Steps Toward Happiness

If you want a brighter outlook and better days, sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is make the choice for happiness. Everyone needs different elements in their lives to find true and lasting happiness, but the steps below are a great start for you to explore the small, easy steps toward your own perfect balance. Lower stress and a brighter outlook could be just a few small choices away.

Count your blessings.

Happy people choose to focus on the positive aspects of life rather than the negative. They set their minds on specific reasons to be grateful. They express it when possible. And they quickly discover there is always, always, something to be grateful for.

Carry a smile.

A smile is a wonderful beautifier. But more than that, studies indicate that making an emotion-filled face carries influence over the feelings processed by the brain. Our facial expression can influence our brain in just the same way our brains influence our face. In other words, you can actually program yourself to experience happiness by choosing to smile. Not to mention, all the pretty smiles you’ll receive in return for flashing yours is also guaranteed to increase your happiness level.

Speak daily affirmation into your life.

Affirmations are positive thoughts accompanied with affirmative beliefs and personal statements of truth. They are recited in the first person, present tense (“I am…”). Affirmations used daily can release stress, build confidence, and improve outlook. For maximum effectiveness, affirmations should be chosen carefully, be based in truth, and address current needs.

Wake up on your terms.

Most of us have alarm clocks programmed because of the expectations of others: a workplace, a school, or a waking child. That’s probably not going to change. But that doesn’t mean we have to lose control over our mornings in the process. Wake up just a little bit early and establish an empowering, meaningful, morning routine. Start each day on your terms. The next 23 hours will thank you for it.

Practice one life-improving discipline.

There is happiness and fulfillment to be found in personal growth. To know that you have intentionally devoted time and energy to personal improvement is one of the most satisfying feelings you’ll ever experience. Embrace and practice at least one act of self-discipline each day. This could be exercise, budgeting, or guided-learning… whatever your life needs today to continue growing. Find it. Practice it. Celebrate it.

Use your strengths.

Each of us have natural talents, strengths, and abilities. And when we use them effectively, we feel alive and comfortable in our skin. They help us find joy in our being and happiness in our design. So embrace your strengths and choose to operate within your giftedness each day. If you need to find this outlet outside your employment, by all means, find this outlet.
– via Becoming Minimalist

What Do Happy People Do Differently?

Do you ever see someone who just seems to shine? Who has a positive outlook no matter what they face? They have likely worked hard for that personality and putting just a few of the ideas below into practice could help you start cultivating a brighter, easier, happier life.

Choose to be the best YOU can be.

Give it your all in everything you do, commit to your goals, and don’t compare yourself to anyone else.  John Wooden once said, “Success and happiness is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”  Never try to be better than anyone else, but never stop trying to be the best you can be.  If you feel called to compare yourself to someone, compare yourself to an earlier version of yourself.

Choose to be around the right people.

Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.  Relationships should help you, not hurt you.  Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be.  Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you – people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.  Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  When you free yourself from negative people, you free yourself to be YOU – and being YOU is the only way to truly live.

Choose to focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.

When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value.  Being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  And that’s without having to go out and buy or acquire anything new.  It makes sense.  You will have a hard time ever being happy if you aren’t thankful for what you already have.

Choose to take care of your body.

Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be.  If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected.  Recent studies conducted on people who were clinically depressed showed that consistent exercise significantly raises happiness levels in the near-term.  Not only that, six months later, the people who had continued to exercise were less likely to relapse into depression because they had a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth.

Choose honesty.

Start being honest with yourself and everyone else.  Don’t cheat.  Be faithful.  Be kind.  Do the right thing!  It is a less complicated way to live.  Integrity is the essence of everything successful.  When you break the rules of integrity you invite serious complications into your life.  Keep life simple and enjoyable by doing what you know in your heart is right.  Don’t get involved with drama that doesn’t affect you.
– via Marc and Angel Hack Life

What’s a situation recently when you chose happiness?