So is unhappiness and sadness and any other emotion you choose to feel. No one is happy all of the time. However, those people who are happy most of the time know that happiness should be a natural state.
Be responsible for your own happiness. No other person can make you happy. He can’t. She can’t. It’s something you have to do on your own. If you feel it’s your partner’s fault, think again, and look within to find out what piece may be missing for you. Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond your limitations and to be present in the moment and not let those ever present annoyances get you down. It means appreciating what the good that is coming to you.
Lie in the grass and look at the clouds. Be a kid again and find shapes in the clouds. BE happy. Happiness should always be a high priority. Smile. Act happy. Feelings follow actions. Research shows that when you smile, whether you feel happy or not, your mood will be elevated. You need to cultivate an intention, desire and a firm commitment to be happy.
Gravitate toward gratitude. Focus on factors that promote happiness. In his book, Authentic Happiness, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman encourages readers to perform a daily “gratitude exercise.” It involves listing a few things that make them grateful. This shifts people away from bitterness and despair, he says, and promotes happiness. Forgiveness is one of the keys to happiness. If you are angry all the time or if you harbor resentment because of what someone did to you happiness will evade you.
Always remember, you are responsible for your own happiness! If you have a positive outlook on life, you will be able to make the best of anything. You do this by thwarting negative emotions such as pessimism, resentment, and anger. Happiness will not find you. You have to find it. Turn the “bad news” TV off (it produces some of the lowest levels of happiness) and focus on things that inspire happiness. Your choices, thoughts and actions can influence your level of happiness. Think good thoughts. Your feelings are seldom wrong, because you are designed to feel certain ways from an early age.
“Happiness is not, except in very rare cases, something that drops into the mouth, like a ripe fruit. Happiness must be, for most men and women, an achievement rather than a gift of the gods, and in this achievement, effort, both inward and outward, must play a great part.” ~ Bertrand Russell, Philosopher
Stop hanging around people who bring you down. They sap your energy. Look for some new happy friends. Be politely assertive and distance yourself from unhappy people. “But,” you say, “I’m married to him!” Oh, my. You do have some work to do. You will notice if you make the choice to be happy in spite of your partner you may motivate them to do the same. Research indicates that your motivation to be happy has a substantial impact on their state of mind and future happiness.
I am seldom happier than when I am in the “zone” – totally absorbed in something that is meaningful and productive. I love what I do. That, my friend, is something that moves me forward. If you do not truly enjoy what you do… ask yourself, “What else could I do if I were not afraid?” Fear stifles your enthusiasm for happiness. It keeps you stuck. Find something you love and begin to wean yourself away from your boring work by turning your attention toward training so that you can do what you love.
Happiness is a matter of choice. It’s a moment-to-moment choice. It’s a state of mind and not something which can be defined objectively.
Seek to eliminate stress. If you are uncomfortable, stressful or frightened about a situation, do your best to take yourself to a mentally safe place of peaceful mindfulness which you have previously created in your mind and where you feel relaxed and comfortable. I have great imagination and can close my eyes and visually take me to a quiet, sandy beach – an island where the ocean breeze gently keeps me cool as I totally relax on a beach blanket. It only takes about one minute for my body to “feel” different and then I notice that the stress has dissipated enough for me to get back to work. It helps to just BE in the present!
Sometimes a quiet and quick 15 minute nap can help. Light some sticks of your favorite incense. I used to feel guilty when I did this. No longer. I know that if I take care of me, things always get better. I give a high priority to taking care of me.
If all else fails… eat chocolate!
Copyright © 2013 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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