Everybody gets moody. That’s why people go on diets, spend too much money for clothes, or suck up to popular people – because they think it will make them happy! Instead of striving for happiness it often comes to us! However, the more you get to know people around you, the more you will see what makes even the happiest people crazy.
- Keep your thoughts reasonable and think positively. If you catch yourself thinking that things aren’t going to work out, then think again. Remember that most things work out better than you fear – so imagine that your fears are ungrounded and success is real. Rather than thinking of the problems and getting desperate, imagine the best outcome and then work out what you need to do to make that happen. Follow your instincts. If the thoughts you are thinking are not giving you that ‘good feeling’, then think about something else that will make you feel good in that moment. Observe your thoughts and ideas consistently throughout the day (diary/journal if possible). Sometimes this may not be as easy as you think if you are stuck in a “negative” train of thought and your brain chemicals are getting fired up and forming “anxiety or anger” thoughts. Anxiety, fear and anger patterns can be interrupted by focusing on something else. This will dissipate the rush of chemicals that are making you feel bad. Immediately then go back to picturing scenes/remembering things/imagining, planning stuff that makes you feel ‘good’.
- Be a big giver. It is possible giving time and resources to others who need them will contribute more to your happiness and creative outlook on life than almost anything else. The key to successful family relationships is giving time to others. Give your time and give yourself up for friends, family and others who may be in need. Spend time with your family and other positive people in your life, and recognize they are your most valuable worldly asset. The happiest days of our lives, when we really dig down deep, is when we see the smile on the face of a child who has nothing and you have given them something of immense value to them such as reading them a book, it means you love them enough to give of your time. Serve at a rescue mission and you will learn the meaning of “I cried because I had no shoes and then I saw a man who had no legs.” Give and it will be given unto you. Isn’t it true the happiest people we know are typically the ones who for some foolish reason are always ready to give you the clothes off their back? And frequently it is true that the most discontented people are the ones who are selfish, demanding, and inconsiderate of others. So form the habit of being a Big Giver and you will know one of the secrets to successful happy living. In media, common terms include: ‘you are what you radiate’, ‘you live what you give’ and ‘everything comes back to you’.
- Don’t lie to yourself- see everything for exactly what it is. You have friends and family who love you. Learn how to be thankful. Think of all the things you have to be happy about. Relax, calm down, take things slower. No one has everything, and everyone has something of sorrow intermingled with gladness of life. The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears. We cannot change the past, but we can enjoy today, and look to the future. If we are prepared to take ownership for the past and accept that everything that’s happened in our life, good and bad, has made us the person we are – the battle is half won.
- Lighten up. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Try not to over analyze things. Stress can cause many mental, physical, and spiritual problems in your life. One of the major causes of stress is worrying about things that are out of your control. Learn to recognize these things and if you can truly do nothing about them, then just let them go. Take time to laugh at yourself and the situations you find yourself in. Laughter is a powerful, positive medicine and the calmer and more peaceful you can take things, the happier your life will be. It wouldn’t be life if some bad things don’t happen.
- Be yourself. You can’t please everybody. Much criticism is caused by people who are discontented with themselves, not you. Comparing yourself to others is rarely accurate in your personal life. In the first place, no one knows what other people are going through. More importantly, when you compare yourself to other people, you often see yourself on the “short end”. See how this is not helpful to you or your goals. One way to get ‘in touch with yourself’ is through journaling, diaries or (lately) blogs. Your goal may be to open up completely to yourself and learn to be your best friend by knowing that the truth (to yourself) will set you free from fear! Practice self-acceptance – or learn to transform from mistakes. Find ways to enjoy things you are uncomfortable with. You’ll respect yourself for getting through challenges, and that self-respect will make you happy.
- Make a scheduled time every day for relaxation. This is a good time to go over any therapy that you’re working on. Having a “relaxation/meditation” time or a “quiet time” every day strengthens you, allows the stress and tension in your life to evaporate, and keeps you more in a positive frame of mind.
- Get a job you love. Some research says 80% of people dislike their jobs! Having a job that makes you look forward to your day when you wake up in the morning is important to a happy, fulfilled life. Making special time to enjoy interests, hobbies, and family, makes life happier.
- Develop a strong relationship with your family. That includes trust. If you are in an abusive family, you must find a way to stop the abuse and that may include separation. If you want a stronger relationship with your family, you’re going to need to be honest with them. Tell your family about your life and don’t insult them – it hurts them just as much as it hurts you to be insulted.
- Choose the right companion. Get involved with activities that reflect who you are, and get to know people who like the things you do. When forming relationships with new people, take things slow.
- Choose your friends carefully. Nearly everyone needs someone who cares for them and treats them well. If you have friends who are treating you badly, or are not supportive of you and your goals to improve your life, then ditch them and find friends that do care about you. If you can’t find any friends like that in your current circumstances, then look elsewhere. If you’re feeling sad, there’s nothing like going out with your friends to make you feel better. Surround yourself with friends who are positive, encouraging, and helpful. We all need this continuing, positive encouragement to make solid positive progress in life.
- Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself. Volunteer at a hospital or be a part of a program, which takes care of patients in some way. When you leave the hospital, you will be so much happier knowing that you’ve done something meaningful, something someone else can appreciate. (mentioned above).
- Wish the best for others and mean it. It is so easy to be jealous and petty and forget to celebrate the good fortune of your peers, friends and family.
- Keep learning. Whether it is a new hobby or a new dance, just keep learning something that interests you. Just find a new interest and go for it! It will give you something to keep you occupied, and a new outlook on life.
- Set goals. Live up to them. When you accomplish a goal, it’s a great feeling. If you put all your failures down to other people, you put yourself in their power. Take responsibility for when things go wrong in your life, and do things different next time.
- Be healthy. Give your body and mind what it most needs in order to function in an “optimal” way. “Optimal” in this case means being the healthiest you can be, and the most balanced you can be. Eat healthy, with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Get plenty of exercise.
- Strive for long term goals rather than short term satisfaction. It’s very easy to gain short term satisfaction, a quick high, a fast relief from your current problems (such as drugs, alcohol, sex). But it is what it is, a “short term” satisfaction, its effects die out very soon, leaving you again with this empty feeling. Set long term goals, set goals which take time, thought, and effort to achieve. This will make you continually work towards improving yourself bit by bit and will give you the satisfaction of bringing a permanent change in your life.
- Try thinking of a creative vow and write it down. Make it something like: I vow to give at least one compliment to someone each day and I’ll try to control my anger by counting in my head before reacting.
- If you have problems saying your feelings and opinions to other people, learn the techniques of self-assertion, rather than using anger or avoidance by holding your feelings and thoughts inside you.
- Take up a spiritual practice. Research shows that people who meditate have a somewhat detached approach to the problems of this life, and are calmer, happier and more contented than usual. Turning to a higher power, closing your eyes and thinking of artistic images, doing deep breathing, etc. can give you a sense of peace.
- Try to make someone else happy and you will feel happy for achieving something!
- Research suggests that happy people have a simple mental strategy towards life. When they think about something good that happened to them, they explore how they personally contributed to that good feeling and feel happy about themselves.
- Listen to music that makes you feel good. When you wake up, put on some uplifting / upbeat music.
- Be honest with yourself. Is there something that is keeping you from being happy – an addiction, a bad habit, or insecurity? Acknowledge it carefully first – then take action to change it!
- Smile! It’s contagious and takes less effort than frowning. Stressing about things out of your control rarely makes things ‘better’.
- Get the correct amount of sleep every night. This varies depending on age, gender and exercise – but too little or too much is hard on your body. Practice good sleep hygiene
- When you receive a compliment from others, accept it and say “thank you”, with a smile.
- The true key to happiness is acceptance – learning to be grateful for what you have. A lot of people know it but don’t keep it in their minds. Comparing your life with others is dangerous. Accept the gifts you have and know that no one is better than or less than anyone else.
- Make new friends and communicate with them. Talk to them about your life and Listen to them talk about their life.
- Get out of the house – hang out with positive people, do something outdoors, visit a park… Variation in your routine will break up monotony and relieve boredom.
- Even in the most terrible times, do not turn to alcohol, drugs, internet, or anything else that is addictive, abusive to the health of you or others. Bad habits grow like weeds – they are easy to get, but hard to get rid of. Many addictive ‘solutions’ can make your problems much worse.
- Keep a “Gratitude Journal”. Every day write down a few things that you are thankful for and then review what you have written in past entries. It’s a great way to remind yourself to be thankful for what you have and to boost your mood! For extra challenge, find creative ways to give back to these situations or people.
- Remember a happy thought is ‘creative’ and ‘powerful’. A negative thought ‘destroys’ and reduces power. Find out where you would rather keep your mind.
- Create something: some artwork, make a scrapbook of pictures, sing your heart out, dance manically until your feet and body give way or perhaps cook a delicious meal for people you love.
- Learn how to feel and experience all your different senses in the best possible way: sight, sound, taste, touch, smell (relaxation & ‘full minded’ meditation practice).
- It is always good to live in the moment-if you have a big stresser coming up, you may be really worked up about it. For example, if you are at Cedar Point for the day, but are too worried that you failed your Algebra exam, you may be too nervous to enjoy your ride on the Raptor. Just put off worrying until you have access to your grades. Often times you get too worked up about it and realize that you got a B.
- Never ever be bored: always have something to do, somebody to talk to or hang out with. Listen to music and dance your heart out. Live your life the way you want to. Not somebody elses version of living, but instead, your own. Be yourself, no matter what. That’s the most important thing.
- Happiness begins from within. If you don’t accept what you have or who you are, then you will never be truly happy with anyone else.
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