Are you happy? I mean… really happy?
I’ve always thought of myself as a happy person. But I still experience those moments every once in a while when feeling happy is really difficult. While it’s a natural reaction to get upset when life serves you the shit end of the stick, I’ve learned a few lessons (that I continue to remind myself on a regular basis) that have made me a happier person.
1. Be grateful. Wake up in the morning and be thankful. Each day is gift. You have the power to create change and affect the world. So make the most of each day.
2. Be mindful. We are so preoccupied in thinking about what will happen an hour, a week or a month from now that we forget to experience what is happening right now. What do you hear? What do you smell? How do you feel right now in this moment? Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, take a moment to live the experience. This moment will never happen again, so make the most of it.
3. Accept things as they are. There are some things that you can’t change. So there is no point in dwelling on them. The only thing you’ll accomplish is projecting negativity into the world, and we don’t need any more of that. Accept the things you cannot change and for everything else…
4. Look for the solution, not the problem. Something pissed you off? Take a moment to feel what you need to feel, then move on and find a solution (and there’s always a solution).
5. Don’t hold grudges. Whatever is it, let it go. Holding on to the past will bring you down. Learn to forgive and feel the weight lift from your spirit.
6. Smile. Being angry and unhappy is much easier than being happy. Plus, your negative feelings spread to your entourage and affect everyone around you. Next time you feel yourself feeling negative thoughts, immediately switch to a happy thought or memory and let yourself smile. Then watch it spread!
7. Work it out. We’ve all heard that exercise helps to release endorphins which leads to feelings of happiness. It’s true! It’s the reason why I begin each and every day with a run or workout. There’s something about starting the day with physical activity that makes everything else fall into place.
8. Meditate. Just 15 minutes a day is all you need to rewire your mind and create a sense of calm. I’ve found that the days I’ve meditated in the morning made me less sensitive to the negativity projected by others around me. It created a feeling of zen that is unlike any other feeling.
9. Stop criticizing. After everything you’ve accomplished, all the goals you achieved and all the things you own, you’re no better and no worse than anyone else. You’re different. Appreciate the differences in others instead of comparing yourself to others, and you’ll be happier.
10. Let go of fear. Everyone is afraid of something – what might happen (or not), what we can change (or not), how other people perceive us (or not). So we do nothing. But time has a way of passing us by, just like our dreams. Don’t let fears hold you back. Whatever you want, start today and make it happen. The first step is always the hardest. What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
[Photo credit via Pinterest]