How to Begin Living a Happy Life
For many people, living a happy life seems so elusive, especially after going through a major life transition such as a divorce, loss, or job layoff. The goo
d news is that you have the power to create and sustain happiness in your life. If you want to experience more happiness long-term, make creating and sustaining happiness a priority, and follow these 8 tips:
1) Set the Intention to be Happy
The old saying, “people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be” is true. Choose to live a life of happiness and joy. When you are not, ask yourself what’s getting in the way of your happiness.
2) Be Present … Now!
At any moment, all we have is that moment. Putting our attention on the past and the future makes it impossible for us to fully experience this moment right now. One way to remind yourself to be present is to take a deep breath any time you notice you are worrying about the future or experiencing regret about the past. Yesterday is your history; the future is a mystery. This moment is life’s true present to you and a key to experience more happiness.
3) Make Your Relationships Matter
Your deepest, richest, most profound happiness in life will come from your relationships: the people you love, the people you meet who touch you, and the people whose lives you reach out to touch. The place where we often make mistakes is where we focus on the results we want rather than on the relationships that enrich our life. Put your relationships first and the results you are pursuing second, and you will experience more happiness and joy in your life.
4) Ask For What You Want
Don’t assume people can read your mind. Make specific requests in a way that doesn’t sound “needy.” Ask for what you want every time you want something and you will get more of what you want more often.
5) Acknowledge Others Often
When we express our appreciation to others, we are telling them that they matter to us and we are grateful for their contribution to our lives. Everyone loves to be appreciated. Acknowledge someone you love for sharing their feelings with you and for the small things they do that you appreciate. Tell your longtime friends how much they mean to you. When you acknowledge others, you are also acknowledging to yourself how good your life is, which sustains your feeling of happiness.
6) Eliminate the “Shoulds”
Part of what makes us unhappy is that we do things we do not want to do but feel we “should” do. We do things like going to a baby shower for someone we barely know, driving two hours to get there and the whole time wishing we were somewhere else. If you are doing things because of a sense of obligation or societal, family, or community pressure, you will be unhappy. Get rid of the “shoulds” in your life. From now on, think twice before making a commitment to an activity that you don’t really want to do, that will take up your precious time and energy. If it is a “should,” then find a way to graciously say “No thank you.”
7) Release Judgment
You deserve to live the life you want to live. That, and fulfilling relationships, is what brings true happiness. Allow other people the ability to live the life they choose without your judgment and criticism. You can only control your own life. Putting your attention on how other people should live their lives will cause you nothing but disappointment and frustration.
8) Don’t Worry About What Other People Think
One way to stop judging others is to stop thinking about what other people think of you. Trying to live up to other people’s expectations is hard, never-ending work. This is your life. You are the only one who has to approve of how you live it.
Living a happy life is easier to achieve than you might think. It is also contagious, so it’s easier to be happy if you choose to hang out with happy and joyful people. Begin using these 8 tips today to experience more happiness in your life!