16 ways to be happy

Here’s a list of things you can incorporate into your life to make it even more joyful and happy:

1.Be the source of your own happiness

 “Your work is discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” Buddha

“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.” Stacey Charter

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” Dalai Lama

2. Change your expectations for appreciations

“Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole world changes in an instant!” Tony Robbins

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” Frederick Keonig

Everyday in your journal write three things that went well for you that day. This teaches you to notice, remember, and savor the better things in life. In addition, write three things you’re grateful for everyday. In the future you can go back and reflect on your notes and remember all the good in your life.

3. Choose to be happy

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” Groucho Marx

“Happiness is a how; not a what. A talent, not an object.” Herman Hesse

You can focus on all the things that are wrong with your life or you can choose to focus on what makes you happy. Always choose happiness.

4. Choose what you listen to, watch and read with great care

“There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality.” Seneca

 Choose what you feed your mind with as this affects your outlook. Remember, the media are in the business of making money and sadly bad news and gossip sells. More good goes on in the world then what is reported.

Focus and absorb the good. Leave the rest behind, as it doesn’t serve you well.

5. Do what you love

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Herman Cain

What do you love doing? Being by the sea, getting a massage, listening to music, dancing. Make more time for these things.

6. Get involved with your community

Research shows that people feel happy when they feel a sense of community.

How can you get involved with and contribute to your community?

7. Do something for someone else – what you do for you stays with you what you do for others outlives you.

 “It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

Helping others whether that’s through volunteering or supporting family and friends gives our life purpose and meaning. We may not realize it but by helping others we are actually helping ourselves.

8. Appreciate the little things.

“That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.” Henry David Thoreau

Imagine if you could live your life so that simple pleasures bought you happiness. For example, a hug from someone you love (they don’t need to buy you flowers), the feel of the sun on your face or fresh air as you open the door and step out, walking in nature, reading a book you love, speaking to a friend on the phone.  What are the simple everyday things in your life that give you pleasure and make you happy?

 9. Learn to ‘plant’ good thoughts   

“You mind is a garden and thoughts are the seed; you can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.” Unknown

The more you focus on the good things the more good things you’ll find and the less room there’ll be for negativity.

10. Understand what makes you happy?

“It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.” Lucille Ball

Make a list of what makes you happy. Keep a journal of things that have made you happy. You can create a note on your phone which will be accessible for you to view whenever you want to and which can act as a little pick me up.

11. Don’t worry about things you can’t control.

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” Epictetus

“Happy he who learns to bear what he cannot change.” Friedrich Schiller

“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” Winston Churchill

The Serenity Prayer – “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

12. Spend time outdoors

 Research shows that spending just 20 minutes a day outside boosts positive mood, broadens our thinking and improves working memory.

 Think about how you can schedule 20 minutes outdoors today. Some ideas maybe to take a stroll, eat your lunch outdoors or play outside with the kids.

 13. Keep good company

Who you hang out with and associate with matters and can rub off on you so choose the company you keep carefully.

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go” Oscar Wilde

14. Watch your body language

How you carry yourself impacts your emotions and your overall wellbeing. Slouched shoulders, head hang down, shallow breathing will naturally make you feel low. A spring in your step, your head held high, a smile on your face and you will be projecting positive energy. Be the source of positive energy and happiness. What you radiate you attract.

15. Don’t defer your happiness to tomorrow

Choose today to be happy. Don’t what until everything is perfect in your life to be happy. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone and today is a precious gift.

“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.” James Oppenheim

16. Hold onto the good let go of the rest

“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.” Albert Schweitzer

 Hold onto good thoughts and let go of any thoughts that make you feel feel sad or bad. You’ve let them hurt you for long enough.

In summary, happiness is a choice. Don’t worry about things you can’t control.  Choose the company you keep carefully. Choose the thoughts you think and hold onto carefully. Choose what you listen to, read and watch carefully. In other areas of your life, set high standards but when it comes to happiness set the lowest standard you can in order to be happy with life’s simple pleasures. Happiness comes from within. Radiate and share happiness, for the more you give the more you’ll receive (but don’t do it for that reason – do it because that’s the who you are and want to be).

Which idea from this article or from your life is your favorite?  Share in the comments below.

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