How to Be Happy

This article is shared today on Conscious Life News.  It is something I shared here a while back, and a fun reminder (I, for one, could use!).

Happiness may not be the most essential or fulfilling element to our life, but it’s a great place to begin. Why not choose happiness?  It is a simple start.  And then, we develop and grow from there.

I hope you enjoy!

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gin and bob having an evening in the backyard

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The five essential habits of positive people (or how to be happy in five easy steps).  

Here’s a great way to start your week on a positive note:  Be happy!  This article will show you how easy it can be.

For most of us, most of the time, in this beautiful world we live in, happiness is matter of choice.  Our personal choice.  And like most everything we choose to manifest, it takes a little work.  With everything we have ahead of us this week (and in our lifetime) to work on, happiness is a simple, easy start.  Give it a try!

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Imagine if there were a few secret ingredients to a happy life.  You know, inside information, words of wisdom shared by the happiest people. The tricks of the trade for the happy. What works for those people who smile a lot, seem comfortable with who they are, love their work, like the people around them, are nice to be around and nice to those around them.  And imagine if we could learn from these people. Because who among us does not wish to be happier?

 

Say there are a few specific “rules” we can follow to find ourselves happier, what would they be?  They would have to be inspirational, happy, humorous, fun, not preachy, not perfect, things to try for with room to grow and plenty of forgiveness, because we’re human and we always have to try.

 

It’s all about choice.  We can choose happier habits.  Ultimately, we can choose our thoughts, rather than have our thoughts (and emotions) choose our direction.   Not to negate these things – thoughts and emotions are of great value!  It’s just that most of us need to learn to live with them, keep them in line, keep them in their proper place. (Down, Boy!)

 

We can start by following the example of people we admire. People who are trying, against odds, to make the world a better place and find a better place within themselves.  I’m not talking about the happy go lucky folks for whom life’s been just fine and they get through just fine – but never do anything great. What’s wrong with wanting great?  I want to be all I can.  I want to try it all and experience life to the fullest.  That means ups and downs. Good times and bad times.  Make mistakes.  If we don’t fall on our face, we haven’t tried to run.  Life’s too short to walk through.  So, every once in a while, run!  Flat out. And maybe you’ll fall. Get back up, dust yourself off, and when your wounds have healed (if you really must wait that long) try again.  “Only those who have had, can lose,”  I once was told after a great personal tragedy.  Sure, you can go through life playing it safe.  Make it through to the finish line. Slow, steady.  Nothing fancy, no fan fare, no bells and whistles or even a lot of cheers along the way.  Or you can dance your way through life and sometimes stumble.  If you don’t try to dance, you don’t have to worry about making the wrong moves.  But, man, what you’re missing. Oh come on. Give it a try. Dance!

 

Sure, you can’t be happy all the time. Nice idea, but not possible.  Life isn’t that simple or steady.  But you can be happier more often.  It’s up to you.

 

  1. Start your day on a positive note.  Here’s one we learned from Zig Ziglar.  Before you even get out of bed, clap your hands and say something wonderful about yourself, your world, and the day you’ve got ahead of you.  Then this one from Louise Hay. Tell yourself you love yourself.  Look in a mirror if you have one, and say it out loud.  I don’t have a mirror, need glasses to see my own eyes if I did, and I live in a small one-room cabin.  If I woke up clapping my hands and talking in the mirror, I think my husband and son would really worry.  At the very least, I’d wake them up, and those who know me know this: don’t mess with my mornings. This is my sacred time. Do not disturb. So, I keep it quiet, let them sleep, and try to say these things in my head.
  2. Patience.  Learn to slow down. Let go. Boy, this is a hard one for me.  For so many in society we are both judged, and judge ourselves, on how busy we appear to be, how much we claim to accomplish, and how jam packed we fill our days. Social status and self value are thus based on the number of hours worked (though do we stop and think how much we actually get done during those hours?).  The more we can justify being busy, the better people we think we are.  Or so we are told. Fortunately… things are changing.  That worked great to develop the modern world, create fast food and Wal-marts, capitalism and consumerism. But it didn’t bring us closer to happiness. Now it is time to try a different way. Try meditation, walking, yoga, breathing.  Watch a snowflake fall on your hand and melt.  Sit and wait in the early dark to see the moon clear the horizon (or nearest building).  Listen to the wind or the water or the waves.  Find a tree and hear the leaves rustle.  “Learn to let go. That is the key to happiness.”  –  Jack Kornfield, Buddha’s Little Instruction Book.
  3. Life’s short – eat dessert first.  Why not? Instead of dwelling on all these excuse for why not, think of all the reason why instead. Chances are, you’ll be enticed!  Look at all these wonderful things you can do, right now! Next thing you know, you might give it a go. Learn to do something new every day.  Never say never.  Don’t let yourself (or someone you love) say “I can’t.”  Go ahead, give it a try.  Now. What are you waiting for?  Don’t bother telling me.  I don’t want to hear.  I want to hear what you want to do, and what you’re doing to get there.  Even better, I want you to show me.  Do it.  Come on, dream! And dare to do something to make your dream real!
  4. Give. Practice – and expand on – compassion.  Do random acts of kindness. Do something for someone without strings attached every single day.  It doesn’t have to cost money.  It doesn’t have to take much time.  Just share the gifts you already have. You have a lot.  As a writer, I like to share my words.  A cook shares food, a photographer images, a mother comfort – these are the gifts we share, not just to make a living or get the job done or for self importance, acceptance, acknowledgement or reward.  Simply to give what we can. Share your gifts. What gifts can you share?  We all have something special. Creativity, prayer, song.  Think beyond the box.  Or look deep inside. There’s lots there.  Open it up and share it.  I bet there’s plenty to go around.
  5. Have fun, smile, dance.  This is as simple as it gets, and still one the hardest to do. Lighten up and laugh.  I don’t have TV but last month I finally saw the Ellen show while staying at my sister’s house.  Apparently she dances every day.   Right on.  Then there is a dear friend of mine, Ginny, who at first may appear to be “stuck” in a wheel chair.  But take a closer look.  See those arms flying and shoulders swaying and big broad smile that you can’t resist? There she is, even in her wheelchair.  Dancing.  If she can, I can too.  Do it.  Dance.  It feels really good.  And if you dance like no one’s looking, you can’t help but find yourself be smiling like you mean it.  And yes, chances are, you’ll feel happy.

 

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