Oh my goodness I can’t believe it’s already December! Can you? It’s amazing how fast time is flying by. And today I don’t have a wedding or engagement post for you, no…instead I thought I’d bring you a Thoughts for Thursday post on ways to bring more happiness into your life. Everyone can stand to have a little more of that, right?
Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” Isn’t that a beautiful thought? It’s so eloquently put, as many of Thoreau’s writings are, and the idea has such a nice feeling. Unfortunately, I couldn’t disagree more.
Being happy doesn’t always just happen for everyone, as lovely as that would be. Sure there are things in life that come about which can have a significant influence on your happiness, however I think being happy is a choice we all have and if you follow these small steps outlined below, you can choose to be happier too.
Step 1. Do Something Nice for Someone Else – This step is truly magic as doing it has multiple positive effects. First, it helps a person in need and second…your Karma bucket gets a little more full. Helping someone could be as simple as letting someone go ahead of you in line, holding the door open for someone or something bigger like donating your time or money to charity. You’ll be surprised at how doing this easy step can go a long way towards bringing more happiness into your life.
Step 2. Appreciate Your Life – With the state of the world in a constant struggle and the economy in a perpetual toilet, not to mention the countless people stricken with poverty, disease, trauma or afflicted by some natural disaster, it’s not difficult for most of us to take a step back and truly appreciate our comfortable lives. And that is exactly what you should do! Make a conscious effort to be happy about what you do have instead of being sad about what you don’t. And remember, there are always others who have far less than you.
Step 3. Focus on Forgiveness – Holding onto a grudge can really thwart any kind of happiness. Let’s think about this, is all the energy you put into being angry at someone or something really worth it? No…it’s not, and deep down you know I’m right. So why not try focusing on forgiveness? This is another easy thing you can do that can miraculously provide an amazing sense of happiness. Consciously making the decision to forgive will lift a huge weight off your shoulders and you’ll instantly be more happy. I promise, try it and see for yourself.
Step 4. Find Something You Love to Do – This step is so essential to a person’s happiness because when you are doing something you love to do, there’s no way not to be happy. Doing what you love could be a hobby or a physical activity or even your job. Better yet, if you can find a way to turn your hobby or that physical activity you love into your job, you’ll never work another day in your life. And that is one of the best ingredients for cooking up a wonderfully happy life.
Step 5. Cultivate a Sense of Connection – How does that saying go? “Happiness is having someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to”. Ain’t that the truth? Having connections absolutely gives one a sense of purpose. And we all need to feel needed right? So reach out and establish some new connections or strengthen ones that are already existing. This too is a step that’s beneficial in more than one way as not only will building new connections bring you happiness, it will also bring happiness for those you connect with. And if you think about it, when you complete this step…you’ll be completing step 1 again as well. How about that? A two for one!
Step 6. Counteract Negative Thoughts and Feelings – If you are constantly thinking bad things are going to happen, guess what…bad things are going to happen. The power of positive thinking has amazing affects on one’s spirit and outlook on life. Although I’m not a doctor, scientist or psychologist and cannot back this theory up with scientific proof, I know from my own experience that negative thoughts and feelings tend to bring me down. So why not look at the world with rose colored glasses? At the very least…everything will look much prettier!
Step 7. Make the Decision to Be Happy! – This one is pretty much a no brainer and if you’re reading this post, I’m guessing you could stand to have a little more happiness in your life. That’s easy, just make the decision to be happy. I know sometimes it’s hard to simply change your mood, especially if it’s been a particularly tough day. But when faced with this situation myself, more often than not I simply think it’s much less taxing on my body and soul to just BE happy instead of letting anger, frustration or sadness weigh me down.
So there you have it. 7 wonderful, (and rather simple), ways to be happier. Follow these steps and in no time at all you’ll have that elusive butterfly sitting softly on your shoulder permanently.
I hope you have a Fab You Bliss and HAPPY day!
All images are courtesy of Stephanie Saul Photography