Monday, January 26, 2009

How To Find Happiness

Happiness in Ten Easy Steps: Part One

Here's the first half of an article I wrote a while ago about finding happiness... the EASY way.

Ah, happiness; that elusive state everybody wants a piece of.

But we can spend so much time searching for it that we overlook the obvious. Unlike some of the other essentials in life, such as money, food, clothing, shelter, etc., this one doesn't exist outside of us.

If you really want to be happy and aren't just fond of the idea of being happy, you have the means at your disposal to create your own happiness any time you wish. Here are ten of the more common things you can do to boost your spirits and make you feel great without spending a dime!

1. Grin & Wear It
If your glass is always half-empty, ask yourself: what's that other stuff doing there?

Half of something is better than nothing. Half a bottle of champagne is still champagne. If you can afford that, you've got more than most people will ever have.

It sounds cliched, but contented people really do think positive. The ability to see the good points in others or to make the most of a situation can easily put a smile on your face. But it's not because those people are naive or simpletons: it's because they live life to the full and squeeze every last drop out of it.

Try it yourself. You might just be surprised.

2. Generate Good Feelings
Ever get annoyed when someone fails to hold a door for you? Forgets to say please or thank you?

Me, too.

But then again, we get what we give. And it's the act of giving that brings us rewards, NOT the reactions of others.

When you help someone across the street or pick up something they've dropped, it makes you feel good. You can't help it, it just happens. Part of the human condition includes the potential to be generous, and this generosity sparks off those "happy" chemicals in the brain.

Perhaps it's a case of good triumphing over evil. Or maybe it's our instinctive ability to recognize right from wrong.

Whatever the reason, doing something nice makes us feel, well, NICE. And that's just about all the justification you need.

3. Let Your Hair Down
One thing happy people have in their lives is variety.

They never seem to be bored or stagnant for very long. And what's the best way to get some variety in your life?

By doing something different.

Let's face it: we all work hard to get the things we need for ourselves and our families. So why not let your hair down once in a while and go mental?

If there's something you always wanted to do but never got round to doing, make the effort. You'll discover the difference between just going through life - and taking life by the scuff of the neck.

It's your life, and you only get one of them. So go on: have some fun! There's nothing to lose, and you might just get a real kick out of it.

4. Be A Happiness Detective
Okay, let's get real.

Sometimes, no matter how positive or good-natured you are, things go wrong. We're only human, after all, and we share the same vulnerabilities and weaknesses. But when things DO go wrong, the way you react can make the situation better or worse.

Instead of brooding on it, do some detective work. Find out WHY things went wrong. Was it something you said or didn't say? Something you did or didn't do?

Be brave and answer yourself honestly. As soon as you uncover the truth, you can fix the problem and move on.

This is one time when it really does pay to be a clever dick.

5. Turn Off Your Time Machine
Got your future all nicely planned and mapped out?

Can you see what you'll be doing in a few years' time?

Or are you constantly thinking back to things you should have done differently?

Time is a strange concept that's preoccupied many an intellect over the years, from H.G. Wells to Albert Einstein. And yet, on one level at least, it's really quite simple.

There is no past, and no future. We can only live now, because everything we do takes place in the present. Sure, we can influence our future by some of the things we do, but it isn't predetermined.

So if you want a better, happier future, don't look back. Leave the past where it is and get on with the job of living.

And you don't have to be psychic to predict what will happen next.


If you still need help finding your true happiness, stand by for Part Two of this article out soon.

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