When my Grandduaghter Mackenzie was a baby my daughter began greeting her first thing in the morning with “Good Morning Sunshine.” I remember thinking how wonderful that must be for a child to hear every single day. Those three words have enough power to make someone feel happy inside. Most of us weren’t greeted that way growing up. Many of us still are not.
It is important today to own the responsibility of making yourself happy. It may be difficult for you to do considering our current events. In spite of the war, economy and recession you might feel quilty for feeling good. When so many people are suffering in the world should you feel happy? The answer is YES!
It’s more important now than ever to be happy and optimistic. When you are happy it is easier to be kind. you are more likely to smile at the person pouring your coffee. You are more likely to be happy with your coworkers. Small everyday acts of kindness are enought to change the world. The following are some ways you can influence your state of happiness:
Decide to be happy. Choose to spend time with happy people. Think happy thoughts, have happy conversations and participate in things that you enjoy.
Find pleasure in simple things: A cold drink, a hug, a new book, a single blade of grass, a smile.
Learn to love and accept who you are at all times. Stop putting yourself down. Say nice things to yourself. Learn to honor yourself. Choose to learn and grow from your mistakes.
Appreciate life. Every minute, every breath, every single moment is a gift to to appreciate.
Stay out of debt. Learn to live within your means. Do without everything except the basics until you don’t owe anyne anything. If you have a difficult doing this seek the help and support you need.
Serve others.Get involved in helping someone less fortunate than yourself. I went to Biloxi Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina and I came home feeling like I didn’t have any problems only minor inconveniences. Helping someone in need is the most rewarding thing one can do.
Forgive. Begin with a clean slate each morning. At your workplace it may be difficult to be with coworkers who don’t have the same outlook on life as you do. Practice rising above the battlefield. I used to keep a prayer book on my desk along with an inspiration calendar to keep me on track. Practice accepting others as they are and let the rest go.
Outside of work you do have control of where and how you spend your free time. Choose to be with only those who honor and appreciate you. If someone disrespects you or dishonors you don’t spend time with them. Choose people who bring you up and brighten your day. You can love otheres from a distance.
Avoid gossip and people who bring you down. Avoid saying anything bad about anyone. My friend Kay taught me to say, “I don’t know anything about that” when someone wants me to join in negativity and gossip.
Give up feeling sorry for yourself. No one goes through life pain free. Everyone has troubles. Always look on the bright side. Always count your blessings. Find the lesson in the struggle. Learn from it. Never pay for the same lesson twice.
Participate in hobbies that make you feel like time has stopped. I have a friend that took piano lessons during her lunch hour. She was in her mid forties at the time. It’s never to late to learn something new. I saw a seventy six year old man finish the Ironman in Hawaii, it was his eleventh time. It’s easy to sit around and complain about missed opportunities. It’s never to late to live a happy life.
Learn to accept constructive criticism. Our feelings get hurt when we take things personally. Don’t make things all about you. Always be aware of an insight you can gain from your closest friends and family. We are really in this world to learn to love unconditionally.
One exercise I give my clients is to ask their closest friend what are three things they like about them and what are three things they can improve upon. When I did this with my friend Sue she told me I had high expectations of others. She was correct. It was an opportunity to lighten up!
Live by the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” It’s that simple.
See the beauty in nature. When is the last time you were grateful for grass, trees, mountains and the ocean? We tend to take nature for granted. We are blessed with natural beauty. Learn to enjoy and appreciate it.
Adopt one good habit. If you choose to focus on a new good habit the the bad will fall away. What you focus on expands. Know that it’s in your hands to improve your life. In fact it’s your responsibility. Nobody else can do it but you. Honor yourself. You are worthy of the best life has to offer.
Move your body. Get over the weight thing. Stop making excuses for yourself. I’ve never been consistent at lifting weights. It’s a constant struggle. I will only be healthy in my later years if I choose to change this unwillingness. Appreciate your shape and size. Unless you’re an identical sibling no two bodies alike.
Stop complaining for three weeks. When you catch yourself begin your three weeks over again. You will find you complain about the same thing today as you did yesterday. Everyone has struggles. Get off the pity pot.
Do something thrilling. Be adventurous. Invite someone to join you. I’ve landscaped my backyard by myself. Not an easy feat in Arizona where everything thrives on heat. To me learning to garden here is thrilling. It may be racing cars or learning to fly for you.
Be polite to everyone you communicate with today. One day I was in Starbucks with my friend Barb and she complimented the barista on her smile. She changed the way the young woman felt with a few words. I’m sure she in turn was pleasant to a customer. Service workers are often treated poorly. Be kind.
Trust the process. Life is full of ups and downs and dissapointments. Learn how to expect good things to happen. Believe in the future and commit to being a part of making the world a better place for everyone.
Being happy is a way of life. Often we allow our happiness to depend on something or someone out of our control. It’s giving your power away and allowing for a victim role. You choose how to live your life. You choose how others will affect you. You choose how you react to situations. Choose to be happy and you will notice that those around you will be happier too!