I’ve made happiness something of an obsession of mine for the past five years. I like feeling happy and I’m intrigued when I don’t. Miserable people are probably my biggest turn off and I hate whiners. I’m miles more productive when I’m happy and I’ve noticed that it’s contagious too.
I’ve tried to reinforce the secrets to happiness in my own life so many times but still, even when you know the secrets, it remains elusive when you’ve just woken up after a heavy night out and have trouble opening both eyes at the same time. I now spend a lot of time on my own writing and I’ve found that my emotional state is exaggerated the longer I have to think about it. Not good if that state is negative but brilliant when it’s positive. The cold weather is also a catalyst for the dreaded mood so this time of the year in the UK is also prone to a few grumps.
I’ve read a number of books on the topic and searched on the internet endlessly looking for the answer, but it always come back to the same points. People who remain happy, or are happy most of the time, have certain things in common that they participate in. It’s sometimes just who they naturally are but we can all do it ourselves if we consciously make the right choices. It’s mainly common sense but there’s no harm sometimes in clarifying what you thought you knew already.
Here are the ten secrets to happiness:
- Connect regularly with family, friends and the community, building meaningful relationships with these people. We’re not meant to be on our own in this life, we’re tribal beings at the end of the day.
- Engage in activities that suit your own specific strengths and values.
- Deliberately be grateful for everything that you have in your life. Chasing tomorrow is a sure way of getting dissatisfied with today.
- Focus on the areas of your life where you have control and don’t let one area affect another. Also, nothing lasts forever, so at the very least brighten yourself up with the thought that whatever’s going wrong will end soon.
- It’s nice to be nice. By helping others out you begin to feel good about yourself too. So be selfish and help someone else.
- Money can’t buy you love (or happiness, it seems). Material possessions do not lead to happier lives and studies show, that the more obsessed you are, the more unhappy you can become.
- Overcome the challenges that life has to throw at you. If life was easy then you’d be hiding away somewhere under a rock, true living means that you’re going to be exposed to bad as well as good, but it’s how you respond to the challenge that leads to happiness. Accept it, learn from it and move on.
- Be healthy and this means with everything. All of it goes in to making you feel happier and more in control of your emotional state, including; exercise, food and drink, sunny outlook, stress-free, and keep smiling.
- Have some kind of spiritual importance. This could mean religion or it could mean personal meditation, but a reliance on something bigger than yourself leads to happiness.
- Identify your purpose. Goals and a direction in life help to make you feel worthwhile thus leading you to the promised land of happiness.
You will have heard of most, if not all, of these already so how you let this knowledge effect your day to day life is up to you. The challenge is implementing these ten factors in to your routine and this is where everyone has a different code. But by being conscious of having to tick off all of them in some way every week it will lead to sustained periods of happiness over time.
Let me know if this has helped you in some small way. (I’m looking to selfishly help others)