eliminate Your Limitations:
When we fail, the reason often is merely because we don’t trust we are able or worthy of whatever it is that we fail to attain. More often than not, this belief is actually untrue; it often being the result of harmful mental programming we accepted in childhood. The truth is that most of us can do what we truly want to do … you just need to believe. The best way to start is with the smaller things, then work your way up as you see the limits dissolving.
The more active you are at assimilating the ideas and approaches noted in this article into your life, the more genuinely happy you will be, and the happiness will last!