Unlock The Secret Habits of Happy People
Mandy Hale, celebrated author of The Single Woman, wrote, “Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life”. And she’s right. Happiness, and the potential to be happy, lies within us all. So how do we unlock it?
1. Live for the Moment
You can’t predict the future. You can’t stop the inevitable from happening. So forget about it and enjoy what you have right now.
True happiness lies within every single moment. It is in a breath of fresh air. A nap at the end of a long day. A sip of cold beer or hot coffee. Happiness is in a hug from your child, your parents or your partner; it is in a laugh and a cry. Understand this, learn to feel this and you will be happy.
2. Understand that it Could all Disappear
Find someone who was happy, someone who had everything and then lost it, and they’ll tell you that they didn’t appreciate what they had until it was gone. The same goes for those who suffer loss on a financial or emotional level. So, don’t wait for that loss to happen before you begin to appreciate what you have.
Be grateful for the way things are right now. Appreciate what you have and love all those around you. Not only will you get more out of the good things in your life, but you’ll also be better prepared for the bad.
3. Create a “Happy Place”
Imagine a happy place and go there when you feel that things are getting on top of you. It can be a calm beach or a forest. It can be a stadium where your favorite band is performing. Everyone is different, but your happy place represents you at peace.
Visualize yourself in that place whenever you can and take the joy and the happiness that you feel with you wherever you go.
4. Let the World Take Control
The world will guide you and it will do what it wants regardless of whether or not you want it to. The trick is to just let everything happen.
You can not control what other people do, so stop worrying about what they think and stop over-analyzing what they say and do. This is your life to enjoy, so kick back, forget about others and enjoy it.
5. Stop Being so Serious
Relax. Stop worrying about money, work and bills. Stop taking life so seriously!
Think like a toddler would think. They just want to have fun. They want to be silly, to roll around in the mud, to try new things. They want to chat to strangers, stare at new people and giggle at nothing.
They’re happy, so if it works for them, why can’t it work for you?
6. Let Others Lead
If you have a dog, then take it for a walk and let it guide you. Your dog is a primal being. It wants to experience and smell new things. It wants to meet new people, to do something different. It wants a sensory hit, and by following its lead you can submit yourself to similar primal instincts.
You can do the same with a child. Let them dictate what you will do for a day. Take them to the park, to the playground or to a fairground and let them take control. Childhood is a primal and almost animalistic period in one’s life, and it’s one where pure, untainted happiness lies.
7. Help Others
Nothing beats the warm, cosy feeling you get when helping others. We’re altruistic beings, and our minds reward us when we help out. Tell yourself that you can make a difference in the lives of others and then get out there and do it!
You don’t have to save lives — every little helps. Give money or food. Help out someone in need. Spend some time conversing with a lonely neighbor or cook for someone who can’t cook for themselves.
Creativity is a great tool for unlocking your inner happiness. It accesses a different part of your brain, tuning out your emotions and instilling feelings of joy and accomplishment.
Try finger painting. Just get messy and let your hands do the talking.
Draw outside of the lines. Use outlandish color combinations. There are no rules, and you can do what you like.
Writing can be cathartic — a great way of releasing stress. There is no end to the things you can write and the benefits they can bring:
- Write a letter to someone who made you angry or upset. Unleash those feelings (but don’t send the letter).
- Write about your own life.
- Write from the perspective of your favorite author or fictional character.
No one has to read it. Being published, selling books or showing others your anger or talent is not the end goal.
10. Connect to Your Past
Understanding where you came from can help you to feel rooted, it can give your name and your identity some meaning. Get in touch with an older relative and ask them some questions about your family history.
Learning about difficult times can help you to appreciate what you have, especially when the ones going through those times were related to you and may have been a lot like you.
Everyone appreciates a good story and most of your older relatives will be more than happy to recount their past lives and experiences.
Happiness may come from within, but connecting to the wider world is also a great source of true joy. Become part of a community, stay in touch with friends and family. Whatever you do and however you do it, you need to understand that there is nothing more important in your life than your own happiness.