How To Be Happy
7 effective ways to choose for happiness now!
Our first tip on how to be happy is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Count your blessings. Both lack and abundance exist simultaneously in our lives. In every moment we have a conscious choice to either focus on what is missing or to be thankful for the gifts that we already have. It is like tending a garden... we can water the weeds or the flowers. What type of garden we wish to create is our own choice. If you are focused on gratitude it is simply impossible to be unhappy at the same time. It is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratitude that makes us happy.
Gratitude is a powerful tool for transforming your life.
2. FORGIVENESS... RELEASE YOUR PRISONERS
Another tip on how to be happy harnesses the power of forgiveness. Is there anyone in your life that you are holding prisoner? Not literally holding hostage in your cellar but holding unexpressed resentment or grudges against. This lowers our own vibration and our ability to be happy. What is more important? To be right or to be happy? To keep your pride intact or to be blissful? Releasing your prisoners through forgiveness frees up an enormous amount of life energy. If there is someone you refuse to talk to or harbor feelings of anger towards, phone them right now and end it. Make your own peace your first priority... and don't forget to put yourself top of your forgiveness list! I love what Anthony de Mello has to say on this. He says that before enlightenment everyone is an ass! The next time someone upsets you or you are accused of upsetting someone else, simply say "What do you expect from an ass?"
3. ACCEPTANCE/ NON-RESISTANCE
Whenever we suffer there is something we are resisting. Non-acceptance of "what is" creates pain and thus the third tip on how to be happy is to say "YES" to every experience.
You may be familiar with the expression "what you resist persists." Pain and unhappiness do not come so much from the thoughts, feelings and emotions which arise by themselves and simply are as they are. The mind creates problems out of the experience by labeling it as good or bad, desirable or undesirable. The biggest secret on how to be happy lies in being OK with EVERY experience... offering no resistance to what is. When we consciously choose to allow the feeling to be as it is, without commentary, without judgement, we wrap it in peace. There is no need to fix it or change it.... simply be aware of the tendency to push it away and say "Yes" instead. What happens then? The astonishing truth is that finding inner peace is possible even when you are feeling down.
4. YOU ALONE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR EXPERIENCE
Fill in the blank in the following sentence:
If only......................... then I would be happy.
If only I had more money, if only I had married someone else, if only I had a different job. It is an illusion that if these things changed, happiness would appear... they would simply be substituted with something else. If you put an unhappy person in paradise it wouldn't be long before they were saying.....yes, but... It is true that your life may be a little more comfortable but you won't necessarily be happier. Happiness is a simple choice and is uncaused by any external condition whatsoever.
Our fourth tip on how to be happy is therefore to recognise that you alone are responsible for your experience. The buck stops with you. We must clearly see and address the ego's tendency to pass the baton of responsibility onto others. Seeing yourself as a victim is disempowering whereas accepting full responsibility for your own happiness turns you into a powerful creator.
5. FOCUSING ON YOUR BREATH
There is a separate page dedicated to relaxation exercises but I feel this powerful exercise belongs here as a tip on how to be happy. If you give the mind a task to preoccupy it, you effectively rein it in and prevent it from getting up to mischief! This exercise will shift any mood very quickly.
Close your eyes and take a slow, deep breath. Visualize the breath passing through a swing door in your throat and going down deep into your diaphragm. Breathe out fully, seeing the door swing the other way as the breath leaves the body. Continue to be aware of the breath coming in and going out, watching the swing door open one way and then the other. If your mind wanders and you begin to think about something else, that is fine. Whenever you become aware again, just gently bring you attention back to the breath. If you are fully attentive, what happens to your problems in that moment? "What problems?" you may ask
. :-) Click for more relaxation exercises.
When we are down we are self-absorbed. Looking for ways to give to others shifts our attention away from ourselves and opens us to the simple joy of giving. A great tip on how to be happy is to regularly ask yourself "What can I bring to this situation which will enhance everyone's enjoyment and fulfillment" as opposed to "What can I get out of this for me?" It could be as simple as giving a flower, a compliment or a hug. The gifts of caring, attention, affection, appreciation and love are some of the most precious gifts and they cost you nothing. Without exception, happy people give more than they take. If you are feeling down, ask yourself "Where can I give more?"
7. FOLLOW YOUR BLISS
The heart knows how to be happy but few people listen. Our spirit thrives on excitement and adventure. The mind, on the other hand is fear based and always seeks security. So ask yourself "What excites me? What do I feel passionate about?" Take steps now to bring more of these activities into your life. Be bold and follow your bliss. If you are in a boring job or unfulfilling relationship, change it. Feel the fear and do it anyway. This step requires courage but the rewarding bliss is immeasurable. I have discovered that every time, without fail, that I have stepped boldly in the direction of my bliss, despite the fear and without having a clue how things are going to work out, that magic happens. Unexpected events appear out of thin air. Staying within the confines of our comfort zone may feel safe but it also kills the aliveness of our experience.
attitude of gratitude / forgiving yourself / what you resist persists
follow your bliss / non-attachment / happiness is a choice
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