How to be Happy…Putting the Pieces Together

I can’t remember where I found this but I think it’s a great reminder. Some of these come easy for me but others are a constant work in progress.

puzzle 238x300 How to be Happy...Putting the Pieces TogetherContrary to popular belief, happiness isn’t something that just happens. You have to work on being happy. To help you with that, here are 42 happiness tips and tidbits:

1. Just be yourself.

2. Realize that you’re fighting against a world of your own creation.

3. Know that your happiness is independent of how much stuff you own.

4. Change yourself instead of expecting the world to change to meet your expectations.

5. Define happiness as peace, tranquility, and serenity.

6. Remember there’s no such thing as the perfect life.

7. Your happiness is equal to your ability to love.

8. Stop thinking of what you don’t want.

9. Just for today, pretend that you have amnesia about anything that stresses or worries you.

10. Truly believe that everything you go through has a higher purpose.

11. Don’t turn small problems into big ones.

12. Stop comparing yourself to others.

13. Remember that envy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.

14. Set limits with people who drain your energy.

15. Surround yourself with positive, mood-elevating people.

16. Nothing has to happen outside of yourself for you to be happy.

17. When you change your thoughts you literally rewire your brain; start rewiring your brain for happiness.

18. Be very careful of where you choose to place your attention.

19. Don’t criticize anyone—including yourself—for 24 hours.

20. Try turning the stories that you tell yourself about what happens in your life into comedies instead of dramas.

21. Make a list of the things you need in order to be truly happy; make it a really short list. (Here’s an example: Having good health, sufficient money for food and shelter, no debts, loving friends and family, and something meaningful to work toward).

22. Keep a happiness journal in which you write down only the things that make you happy.

23. Set SMART goals and then create a paint-by-numbers plan to achieve them.

24. Spend a few minutes each day thinking about things that make you happy.

25. Find your passion.

26. Savor the little things.

27. Schedule short, frequent vacations; studies show that the anticipation leading up to the time off is one of the best parts about taking a vacation.

28. Engage in humility; you can only carry the burden of pride and of having a huge ego for so long before you crack under the pressure of upholding your incredible significance.

29. Dr. Timothy Sharp recommends that you set aside “worry time”. There may be an issue that is bothering you and that you need to sit down and think through. Schedule some time in which you’re going to think about the issue and then put it out of your mind until then.

30. Accept the things you cannot change.

31. Keep in mind that we tend to overestimate how likely it is that something bad will happen. We also tend to overestimate how bad things will be if something negative does happen.

32. Talk to yourself in the way in which you would talk to someone you really care about and respect.

33. Try something new.

34. Identify your greatest strengths, and then to try to use these strengths in new ways.

35. Keep an “unhappiness log” so that you can keep track of things such as the following:

* Are there specific things or people that trigger emotions in you that are not conducive to happiness?
* Is there someone in particular who is constantly making you angry?
* Are there certain situations in which you become irritable and can easily become upset? For example, if you’re hungry or haven’t had enough sleep.
* Is there a particular situation that creates anxiety or frustration in your life?

The aim of keeping an “unhappiness log” is to identify specific things that trigger anger, frustration, anxiety, and so on in you so that you can plan on how to deal with these situations before they happen.

36. Give in to temptation once in a while: eat that chocolate sundae (with whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry on top), splurge on a day at the spa, or read the mystery novel instead of answering the 100th email.

37. Although it is important to “know thyself”—as Socrates advised—don’t take self-introspection to the level of navel-gazing. That’s just not conducive to happiness. It’s just not.

38. In the Mahabharata– one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India –there is a passage which says “That person who lives in their own home, eats and lives simply and has no debt to anyone; they are truly happy in this world”. Simplify!

39. Think of the saying: “It’s not where you stand but the direction in which you face.” If things aren’t going well for you, just think of where you would like to be and start taking baby steps to move in that direction.

40. Shift from a victim to a creator mentality.

41. Release negative feelings and emotions and allow the happiness that lies underneath those feelings to emerge.

42. As Charles Schulz would say, “Happiness is a side dish of French fries” and “Happiness is a warm puppy.”