Sunday, February 10, 2013

Twenty Ways To Find Happiness

  1.  Express Gratitude- If we regularly take the time to be thankful for what we already have, we will realize how blessed we truly are, and be less likely to take the things we have for granted. They will seem more precious to us. Also others will be more likely to want to give/do things for us if we show them proper gratitude. Greediness never was happiness.
  2.  Cultivate Optimism- Make a conscious effort to think optimistically. If you have an optimistic outlook on life, you are less likely to focus on the sadness, pain and failure, and more likely to focus on the opportunities  that lie in wait. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, stop and try to think of something positive or happy.
  3. Avoid Over Thinking- Constantly obsessing over something fixes absolutely nothing, and only makes you depressed. Over thinking twists a small situation and inflates it into something big- causing stress. Deal with situations directly instead of letting your imagination run wild.
  4. Avoid Comparisons - Comparing yourself to others is toxic. There will always be someone prettier, funnier, smarter, taller, skinnier, shorter, blonder,better built, more muscular, more buxom, richer, more adventurous, more popular ,more something ,than you. That is part of life- and comparing yourself to those around you, or wishing for their lives, will only make you depressed  and unhealthy. Instead, be grateful for what you DO have. Be grateful for your strengths, your talents and your personal strong points. Do not become bitter because you don't have a feature some one else does. No one is perfect, which means that the person you envy has shortcomings too.
  5. Do Your Personal Best- Try your very hardest at any task you are given. Try to go above and beyond instead of the bare minimum. You will find that it will boost your confidence to see how much you accomplish, and that others will notice and appreciate that you do more than what they ask, instead of just skimping by. Also, as was stressed by my debate coach, you never grow or flourish by staying at the level you are on. Aim above your own level (challenge yourself),  and you will be amazed how quickly your personal best becomes even better.
  6.  Be Kind - You never know what kind of day someone has been having. During one of my depression bouts, my friend took me to a grocery store to help me cheer up. While there,  asked a worker where to find something and he snapped at me. I burst into inconsolable tears, and walked out without purchasing anything and haven't gone back to that store since. In my job, I deal with a lot of rude people, and it's very tempting to just yell at them sometimes- but that won't do any good. It won't make me or them feel any better. Instead, before reacting, take a second to think through your response and decide if it is uplifting or constructive. Try to build others up, even if they don't show appreciation. You will feel better about yourself, and people will tend to be more drawn to you.
  7.  Be Charitable- Doing selfless, charitable acts does something amazing for your self worth and happiness. If you want to feel happy continuously, do charitable acts often, and have a good attitude about the service you are providing.
  8.  Nurture Relationships- The most important part of our Earth life is the relationships we build with others. It is one of the few things that gets to go with us when we die. Money, fancy houses or cars, social status and jobs are not important in the grand scheme. Spend time with loved ones- your friends and family. Make memories, and always be there for those that need you.
  9. Focus On The Big Picture- Don't get so caught up in every little detail.Don't get too lost in the present (but don't neglect it either). Ask yourself "Is this going to be important in the long run?"  I personally believe in a God, and so I ask "Will this affect me after my Earth life is done?" 
  10.  Step Outside Of Your Comfort Zone- Taking risks and trying new things is the only way we grow. If we never did anything different we would stagnate. Travelling, moving, eating new foods, trying new sports/crafts/activities, buying new clothes, trying new styles, having adventures, making new friends, learning  a new skill, getting an education, etc.  are all great ways to build your personality and help yourself feel productive. Improving yourself by trying new things gives you experience, knowledge, and memories- which you will cherish as you grow older.
  11. Indulge- Make a list of things that you enjoy. You favorite food, smell, place to be, music, sweet treat, stress reducer, personal care, etc. When ever you are in need of a pick e up, or even on a regular basis, pick an item and indulge in it. Don't pick something that will make you feel guilty or ashamed. The idea is to allow yourself a special treat now and then.
  12. Forgive- Nothing good comes from anger. Period. If someone has hurt or offended you, you might think you are "getting back at them" by holding a grudge. However, the only person you are really hurting is yourself. People we are angry at may try to make an effort to reconcile at first, but if you continue not to forgive them, they will simply get over it and move on. Sometimes they don't even realize you are angry with them. Anger is only a poison that sucks your own happiness out.
  13.  Do Something You Love - We all have things that we really enjoy doing: Reading, painting, dancing, cooking, swimming, running, etc. Make time in your schedule so that you can do some of these things. They will make you feel good about yourself, prevent you from feeling like you are in a rut, and give you something enjoyable to look forward to.
  14.  Savor Joy - Slow down and savor moments when you feel true joy and/or peace. If you want true and lasting happiness, you need to be able to recognize good moments in life, enjoy them, and use them to boost your well being.
  15. Detox - life is busy. it can be hectic and disappointing and exhausting. Take time to shut out the world, and all your stressors and relax. Your body needs time re cooperate. Humans are remarkably resilient, but even the toughest body/ mind needs tie recharge, de-stress and calm down. Do what ever makes you feel rested and at peace. Do this as often as you can, or at least when ever you need it.
  16.  Take care of your body - Our bodies do a lot for us, and we need to be mindful of what we require and what we give in return. A healthy body is important, and while we can't always control how healthy we are, we shouldn't be contributing to its un-health either. Get lots of rest, drink water, eat right, and exercises. These things will help your body run right, and will make you feel better emotionally and physically.
  17.  Take Pride In Your Appearance- This does not mean being vain. What this means is to take time to practice good grooming habits. Brush your teeth, take a shower, comb your hair, put on deodorant, maybe body spray, make up etc. Wear clothes that make you look good/fit nicely. When you look nice, you will feel better about yourself. Looking in the mirror and seeing a clean, well groomed person who has taken the time to tidy themselves up, comb their hair, put on flattering clothing and smell nice will boost your personal worth whereas looking in the mirror and seeing someone in need of a shave, who hasn't showered in a while, with messy hair and baggy/ sloppy clothing will make you feel depressed and frumpy.
  18. Develop Coping Strategies- The best defense is a good offence. Come up with a plan for how to deal with bad situations before they happen. This will help you fro going into shock, feeling lost or panicking. If you already know what calms you down, you will be able to put the plan into effect immediately, and handle the situation much better. You will also be more confident in your ability to deal with tragedy.
  19. Be Clean- If your life is a cluttered, disorganized mess, you will be more likely to feel depressed. If the areas around you are well kept, tidy and organized- you will be more at ease. Your space will feel peaceful, which will lift your mood.
  20. Apologize- We all do things we are not proud of. Don't hold on to that. Let the person(s) you offended/hurt know you are truly sorry, do your best to make the situation right, and then move on. They may not choose to forgive you- there is nothing you can do about that- but at least you know that you did what you could.

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