16 Secrets To A Happy Life
Posted on 11 Sep, 2014
One of the biggest mistakes we make is to wait for happiness to happen to us when it is something that we can create for ourselves. When you move toward something, it will move toward you. If you are unhappy with your life the way it is, commit yourself to changing it. Picture the life you want, and start living it, maybe not all at once, but a little more each day. There are no shortcuts, no one-size-fits-all answer, but this here is a list of things that will get you well on your way to a happier life.
1. Treat yourself the way you'd like others to
If you don't value your time, your health and your family, chances are, neither will those around you. Learn to say no to things that do not resonate with you or align with the person you really are. You will be amazed by what happens. Not only will people start respecting you for who you are, but you will stop resenting them for turning you into someone you're not.
2. Choose happiness
It's surprising how many of us feel we do not deserve happiness, and we forgo opportunities to indulge in things that bring us happiness.
Stop feeling guilty about doing things that make you feel good. Take a bubble bath, get some ice cream, take yourself out to a fancy dinner, have coffee with a friend, accept that party invite.
3. Do something nice for a stranger
At some point in our lives, most of us start to ask, why am I here, what was I sent here to do, what is my calling? These questions usually surface when we start reviewing our contribution to the earth and the people around us.
A great way to give meaning to your life is to do something nice for a complete stranger who may never repay you. Sometimes it may cost you 10 bucks. Sometimes it only costs a smile. The results will amaze you. Because 9 times out of 10, you'll feel like a million bucks afterwards.
4. Don't compare yourself to others
To motivate ourselves to do better, we sometimes compare ourselves to those more successful than us. Whilst it is good to have role models, this practice of comparing can do more harm than good if taken too far. For one, you will always feel incomplete and lacking when your image does not line up with that of the person you are trying to imitate. But worse is when you do succeed at being this someone else and discover that it wasn't what you really wanted.
So, rather than craft yourself after somebody else, allow your authentic self emerge. Authentic means you are a one-off, and that is special.
5. Don't settle for a job that makes you unhappy
It makes little sense to sacrifice your wellbeing and family to earn money, and then spend the rest of your life to recover your lost health and estranged family.
Unfortunately, many of us are in careers that make us miserable, but we do it out of necessity, to put food on the table. But it doesn't always have to be that way. If you've found something that you think you're better suited for, start taking small steps towards making a transition. Each day you'll feel good that you've progressed closer to your goal.
6. It's ok to not feel ok
We are emotional beings, and it is normal to feel sad, even if for no reason. Just remember that it doesn't help to beat yourself up over your blah days. Always look at the things that you have going for you. Chances are, you'll realize that you have it better than most people. We don't always get what we want. And you know what? That's okay.
To forgive someone is not to condone what that person had done to you. To forgive is to move on. It is to release yourself from someone else's poor choices. Consider writing that person a heartfelt and compassionate letter saying you've forgiven them. Mail it and let it go. Or write the letter and don't mail it. Sometimes we just need to flush things from our system.
To a believer, there are no limits to the power of prayer, but to a non-believer, prayer is futile. But we are not here to discuss that, because whether or not prayers get granted, the mere act of praying gives you wings, lends you courage to attempt and overcome great things. Prayer is also great downtime, to help you clear your mind, feel inner peace and see things from a new perspective. To some, prayer is a way to come to terms with the disparity between expectation and reality.
9. Maintain a core group of close friends
The happiness of a moment is multiplied by the number of people who share in it. It is good to always have a core group of close-knit friends you can not only fall back on, but who are there with you to celebrate your best moments. But their worth extends to more than just that.
When you are around friends you are genuinely comfortable with, you enjoy a freedom to be yourself. In their company, you are in a safe environment to bloom into the person you were meant to be.
But remember, true friendship is earned. Closeness has little to do with proximity and more to do with inclusion. Good friends, despite not staying in touch, can go back to being friends as if a day had not passed. Great friends, never test that theory.
10. Sleep before you leap. And always listen to your body.
It is disconcerting that many in modern society boasts of how little sleep they can operate on, as if it were a desirable skill to be honed and to attain.
Lack of sleep decreases productivity, causes weight and eating problems, weakens your immune system, makes you moody. These stand in the way of your happiness.
Always be attentive to what your body is telling you. Hydrate when you're thirsty. Eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. Take a break when you find your shoulders have crept up around your ears.
It's hard to call it a day when there's an Everest of work casting a dark shadow on you. But sometimes you just have to tell the world, "If I leave this for tomorrow, life will go on. I'll show you... when I wake."
11. Revive the child in you
If you search hard and deep enough, you'll discover that there still is a child in you. Don't shackle yourself with society's conventions. Experience the world with childlike awe, childlike silliness and childlike creativity. And approach life with childlike faith and childlike hope.
12. Live a life of purpose
The happiest people in the world have a reason to wake up each morning. They don't just hit the ground running. They hit the ground smiling. But how does one find their purpose in life? Everyone seems to be searching for it... at seminars, within the pages of self-help books, on meditational excursions to the center of their soul.
The answer probably eludes so many because purpose is not something you discover. It's something you organize for yourself. People with purpose don't sit around reading-listening-and-thinking about it. They engage in it. They're out there, their lives in motion, taking a flamenco class, putting the final touches on their Zen Garden, gathering ingredients for an untried recipe.
13.Don't allow work to follow you home
Unless you are engaged in work that greatly benefits the planet and mankind, stop the glorification of busy and wearing it around like a badge to be proud of. You may impress people with your hard work, but few would want to be in your shoes, leading such a busy life.
The thing about most jobs is that the work is never ending. Unable to complete all our work by day's end, many of us bring that anxiety home with us. Though we may not physically do the work, we are mentally making notes and solving work problems for the following day. A line needs to be drawn. You need to tell yourself that work stays at the office the minute you clock out, that the afterhours is when you rejuvenate, so you can be a more productive employee the next day.
14. Schedule official ME time
Set a day and time each week to spend entirely with yourself, and commit to it. Turn off your phone. Wine and dine yourself. Get a coffee and read a book. Or catch a play. When you carve out downtime for yourself, you have a chance to take a breather, see things from different perspectives, and get in touch with the things you truly love. There will definitely be times when things get so busy that you'll feel tempted to cancel on yourself. Remember, it is when you feel completely overwhelmed that your ME time is most needed.
Exercise is a great way to lift your mood. The endorphins that get released during physical activity are great for relieving stress, anxiety and depression. In addition to increased energy, physically active people tend to feel a sense of accomplishment in meeting personal fitness goals. Also, getting outdoors for a workout after being stuck in the office all day is great way to break the monotony of modern day living.
16. Go on adventures
This is not a clarion call to be reckless, but a reminder to you that life doesn't have to be all rigid and serious. If you get too hung up on following the straight and narrow, you will likely fall into the rigor of the day-to-day. Take a break from your routine and do something unconventional that makes you feel alive.
Great Books For A Happy And Successful Life
by Pema Chodron
by Jim Rohn
by Dan Harris