Happiness is thought of as the good life, freedom from suffering, flourishing, well-being, joy, prosperity, and pleasure. The good news is that we don't need to be able to "define" it to achieve it. Happiness is not a destination, it is a journey. We are told that happiness is a state of being. So does that mean that we can JUST BE happy? You have the ability to control how you feel—and with consistent practice, you can form life-long habits for a more satisfying and fulfilling life. Use this checklist and get happy.
1. Decide that you want to be happy. This may sound simple, like duh… but it is. So many people can tell you what they don’t want but struggle to decide what they do want. But simply put if you don’t want to be unhappy then just make a decision to be happy. As soon as you become clear then you can “place your order” with the Universe and consciously create a life of happiness.
2. Notice what’s good. What we focus on we feel. Our thoughts draw to us our experiences. Taking the time to notice the good around you will boost your happy barometer. If you only focus on what’s wrong you won’t feel very good. Take the time to look at the brighter side of things.
3. Be grateful. Count your blessings one by one or two by two. Gratitude is the key that opens the door up to more things to be grateful for. No matter what is going on in your life you can always find something to be grateful for. Studies have shown that those who regularly recorded what they were thankful for in "gratitude journals" showed higher levels of optimism, enthusiasm, attentiveness, and energy, and they felt better about their life as a whole.
4. Let the kid in you come out to play. If you observe children one of the things that you will notice fairly quickly is that they have fun and enjoy life. Be silly, giggle or even do a cart wheel or two. Remember what you did as a child that brought you joy and do it!
5. Figure out what you love to do and do it! Discovering what you are passionate about can be a whole lot of fun. When we do what we love to do, time has a tendency to become non-existent. Our hearts become happy and we feel a huge sense of satisfaction. The more you include the things you love to do into your day, the easier it becomes to live a life of joy.
6. Make a list of what brings you joy. It is possible that you have allowed yourself to become so bogged down in life that you don’t remember what you like to do. Taking the time to sit with a pen and paper and think about it has a great affect on helping you to remember.
7. Include joyful activities into your day. Think about things you can do in 5 minutes to 30 minutes. Then think about things you can do from one hour to a full day. If you begin to feel down, you can consult your list and decide what you want to incorporate into your day. This has the ability to quickly turn your day in to a happy experience and makes you conscious of incorporating joy into your day.
8. Go outside and enjoy the day. Nature has a way of making you appreciate the beauty in life. We receive so many gifts from the earth that we often take for granted, like the air we breathe, the beauty in a flower or the cool breeze of the blowing wind. Spending excessive amounts of time indoors disconnects us from the rhythms of life. Spending time outdoors gives us energy. So whether it be a beach, a park or a hillside spend some of your time outside and reconnect with nature.
9. Spend time with someone you love. Although a rich social and romantic life does not in itself guarantee joy, it has a huge effect on happiness. As human beings, by nature we want to connect with others. We need to both give love and receive it. Spending time with loved ones will brighten their day and make you feel good. Tell them how much they mean to you and ask them to tell you how much you mean to them.
10. Be kind. Random acts of kindness increase happiness. A study conducted at the University of Virginia found that merely witnessing acts of kindness, loyalty, and heroism created a significant elevation in mood and increased the desire to perform good deeds. Being kind to someone not only makes them feel good but makes you feel good too.
Stay tuned for part 2...
I am a lover of life and a lover of people. When we learn to connect in our heart space, love will be the driving force behind all we do. BE Love, BE Power!