Although people will always have personal definitions on happiness and everyone’s path to it will be different, evidence shows that there are a few common factors with positive impact on everybody’s well-being. Some of them are about our day by day interaction with the outside world, and some are internal – those that define our attitude towards life.
There were many turning points on my bumpy road towards understanding happiness, but they helped me decant 10 random but interconnected drops of happiness:
- Gratitude – cultivating the habit of being grateful shifts people away from bitterness, despair, and promotes happiness. Be grateful for at least one thing every day first thing in the morning or before going to sleep and make it a daily habit. My take on this – good or bad day, there is at least one thing I’m grateful for and that is – I got to live another day in this beautiful world, and that makes me happy.
- Let go of the past – holding a grudge can affect both physical and mental. This have been one of the most difficult steps for me to overcome. There are many healing techniques and methods out there (Sedona Method, EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques or Tapping, The Release Technique, Access Consciousness, The Freedom Release Technique). Try and see which one works for you. Foster forgiveness and move on!
- Connect with happy people – choose to be in environments and around people that increase your probability of happiness. People with strong and broad social relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. Our individualistic society suffers from impoverished social connections, which some psychologists believe is a cause of today’s epidemic levels of depression. One of my favorite antidotes to unhappiness is to foster close friendships with people who care about me.
- “Take care of your body – its the only place you have to live”, Jim Roth. Our body and our mind are connected. Taking better care of your body boosts your well-being fairly fast. Exercising and eating well provide nearly instant benefits, helping the body and the mind to manage most difficulties. It instantly improves our mood and can even lift us out of a depression. This is the way I found my passion and became a Health Coach, on my path to happiness!
- Appreciation – there must be more to life than work, work, work! Good news – there is. I always appreciate my early mornings with my dog on the beach, spending time in nature, spending time with people close to my heart, travelling, studying, working on a hobby which I kept postponing, experimenting new forms of exercise, volunteer, do things for others, helping animals in need. Volunteering is one of the most happiest and rewarding activities for me. Helping others is not only good for them and a great thing to do, it also makes us happier and healthier.
- Direction – have a purpose in your life, have goals to look forward to, keep learning new things. By engaging in meaningful activities your mind becomes thoroughly absorbed in a task that challenges your abilities, and more than that it helps you experience less stress, anxiety and depression.
- Resilience – how we respond to setbacks, hurdles, unexpected events, stress, loss, failure or trauma in our lives and bounce back to these has a big impact on our well-being. We often cannot choose what happens to us, but we can choose our own attitude to what happens. We become resilient by letting go, learning, growing, finding healthy ways to cope, geting stronger. Martial arts experts know this from experience “a broken hand, once healed, is an even stronger weapon for the next big fight”.
- Positive attitude – it is everything. Always a positive attitude feels better than a negative one. There is a positive aspect in everything, there is something good. Most of the time it’s not all that obvious. We have to look and sometimes we have to look hard. For me having a positive attitude has not always been easy. But there is a turning point in everyones life when we start looking only for the good, the positive, the joy and this attitude will became part of our life.
- Own Expectations – LET THEM GO! Simply put – If we allow expectations to determine the happiness we feel in regards to a certain situation, person or ourselves, the chances that we will be satisfied are slim. Expectations are tricky, manipulative, they lead us to search for meaning anywhere other than within ourselves. The happiness lives within ourselves!
- “Money Can’t Buy Happiness” – I left this one at the end particularly to be remembered! Research shows that once income climbs above the poverty level, more money brings very little extra happiness. Regardless of what we achieve in the pursuit of stuff, it’s never going to bring about an enduring state of happiness.
One of my favorite definitions of happiness is this one “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony” (Mahatma Gandhi). What is yours? What makes you happy now? Or what makes you happy only thinking about it? Is a matter of choice – not purely luck! Spend a few moments now and find your own definition of happiness. – Choose to be Happy! Till next time stay HEALTHY and HAPPY Hearty Souls ☺