- Look inside.
Many people say, “When I am (blank),” or, “When I have (blank), I will be happy.” They would have better success by changing that statement to, “Now I am happy, and I will have (blank).” Happiness is not created by obtaining items or having successes. They are created and obtained through happiness. The key is to be happy now, and allow good things to come to you.
We tend to go through the day taking shallow breaths, just enough to keep our bodies in motion. But breathing deep can bring in much-needed oxygen, allowing us to make better decisions and avoid the fight-or-flight response to problems. The Art of Living Center teaches breathing techniques to help with meditation.
- Be Thankful.
Find and express gratitude for the things that are here right now – no matter how small. Did you savor that first taste of coffee this morning? Say thank you. Are you safe in your home, listening to the furnace kick on and heat the room to a comfortable temperature? Say thank you. As Zig Ziglar said, “Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”
Practice saying “Today, I am happy,” and finding the feeling of happiness inside you. You may have to repeat the statement a few times to truly accept the feeling of happiness. Smile! Jump up and down as if you have just received a great surprise. Imagine how you feel when you are with the people you love. You will begin to feel the energy move from your center, into your mind and the rest of your body. You have created happiness, and as a result it will come to you.
Need some boosting? Here are a few books that focus on happiness:
- The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin
- The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, by the Dalai Lama
- The 18 Rules of Happiness : a Pocket Guide, by Karl Moore
- Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment, by Tal Ben-Shahar