I recommend to my clients that they focus on gratitude, and work to increase the positive factors in their lives, and decrease the negative ones. You can improve every area of your happiness: your relationship with yourself, your relationships with others, your work life, your home life, and even your health. While you’re at it, take a little time to congratulate yourself on your personal pursuit of happiness, because Celebration + Appreciation = Motivation.
The more you understand that increasing your happiness is working, the more motivated you will be to do more, and be even happier. As you discover the techniques that are most effective for you, make a little reminder note about the best ones. Keep it handy, so if your happiness level starts to slide, you can bring it back up to where you want it. And have a happy life.
There are three things you can do to bring more happiness into your life:
1. Gratitude: Remember to notice and be thankful for whatever you have, what your friends, family and partner do for and give to you.
2. Generosity: Giving to others, especially giving thanks and kindness, will make you happy, because most others will give back.
3. Ethics: Living your life according to a set of ethics that make sense to you will make you feel good about yourself, and increase your happiness.
To create more gratitude in your life, try these guidelines:
* Take some time each day to be thankful for each and every thing that comes your way. Do this silently, for yourself, not ostentatiously, to impress others. If you say a grace before meals, say it silently, and think about how fortunate you are.
* Keep a list for one week about every good thing that comes your way—a funny e-mail, a phone call, a business success, a loving gesture. At the end of the week, you’ll be astounded at how much you receive.
* Saying “Thank You” to your partner allows both of you to feel valued. Gratitude is powerful, and, used properly, a much greater motivator than demanding, criticizing, or nagging. Creative gratitude is the most powerful kind. It’s easy to scope out what kind of thank you will be memorable for a particular person, when you’re paying attention. Recognition is a powerful motivating factor, and a little gratitude can go a long way.
* Whenever a negative thought comes to mind, counter it with a feeling of thanks for something that is good in your life. Change your focus from what’s wrong to what is right.
* Start counting what you already have that you cherish. Consider beginning a gratitude journal, and noting all the positive things, beloved possessions, and tender moments you experience. Or, start a gratitude jar, and note down on scraps of paper all the positive things, beloved friends, favorite possessions, and tender moments you experience in your own life and store them in the jar. Then whenever you feel frustrated, down or discouraged, pull out a few papers and read them. You’ll find that reminding yourself of all you have to be grateful for will cheer you up and help you remember that your life is a good one.