What Is Happiness?

You Create Your Own Happy State

Many people don't know what it takes to be happy.  They think things or places will make them happier but often happiness is elusive because it is a state of mind.  It's all about creating a happy attitude. Here are some ideas to help you become your happiest self even if the situation you are in is not ideal.

How to Be Happier

* Practice honesty with everyone you encounter.  Being honest requires good intentions for both yourself and the person/persons you are dealing with.  Being honest eliminates all of the mental clutter that deceit and lying creates.  Being honest with others also allows you to be honest with yourself.

* Do things for others.  When we serve others, we usually forget our own problems.  Doing things for others takes us outside of our own self-absorbed world and helps us see life's big picture--that things don't matter and people do.  Serving others can help you remember that and, in a way, helping others becomes a way of helping yourself.

* Love yourself.  Be as kind to yourself as you are to others.  All too often, we require a lot of ourselves and much less of others.  This is a travesty.  You deserve your own approval and love. No one knows better than you the work your body and brain gets done every day.  Treating yourself doesn't mean you allow yourself to be lazy.  It means you don't shy away from new experiences that will benefit yourself even though they might be scary.  It means you respect yourself to put healthy food into your body and healthy thoughts into your mind.  Love yourself first so that you can, in turn, love others.

* This actually goes hand in hand with loving yourself.  Don't forget to forgive yourself.  Ok, so you made a mistake.  Do you think everyone remembers it as keenly as you do?  I doubt it.  Forgive yourself for your mistakes.  This doesn't mean you give yourself a free pass.  What it means is that you only reflect on a mistake long enough to go forward, learning from it, and then you forgive yourself--much in the same way you would forgive your child.  Your inner child deserves forgiveness.

* Spoil yourself for a brief time every day by doing something you like.  You probably won't be able to do it all day long but take time out to do something you love.  You will look forward to it beforehand and then feel calmed by the opportunity afterward.  This, too, is related to loving yourself and forgiving yourself.

* Make a list of all the things you are grateful for.  When you do this, you invite an attitude of abundance rather than one of scarcity.  Oprah used to talk about keeping a gratitude journal on her show.  Without a list of things you're grateful for, it is all too easy to see only what makes you frustrated or unhappy in your life.  This concept is very much like viewing your glass of water as being half full rather than being half empty.

Become a Happier Person

These are just a few tips for reframing the way you think about things so that you're more likely to be happy.  It helps to learn as much as you can about yourself.  The more aware you are of yourself, the better chance you have of being happy.

Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill
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(price as of Jun 12, 2015)