Everyone wants to be happy.
So why are so many people not as happy as they want to be?
Thousands of books have been written on the subject of how to be happier and yet people haven’t quite figured it out.
Even though we join in a song with Bobby McFerrin or Pharrell Williams, we somehow can’t implement their simple message of not worrying or clapping along.
I think that’s because we are looking for some magical answer to happiness that in large part doesn’t require any effort on our part. We want happiness to descend upon us when all the circumstances are perfect and all the stars align correctly.
No wonder people aren’t all that happy.
Here’s the hard truth:
Happiness is not that complicated but it does mean you have be responsible for your own experience.Happiness is not that complicated but it does mean you have to be responsible for your own experience. Click To Tweet
So if you are ready to quit lamenting about what needs to happen for you to be happy and instead actually be happy, I have 7 no nonsense tips to help you get started.
#1 It’s an inside job
Beyond having your basic needs being taken care of, happiness does not originate from your circumstances. It’s an inside job. Happiness is under your control – not at the whim of external events. If you are not as happy as you want to be, you have to pull up your socks and start thinking and doing something different.
And no you don’t need more money.
Research shows us that after your basic needs are met, money does not make you happy. Well, except of course if you give it away. Giving money to others actually does make us happier.
#2 Share the love
People feel happier when they are doing things that have a positive impact on other people. We all have a basic need to feel that we are making a difference in some way. It doesn’t have to be a big undertaking. Simply start by telling the people you love that you love them.
Do it now.
#3 Practice gratitude
It’s not what you don’t have that makes you unhappy. It’s not appreciating what you do have. Complaining is never a path to happiness – particularly when you consider what you are complaining about. Chances are someone else somewhere in your neighbourhood or around the globe would change places with you in an instant.
The time may come when the simple things you take for granted become out of your reach. Take the time to stop and appreciate them now. Make it a daily practice.
#4 Do something
Just like your weight has a genetic set-point, so does your personal happiness. Research suggests that perhaps as much as 50% of your happiness is genetically predetermined. So if you come from a naturally happy-go-lucky family, good for you. If not, it doesn’t matter. The other 50% is up to you.
There aren’t any magic get happy solutions. Just take 10 minutes to do something that helps lift your mood and re-energize you. Start doing some of the simple stuff that’s good for you: eat well, get some exercise, practice gratitude, hug your loved ones.
Here’s an easy one:
How much you smile influences how long you live, how happy your marriage is and how inspiring you are to others. So start smiling more.
#5 Shift your focus
Quit imagining the worst. It’s just as easy to be a happy-chondriac as a Negative Nelly. Try going through your day looking for the things that are working well in your life. Catch yourself in the glass half empty perspective and turn it around. Focus less on the little details and more on the big picture.
Unhappiness often comes from wanting everyone to like us.
Everyone is not going to like you and that is just fine. Start by liking yourself. Worry less about what others think and try instead to impress yourself. Set the bar high for your intentions and actions.
#6 Believe it
If you believe that happiness is elusive, you won’t be on the lookout for it. If you believe instead that happiness is available in every moment, then you’ll be watching for it. Believe that things will turn out okay. If you believe it, then it is more likely to happen. That’s because when we believe something, we choose the attitudes and behaviours that support our thinking.
#7 Open your eyes
Happiness is not some monumental event that occurs. Happiness is being fully present to what is right in front of your eyes. Yup all you have to do is to pay attention.
One last thought on happiness from the wonderful Groucho Marx:
Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.
Yup it’s just that simple.
You want to be happy?
Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment, share, like, tweet and/or pin this article.
What’s your best no nonsense tip for more happiness?