Virtually everyone wants to be happy. There is certainly no joy in misery. Yet, happiness can be elusive because exactly what it is and how to obtain it is too often a mystery. Happiness is something you create. Waiting for happiness is a frustrating pursuit that rarely works out.
Creating happiness starts with understanding what makes you happy and what makes you unhappy. Without this insight, you have no idea what direction to go. A clear awareness is essential for creating happiness. You want to maximize your sources of happiness while minimizing the causes of unhappiness.
You should never feel guilty about being happy. You deserve to be happy. Being unhappy makes you miserable without making anyone else happy. Only happy people have a chance of helping someone else feel better. Unhappy people will never accomplish this.
Once you know what makes you happy, your next step is to formulate a plan for attaining it. This can range from small changes to a major life restructuring. Your job, where you live, or interpersonal relationships are some examples of areas that might require adjustment.
Although making significant changes is not easy, staying where you are only perpetuates your unhappiness. Don’t make huge alterations all at once. Begin with small steps. Just getting started begins to create happiness. You will feel happier being proactive compared to passively waiting.
Associate with happy people. When you socialize with unhappy people, their unhappiness affects you. It’s virtually impossible for you to feel happy when you are surrounded by unhappy people. Be particular with whom you associate.
Limit your exposure to negative influences. Watching news, TV shows, or movies that make you feel bad, interfere with feeling happy. In spite of your vigilance, you are bound to interact with unhappy people and be exposed to negative situations. Counteract these influences by recharging your happiness through connecting with upbeat people and circumstances.
Find solutions to problems. You will make mistakes. Things will go wrong. Wallowing in self-pity makes you feel worse. Figure out what needs to be done to get back on track and then start doing it. Happy people take charge of their lives rather than looking to place blame elsewhere.
Think about things that make you happy. This is a simple yet extremely effective technique. You already know how you feel when you think unhappy thoughts. You can’t stop thinking about something; you have to replace unhappy thoughts with happy ones.
Laugh and find humor. You always feel happier after a good, hearty laugh. Seek out funny input. Spend time with funny people. Watch comedies, read funny material, tell or listen to jokes. Laughing is good for you mentally and physically.
Have fun. Do things you enjoy. Take breaks. Suffering is not conducive to creating happiness. Simple activities that you like contribute to your happiness. Savor the small pleasures in life. Immersing yourself in your favorite activity is a great way to give yourself a chance to step back and put things in perspective.
Take care of yourself physically. It’s hard to be happy if you don’t feel good. Get some exercise and pay attention to what you eat. You don’t have to be a health and fitness fanatic. Applying some common sense is very effective.
Create happiness by smiling and acting happy. Act and think in the manor you want to be. This is because you create happiness through your thoughts and actions.. You don’t wait to be happy.
You can be unhappy for so long that it feels normal. You then forget what happiness feels like. Take control of your life. Start by smiling and making a commitment to yourself to begin creating happiness.
Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or write him c/o this paper.