“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” Jim Rohn
No one and nothing can make us happy. However, there are ways to achieve happiness without resorting to taking prescription drugs, going on extravagant vacations or getting into a relationship. In the end, happiness is a mindset more than a physical reality; in other words, if you will yourself to be happy, life itself will start bringing you happiness. How do you get into the mindset of being happy? Here are eight ways:
1- Don’t associate with unhappy people. Maybe you didn’t start out unhappy, but after being constantly exposed to other unhappy people, you now share their pessimism. While it may be difficult to extricate yourself completely from their presence (especially if they are your family), try to limit your time with unhappy people. Find new friends and acquaintances that view life as an opportunity to experience happiness.
2- Once a day, do at least one thing and go to at least one place that brings you joy. Doing that one thing need not be big; it could be as simple as calling a friend or making your favorite meal. That special place that brings you joy could be a section of your garden, a park you frequent, or even an online site where you go to read and relax.
3- Focus on the possibilities and not the limitations. It’s easy to get bogged down with “I can’t’ or “I won’t”. Instead, consider “what if I do?” Great things are accomplished by those who start with a resounding “yes” and then see where circumstances take them. At the very least, you can hold your head high and say you tried.
4- Take up a new hobby or sport. Sometimes, we are unhappy because we are bored by the same old routine that our life has become. Set aside some time each day to engage in a new hobby or sport. The experience of learning something new will lift your spirits and fill you with a sense of accomplishment.
5- Find the good in every day. Try to focus on the positive aspects of your day rather than the negative ones. For example, you may dread going to work- but you can focus on the walk you’ll take outside during your lunch break. Alternately, you might think about the happy hour occurring after work with your friends- there’s a reason it’s called happy hour, right?
6- Volunteer your time. It may seem stereotypical, but volunteering for a worthy charity or other organization does make you appreciate what you already have. Additionally, working with others can help you gain some valuable friends.
7- It’s good to be sad once in a while. If you are unhappy about something personal in your life, such as a lost relationship, it’s certainly good to cry and/or grieve about it. Give yourself time to focus on the event, painful as it might be, so that you can make your peace with the matter and move on. Nobody expects you to be happy constantly.
8- Understand that you create happiness. Happiness is not something “out there” and beyond your grasp. Rather, it is already inside of you. The trick now is to figure out how you can release that happiness instead of stifling it. While there are many methods, simply affirming your intent to be happy is a good start. After all, being happy- or unhappy- is a choice.
In conclusion, perhaps the best observation about achieving happiness comes from Victor E. Frankl, a man who was sent to the Nazi concentration camps. During his stay at the camps, he wrote the following: “Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.” In other words, happiness will not come to you while you chase it by accumulating possessions or looking for new soul mate. Rather, happiness will find you when you realize that it is already present in your life.If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Follow on Google+