It’s so difficult to explain happiness. These days, many people equate happiness with material gain – what an incredibly bleak prospect! How are you supposed to feel in-between shopping trips?
Happiness, it can be instant but doesn’t have to be so short-lived. All you need to do to generate, master and retain happiness is to do the things you are probably already doing, slightly differently. The idea of mastering happiness is to live life by the 9 easy-to-follow steps outlined below.
1. Always find the “silver lining”.
Whenever something unfavourable happens, find the silver lining no matter what. Car broke down? Hey, time to call mom up for an overdue chat while waiting for the tow. Spilled coffee on your new dress? Time for another dress! By finding the “silver lining” you will be able to remove your focus from things that annoy you and focus on things that make you happy instead.
2. Be around positive happy people (and that includes family members)
This is probably one of the most common reasons why many people are unhappy – because they are around people who are what I call, “downers”. There’s a saying that you can choose friends, but you can’t choose family. Well, the truth is you can choose both. Don’t be afraid of telling family members or friends that they are affecting your quality of life with their 24/7 misery. While you love them, you can’t be with them until they decide to transform themselves. If they love you back, they will make an effort to be a better family member or friend. Otherwise, just let them go.
3. Internalise positive thoughts or wishes
Believe in your own positive thoughts or wishes. And I mean, truly believe in them. When you tell yourself you can do it, mean it. When you tell yourself that you will be happy, mean it and do everything in your power to keep it that way. Don’t let that nagging voice in the back of your head tell you otherwise. When you think you wish the best for someone you have disliked in the past, truly mean it. Mean it with every fiber in your body that you wish that person well. Internalising positive thoughts is not an easy exercise to do, but it does get easier with practice.
4. Keep social media positive.
Don’t rant or complain on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform. Similarly, unfollow any stream that is constantly complaining or ranting about something. It is unhealthy to read and consume so much negativity. You may think that you are above “childish” rants, but honestly, they all leave an impact on you no matter how small. Read enough Facebook rants, and you will find yourself in a state of angst too. So, keep it positive, read only things that matter and add positive value to your life.
5. Be honest and straightforward.
Honesty is indeed the best policy. Telling the truth is liberating and brings an enormous sense of freedom. And being free will definitely make you happy. I understand that there are some truths that are best kept secret and so, please keep them so. If you’re being pestered for some kind of answer or explanation, just say you are not a liberty to say. Don’t say things like “I don’t know” or worse, make something up. Lies, whether black or white are guaranteed to haunt you. They will suck away the happiness and replace them with worry and guilt.
6. Always give what you can.
Giving is incredibly important. Many people don’t realise that giving someone something is a lot more fulfilling then receiving something. When I talk about giving, I don’t mean just material things. Things like time, knowledge and love are all great things to give away. Also, the trick about mastering happiness through giving is this – never expect anything back in return. Just be contented that you have contributed to someone’s happiness and trust me, happiness will naturally come to you. This is the ultimate investment in karma.
7. Be productive.
There’s very little in this world that’s quite as fulfilling as feeling useful. So get your butt off that sofa and do something. In life, it’s not all about huge accomplishments, it’s about the small achievements too. Successfully cleaning the house when your whole body refused to is definitely something to be happy about after the fact.
8. Always hug your loved ones and say “I love you” to them.
I could never understand why people would stop hugging or say “I love you” to their loved ones. We know that our loved ones love us, but it’s still nice to be told so, isn’t it? And that’s why we should always demonstrate our love with skin contact and sweet words. What do I mean by sweet words? Words like “I appreciate you so much”, “I feel so lucky to be your friend” and many more. Don’t keep the feelings to yourself, always let them know!
The point of this exercise is to be able to be vulnerable with people you love. It’s not cheesy or a waste of time. When you are able to open up about how important those people are to you, happiness will grow from within.
9. Always verbalise positivity.
Yes, don’t just think positive. Talk positive too. It’s very important to keep your words positive. Some people think that they’re verbalising positivity but they’re not really doing it correctly if they said something like, “Traffic jams suck but I shall accept them today”. You’ve already acknowledged that traffic jam is a terrible thing and accepting it does not denote positivity, it denotes defeat!
On the other hand, “Traffic jams allow me time to truly enjoy my music in private”. Sounds much better right?
So there we go, 9 simple steps to make the year a happy one!
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