How to be Happy

If you’re happy and you know it you are blessed. Everybody wants to be happy. Happiness trumps everything, it’s the holy grail we strive for our entire lives. Yet for so many people it seems to be elusive. Why do some people have it naturally or find it so easily while others struggle. What’s their secret?…whats the secret of How to be Happy? Lets find out…

Here’s a brief outline. Its about a 5 minute read.

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Choose to be Happy

Happiness is not something ready-made.  It comes from your own actions.” ~ Dalai Lama

Happiness is a choice, you have to choose it.

Research shows that approx 40 percent of our happiness is up to us the rest is down to things like genetics and our background.

This is great news because it means we have a strong amount of control over our own happiness, we can choose to be happy…

…anyone can choose to be happy.

“The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude” Psychologist William James

Psychologist William James

Studies have shown that children laugh more than four hundred times each day while adults only manage seventeen times. How sad is that?

What children have, that we as grownups loose somewhere along the line is that light-hearted, curious, playful, positive and loving spirit. Click here for my recent article Playtime for Grownups: How we can Play and Why we Should.

children are always happy

Children want to be happy and so they are. Simple as that.

To choose happiness you have to make a conscious choice and then take the practical actions to move away from what’s making you unhappy and move towards things that can make you happy.

But we have to know and recognise what it is making us unhappy and what it is that makes us genuinely happy. This is a big part of the difficulty…

Happiness from the Inside Out

Happiness comes from the inside out. It can’t be found externally.

You can’t rely solely on your partner, for example, to make you happy.

Nor does it come from material possessions. True, authentic happiness can’t be bought…

Step Away from things that make You unhappy

Research has shown that having certain personal characteristics can make us unhappy. These are:-

Being apathetic. Indifferent, uninvolved and unmotivated in either your personal and working life or both.

Being Unhealthy – Unhealthy eating, not getting enough exercise, not moving enough, being overweight. Having bad habits like smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

Being Stuck in the Past – Whether you’re dwelling on good memories or regrets there’s only one way to progress to happiness in life and that’s forwards. The future

Feeling Hopeless – Can lead to you standing still, isolating yourself, not participating in life.

Being Ungrateful – not fully understanding, recognising or valuing things in our lives.

If we recognise some or all of these in ourselves and work towards lessening or eliminating them we will be taking positive steps towards a happier life.

Get Closer to the Things that Make You Happy

Choosing happiness isn’t just a mental activity.

You have to do something about it.

You have to follow through with your choices and translate them into the practical actions needed to make your life truly happier.

it’s not enough to sit around wanting to be happy; you have to make the effort to change what is missing in your life.

happy smiley face

Happiness Boosters

Exercise – Yes that old chestnut… but it’s true exercise really does boost your happiness levels. To get started easily Click here for my recent blog post ‘Exercise Made Easy’

Appreciate Yourself – Below, in the ‘Be Grateful’ section you will find an instruction “Write a letter to someone you love”. Let the first person you write to be you.

Nutrition – Eat healthy food. Eating properly makes you feel amazing , when you feel amazing you look amazing and when you both feel and look amazing you can do nothing else but be amazing. Click here for my recent blog post ‘How to Eat Healthy, 3 Simple Rules’.

Nature – Getting outside in nature really makes you happy. Try it. Click here for my recent blog post How to get outside in nature more and why we need to.

Relationships – Cherish and be grateful for your existing relationships and make new ones. Humans need human connections to make us happy,

Play – Grownup playtime. Think about it as part of your self care routine. Nothing can make you laugh more than play. Click here for my recent blog post on the subject

Relaxation – You must take time to release the stresses and strains of modern life. Click here for my recent blog post ‘Mediations, Why we should do it and how.

Spirituality – The feeling of belonging to something bigger is reported to enhance wellbeing and feelings of happiness.

Challenges – Set yourself goals. Learn new things, accomplish projects, follow dreams. Click here to read my blog post on reaching your goals

Be Kind to Others – See below for more on this.

All these happiness boosters are enjoyable, inexpensive, free from side-effects, and easily available. You can do some of them or all of them and have a good time while making yourself healthier and happier.

gratitude journal

Be Grateful

Research has shown that being grateful…living a life full of gratitude makes us happier and has positive effects on our health and wellbeing in general. Click here for a page full of links to scientific studies showing the positive consequences of practicing gratitude.

We all have things and/or people we are grateful for. The more you can be grateful for the bigger the happy effect will be.

What could you be grateful for?

The list goes on…

How to Express Your Gratitude

Write to Someone you Love that you are grateful for…

Write, text or email a letter to someone you love like your best friend, your partner, your children or any other family member.

 Tell them how much they mean to you,  for example tell them about their special gifts, how they enrich your life, how your life wouldn’t be the same without them, how happy they make you feel, how you are so grateful for  the relationship with them.

This is such a cathartic exercise.  it makes you feel great being so open, honest and authentic.  It’s freeing and  wonderful. It also makes the receiver of the letter feel amazing which in turn makes you feel amazing too, that you have made them so happy.  This also reinforces the fact that you are an authentic, genuine and caring person with great friends/family who you appreciate and who appreciate you.

Writing a Gratitude Journal everyday. Get yourself a cheap jotter or a beautiful leather bound journal, your choice… and every day take a few seconds out of your life to write 1 or 2 things that you are grateful for.

It can be anything at all from something small like your favourite song all the way up to something huge like the universe. Embellish it with the exact detail of why you are grateful for it, what it means in your life.

Start a Gratitude Jar...This is awesome…Starting on January 1st on a daily basis write something that you are grateful for on a piece of paper and pop it in the jar. (multi coloured post it notes look pretty in the jar) On New Years Eve you get to read all the lovely positive notes you have written over the year.

Alternatively, You can start this any day of the year and when you are feeling down just read over some of your gratitude notes to lift you up.

Be Kind to Others

Research has shown that being kind to others can also bring you significant happiness.

Kindness can be as simple as a smile, a hug, a compliment, a thank you, a simple gesture, or a word of encouragement.  It doesn’t have to cost anything or take much time.  What’s important is that it’s an act of genuine care and thoughtfulness for another person.

Here’s some suggestions:-

And so on…


Do you really want to be happy?

“Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won’t have to hunt to find happiness.”  William E. Gladstone

William E. Gladstone

Having more happiness in life isn’t a quick fix process but rather an intentional effort to move away from those things that create negativity in your life, and move toward the things that warm your spirit.

So if you really want to be happy, it’s not too late to start imagining it for your future and taking the steps needed to live it.

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