Saturday, March 3, 2012

5 Steps to Happiness

Be grateful

Insofar as our actions and state of mind help shape our own reality, make the choice to identify and celebrate the love and blessings in your life, whether that’s your health, your home, or your neighbor’s child who smiles at you every time you meet.

Consider your surroundings

Sometimes, our lives seem so hectic and out of control that choosing to be happy is an overwhelming prospect. It’s liberating to know and accept that your response to any life challenge is yours, completely, to choose. This includes distancing, or removing yourself completely, from negative people. And while we’re mentioning movement, remember all those studies that have shown the positive effects of exercise on improving mood. Instead of sitting at home worrying or feeling sorry for yourself, take yourself outside for a long walk.

Keep it simple

Happiness isn’t really such a complicated thing. When savored, simple moments—a bowl of hot soup on a cold winter day, listening to music that lifts your spirits on the way to work, a perfect cup of tea before bed—can help shape your outlook. Wealth can purchase a lot of stuff, but happiness really isn’t one of them. 

Put things in perspective

Find a spot where you can look up at the sky. Picture the beautiful blue Earth, suspended in the universe, spinning slowly around the Sun, surrounded by billions of stars and other planets. Suddenly, the argument you had with your sister, or the mean clerk at the market, lose momentum and importance, and are scaled back to what they really are: small blips in the day that have no lasting importance, isolated moments in a world so vast and astounding, that they’re easy to let go of. Which brings us, once again, to consciously making the choice to be happy. It’s up to you. 

Step outside your own drama

Doing something for someone else can be an instant mood-improver. Help a neighbor shovel snow from their driveway, or offer to shop for someone who has a hard time getting around. There are countless opportunities to help others in every community, and the effort doesn’t have to be monumental in its proportions. Simple acts of kindness are often the most rewarding.

This post was written by Debra Bokur.  To read the entire post, click here:

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