the greatest quest in our life’s journey. We all can use more happiness in our lives. Often life’s lessons can seem to deplete our happiness at times, especially when we are facing challenges. Life is a series of cycles, ups and downs. None of us are “up” all of the time.
Let it go.
Release your attachment to things that you cannot change. Is it really worth getting worked up about? Will focusing on the area of concern change anything? We become noticeably happier and more content when we release those things that are troubling us, our worries and fears. Keep in mind that happiness is the journey on the way to our goals not the destination. Do not plan your happiness based on the achievement to a particular goal. Experience happiness now and success will come. Releasing your attachment to those things that are outside of your control or beyond the present moment will increase your happiness.
Train your mind.
Be grateful in the moment. Actively find more and more things to be thankful for. The more you are grateful, the more wonderful things you will see appearing in your life. This is a process of reshaping your mindset. Consider it a mental exercise of gratitude in the moment. Challenge yourself to notice and appreciate the ordinary moments, the brief moments of joy and satisfaction such as right after quenching your thirst with a drink or stepping into a warm shower when you are cold. It is the little things, notice the sensation and appreciate it. Through this process you are training your mind to increase your happiness by focusing on the little blessings in life. You are priming your mental pump to experience more joy!
Distract your mind.
Notice when you start to feel sad and break the cycle immediately. Find a way to distract yourself from the negative emotions or thoughts. Listen to music, energetic happy music that pumps you up. Focus on happy moments and relive these happy memories mentally. Look at a photo album with pictures of happy times. Do you like to read? Lose yourself in a story for 30 minutes. Go to a movie. Take a walk or get some exercise. Get out and spend time with some up beat friends. Notice when your body starts to tense and focus on relaxing. Take deep breaths to release tension, shift your posture and physically move yourself back to center. Find a mental distraction and shift back to being grateful in the present moment.
Smile and laugh. See the humor in the situation, the cosmic irony. Research has shown that just the act of smiling improves your mood. Laughing releases endorphins to the brain that are mood enhancers. Even if the smile or laugh is not authentic your body and brain will still respond as if it is. This is a proven example of when “fake it ‘til you make it” actually works, creating measurable results in your brain chemistry. If you cannot fake it, make it happen. Watch a funny movie, read a humorous book, go see a comedian perform or meet up with a friend who keeps you laughing. In this case, when you change your outside, the inside changes too.
Find your faith.
Trust that everything is working out exactly as it should be. Have faith and allow things to play out knowing ultimately everything will work out in your favor. Be patient. One thing that is always certain is change. Life is constantly changing and shifting, things will not stay this way forever no matter how dim the horizon may seem at the moment. Try to shift your perspective. Look at the bigger picture and find the silver lining. There always is one in every situation, sometimes it just is harder to find than other times. Consider if the present concern is really as big as it seems. Will this really matter in 10 years?
Be nice to yourself and others.
Performing acts of service increase your feelings of joy and satisfaction. Be kind. Focus on others and how you can be of service. Think, ‘How can I be of assistance to another?’ Giving of your time and energy to help another or a worthy cause increases your sense of self-worth, appreciation for life and overall well-being. Find a volunteer activity or help a friend or family member. And don’t forget yourself; you deserve to be treated with kindness too. Do something nice for yourself. You deserve it! Focusing on service, on doing something kind, shifts your focus to the positive. As this changes your overall demeanor you will find yourself experiencing more happiness.
Happiness will come to you.
It is OK not to be happy all of the time. Don’t beat yourself up for having down moments. In fact it would not be human if you were happy all of the time. The goal is to experience happiness more often than you experience sadness. Do not get caught up in the “I will be happy when…” way of thinking, because in that way of thinking you may never achieve happiness as it becomes an elusive goal always existing in the future, not the present. The trick is to be happy while you are on the journey, because when you are happy you are better at everything you do and success comes much more easily in your life.