Happiness comes from within. Only you can make yourself happy. Money, relationships, and other external factors cannot give you happiness, as explained in this Tibetan proverb: “Seeking happiness outside of ourselves is like waiting for sunshine in a cave facing north”. Here are five ways to feel happier every day, regardless of your circumstances.
Think More Positive Thoughts
Positive people are happy people. They make every day of their lives count and they look for opportunities everywhere, even in the midst of difficult situations.
Train yourself to recognize your negative thoughts and turn them into positive ones. It might take some time to retrain your brain to think more positively but the results will be worth it.
Spend More Time Doing Things You Enjoy
Happy people devote time to doing the things they enjoy. Write a list of everything you enjoy doing, such as:
· Exercise or sports.
· Outdoor activities.
· Visiting museums, art galleries and other interesting places.
· Spending time with friends and family members (name all the people you like socializing with).
Decide how you can spend more time doing at least three things on your list in the next month. Write down what you’ll have to do to achieve this. If, for example, you want to go to dinner with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, you could set a goal of calling or messaging the friend to fix a date.
Write a second list of things you’d like to do but haven’t yet had the opportunity. Aim to do at least one thing on this list in the next month.
Be Grateful for Everything You Have
Being grateful for what you already have in your life automatically makes you feel happier. Whenever you feel down, write a list of at least 10 things you’re grateful for, even if they are only small things, such as a beautiful sunset or a warming cup of coffee.
Before you go to bed each day, write down at least 5 things that you are thankful for in a notebook or journal. These could be good things that happened during the day, things you appreciated seeing or doing, time you enjoyed spending with others, or anything else that comes to mind. After a few days, you’ll feel much happier because you’ll be seeking and appreciating the good things in life throughout the day.
Love Life and Other People
Many people take life far too seriously. Try to approach life with a sense of fun and humor. If you try something and it doesn’t work, try to see the funny side of what happened and move on. View life as a large experiment. Accept the fact that sometimes things will work out and sometimes they won’t, despite your best efforts.
Loving other people in your life can sometimes be difficult. However, feeling anger, resentment and other negative feelings will make you feel unhappy and may have little effect on the other person. Try, therefore, to tolerate others and avoid being critical or judgmental. If there is a person who upsets you often, it could be time to distance yourself from them for the sake of your own mental health.
Follow Your Dreams
What have you always wanted to do? Where do you dream of living? We all have dreams of our ideal life. Although it’s not always easy to follow our dreams, especially if we have a lot of day-to-day responsibilities, writing down our dreams makes them more concrete and provides the basis of an action plan that will help you turn those dreams into reality.
Even if you won’t fulfill your dreams for many years, there are some things you can start doing today that will move you in the right direction. So, after writing down your dreams, write down five goals that will move you toward these dreams. Then, write down five small things that you can do in the next few weeks that will help you to achieve these goals. After doing this, you’ll feel much more positive that you’re following your heart and moving ahead in the direction of your dreams.
It might sound surprising but being happy isn’t easy. It much easier to be unhappy. However, if you take some time each day to think positive thoughts, express gratitude for your life as it is, spend time doing something you enjoy, and laughing at the funny side of life, you’ll start to feel happier. If you also take steps toward fulfilling your dreams, your happiness will increase.
© Roz Andrews 2015