This article summarizes 7 steps to happiness, all within a person's control.
The reason most people feel unhappy is that they are in search of this illusive happiness that is somehow found outside of them in things they acquire, people they want and experiences they have. While these things can bring temporary pleasure, if you are seeking true happiness, it’s an InsideOut job.
See the seven steps on how to be happy and you’ll notice they are all things you can do without going in search of anything outside of yourself. For more details, go to http://www.mentalhealthandhappiness.com.
1. Focus on the Things over which You have Control
So much of our unhappiness is self-created as we spend time and energy on those things we can’t control. Do you wish the weather would change? Do you want your partner to be more attentive? Do you want your children to be more responsible? Do you want your boss to show her appreciation? What do all of these things have in common? You have no control over any of it. The only thing you can control is yourself so in order to be happy instead of looking at what everyone needs to do to change, start looking in the mirror at what you can do to better appreciate or change the circumstances of your life. (Click here to get your free Tip Sheet on InsideOut Thinking.)
2. Living Now
If is a rare person indeed who can stay completely focused on the here and now but doing so more often is a key in how to be happy. When we let our mind drifts to past regrets or upcoming anxieties, it can rob us of our happiness in the moment. How do you do this? When you find yourself occupied with regrets from the past or worry about the future, gently remind yourself to totally focus on whatever you are doing in that moment. Immersing yourself in the present can bring you a sense of peace and great happiness.
3. Discover and Live Your Purpose
We were all born into this world with unique talents, skills and abilities that make us uniquely able to contribute to the good of humanity. If you haven’t yet discovered your purpose, doing so will provide a path of how to be happy. When you realize what you have to offer others and you do that on a consistent basis, you are operating in your job and bliss. You can’t help but be happy. So, why are you here? What do you bring to the universe? If you don’t know, it’s OK. While you are figuring it out, make sure the things you do are in service to others. Nothing teaches how to be happy better than helping others.
4. Perceive the Positive
If you want to know how to be happy, make sure you perceive the positive. In every situation that exists, there are equal parts of positive and negative. The world is in perfect balance. The problem comes when we believe the lie that things can be overwhelmingly positive or negative. Any positive thing comes with a painful tradeoff. Any negative experience comes with an equally positive lesson, gift or opportunity.
Recognizing the balance and focusing on the positive is another path on how to be happy. (If you want to learn how to be happy in your relationship, then check out Secrets of Happy Couples)
Another sure path to misery is fighting the reality of one’s life. This does not mean you don’t work to improve your circumstances but we have a tendency to fight against everything that doesn’t fit with what we want, even when our fighting makes things worse.
If you want to know how to be happy, see if you can follow this Choice Theory psychology version of the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change// courage to change the one I can// and the wisdom to know that person is me.
When you are able to find the lesson, gift or opportunity in even the most painful of times, remember to be grateful for it. Gratitude is the antidote for depression. Giving thanks for the good things in your life will teach you how to be happy.
7. Life’s Lessons
Once you focus on the positives in any situation and be grateful for them, you can adopt the attitude of a lifelong learner. You become the perpetual learner and the world is your teacher. Finding a lesson and being humble enough to learn it, then you will remain on the path of how to be happy.
How to be happy is not a search; it is an InsideOut job. Stop searching outside yourself for the pot at the end of the rainbow and learn instead that you already have everything you need to be happy. You have the ability to adjust your thinking and your perceptions so you create happiness that’s with you 24/7.