All of us have met people who just seem to be happy all of the time. Perhaps, like me, you just assumed that they are just naturally happy or that they are the lucky ones who have an easy life and have everything they could ever want or need. However most of the time, nothing could be farther from the truth.
Happy people are happy because they make specific choices regarding their thinking and behavior. Happy people consciously choose to think and behave in ways that result in happiness. Unhappy people are unconsciously thinking and behaving in ways that create unhappiness.
There are numerous ways to create happiness in one’s life but the following are five of the specific methods I practice to ensure my happiness.
I tend to see the glass as half full, while unhappy people choose to be pessimistic – to see the glass as half empty. Optimistic thinking does not just happen, it is a choice regarding how I see life. Instead of allowing my ego to be in charge with all its doom and gloom, I decide to put my loving adult self in charge and open up to the wonderful possibilities that life has to offer.
People who are happy realize that their thinking is the beginning of a creative process that leads to manifestation. By thinking in positive ways, they move themselves to act in ways that manifest their dreams.
Kindness is one of my core values and as a result I choose to be kind and compassionate toward myself and others. I have learned that how I treat myself and others determines much of how I feel.
Happy people do not wait to be happy before being kind to themselves and others. They realize that their happiness is the RESULT of their caring behavior, not the CAUSE of it. They are kind, caring and compassionate and have chosen this way of being, and their happiness is the result.
While this can sometimes be difficult to do, I consciously try to not harbor resentment toward others, even those people who have been mean and hurtful toward me. I have come to realize that harboring resentment tends to throw off my balance and makes me unhappy.
In much the same way, happy people choose to allow others their humanness and forgive them for their hurtful behavior. Because happy people tend not to take others’ uncaring behavior personally, they don’t get their feelings hurt in the same way that people do who take others’ behavior personally. Happy people recognize that another’s behavior is really about that other person, so they move into compassion toward themselves and others rather than into judgment.
I have come to realize what I can control and what I can’t. I now understand that I cannot control others and any outcomes, so I now focus on what I can control – my own thinking and behavior.
Happy people tend to live by the Serenity Prayer, accepting the things they cannot change and changing the things they can. They have found that acceptance of what they can and cannot control leads to happiness and inner peace.
People who aren’t happy are constantly trying to change people and circumstances and do not accept their lack of control. As a result, they are constantly frustrated.
Finally, I consistently am grateful for what I have, rather than complaining about what I don’t have. More and more I am noticing the many gifts and blessings that come my way and I frequently express gratitude for the everyday things in my life – the beauty of nature, the food I eat, the smile on a friend’s face, my ability to see, hear, walk, talk.
Even many disabled people who may not have the blessings of eyesight, hearing, speech or legs are often happy people because they focus on what they do have and what they can do, rather than focusing on what they are missing out on.
If you want to be happy, recognize that happiness is the result of your thinking and behavior, not the cause of it. If you choose to focus on becoming conscious of what thoughts and behavior make you feel happy, you can become a happy person regardless of your present circumstances. Remember, happiness does not just happen – it is a choice!