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Category: Self Help

How to be Happy in 10 Easy Steps

27 February, 2012 (06:57) | Personal Development, Self Help | By: Jack

We all want to be happy.  We often say: we will be happy when…  I’ll be happy when I make more money, when I get a new car, when I find my soul-mate, when I get a new job, when I move, when I win the lottery.  It’s great to have goals but your happiness should not be contingent upon them.  You can be happy now!  Here are 10 powerful tips to achieve lasting happiness today!

  1. Be Thankful
  2. We all have people and things we love in our life.  We need to appreciate them every day.  What if you didn’t have them?  Imagine you had no home.  Imagine if you never had kids.  Imagine you had no job.  Think about what you do have and acknowledge its significance to you.  An effective technique is to write down what you have, why it’s important to you, and how much you are thankful for it.   Do this periodically (weekly, monthly) and you will feel a profound increase in your level of happiness.

  3. Stop Buying Stuff
  4. We all want stuff.  We love getting stuff.  But for how long?  How long after you get that new thing has the “happiness” worn off.  Studies show not long at all.  It’s fleeting.   In fact, the more stuff you have, the more you have to maintain and the more time you spend taking care of your stuff.  Stuff is a burden.  Stuff sucks up your free time.  Rather than buying stuff, what has been proven to result in long lasting happiness is doing stuff.  Go out with friends, take a boat ride, see a show, go to a park, have a nice meal, visit neighbors, take a vacation.  These are the things people remember and reminisce about.  Even when a trip is filled with trouble: the plane was delayed, traffic was bad, my friend was late.  We tend to forget all the bad stuff and remember what a fun time we had.  And we have a memory we talk about repeatedly with fondness.  We don’t reminisce about buying stuff.

  5. Give
  6. ‘Tis better to give than to receive.  It’s true, especially when you consider your own happiness.  Studies have shown people are happier giving to others than spending on themselves.  This is completely contradictory to what most people think.   If you have a spare $50.00 you’re likely to think spending it on yourself will bring you more happiness than giving it to charity or spending it on a loved one.  That simply isn’t true.  Give!

  7. See the Positive
  8. Bad things will happen.  We often have no control what happens to us.  But we do have control over how we handle it.  We have control over our attitude and how we perceive what has happened.  A traumatic event will undoubtedly produce some pain and heartache.  A proven way to cope and overcome negative events in our lives is to focus on the good.  What did I learn?  How will this make me a better person? Stronger? Wiser?  Placing our attention on the positive speeds our passage back to happiness.

  9. Smile and Act Happy
  10. If you force yourself to act happy you will be happy.  Sounds bizarre does it not?  Well it’s true.  Put a smile on your face and you’re going to start feeling happier.  You’re sort of tricking your brain.  Make a habit out of acting happy and smiling and you will begin to have a long term snowball effect of increased happiness.

  11. Get a Pet
  12. Pets make you happy.  Yup it’s scientifically proven.  Pets.  They drain your wallet and consume your time but they have significant benefits.  They make you happier, calmer, and less prone to angry outbursts.  And besides that, they bring joy to others as well.  And pets make you more likely to meet others, which leads to more happiness.

  13. Take Notice of Exercise
  14. There’s no arguing the benefits of exercise.  Almost everyone wished they exercised more.  But did you know that thinking about exercise helps too?  Walking is exercise.  Most all of us walk.  Take note of when you are walking and realize you are exercising.  You will feel better.  Feeling better will lead to more exercising.  Maybe you’ll start parking your car far from the market or taking the stairs or taking an extra walk during lunch.  You may find yourself building upon what you are already doing bringing about increased health benefits and happiness.

  15. Do Small Tasks
  16. We want to achieve our goals, but goals can seem daunting.  When goals stagnate we don’t feel so good about them.  When we make progress we do feel good.  So break up those goals into small doable tasks.  Make a list.  Start doing these small tasks and checking them off; and lo and behold you are making progress towards your goal and feeling great.

  17. De-Clutter
  18. Since we think buying stuff makes up happy, we end up with too much stuff.  Too much stuff is clutter.  Clutter makes feel uneasy, overwhelmed, and cramped.  Too much junk is a time sink.  We have to fix the junk when it breaks, we have to store it, think about it.  We want more free time to do the things that really matter.  Getting rid of stuff you don’t need will relieve your burdens, lighten your mental load, and let you breathe easier.  If you haven’t used it in a year, dump it.  Only keep things that you really use or really love.   Less junk equals more happiness.

  19. Schedule Me-Time
  20. We never have time to get everything done that we need to get done.  Consequently there’s never any time left over for ourselves.  Over time, not taking any time for yourself will sap your vitality.  Try scheduling some time me-time; and I don’t mean time to pay your bills or balance your checkbook.  Take time for you!  Meditate, do breathing exercises, take a walk in the park, or just sit quietly and do nothing.  You need to allow your mind some unfettered time; you’ll think better, be more grounded and more pleasant, and yes, happier.

Some of this may sound obvious and simple, but don’t be fooled.  It takes some effort.  Spend some time thinking about this list and taking action.  Put one thing on this list into practice today.  Bookmark this page and come back every now and then for a refresher.  Add new habits each time.  You don’t have to do it all at once.  With small changes, you can be happier now.  Share this article with your friends.  Anyone can benefit.  Remember giving will make you happier! :-)

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