By Karen A McGibbon
Happiness is something everyone wishes they could achieve. Many persons are successful and have a lot of money, but without happiness it all feels meaningless. The Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, defines happiness as a state of well-being and contentment or a pleasurable or satisfying experience.
As unique as we are as individuals, so are our definitions of happiness. What may make me happy may not make you happy. The pursuit of happiness is ultimately a journey of self-discovery. We can’t increase and maintain our happiness if we do not yet know if we are depressed, if we don’t know our stress level and the contributing factors, as well as if we don’t answer several other important questions that no-one else can. You can increase your present level of happiness today. First make a decision, then follow these guidelines and you can expect to see a dramatic improvement in your quality of life!
- Commit to doing at least one deliberate act of kindness to anyone you interact with daily. We often do acts of kindness that we overlook. If we deliberately treat someone with kindness that we would not normally have, you would be surprised at the difference it can make in your life!
- Commit to smiling with at least one person daily.
- Assess the areas of: finances, work, relationships, social life, spiritual life and health in your own life and determine where there is significant imbalance. Are you spending most of your time on work? Are you overspending? Make lifestyle adjustments to improve balance in these areas as much as possible.
- Commit to including at least one relaxation/fun inducing activity of your choice in your life daily.
- Whenever your thoughts start to become negative, deliberately speak positive things about yourself and your future until your thoughts become positive.
- Identify your character strengths and draw on them. Identify a character strength that you aspire to and commit to developing that area of your life eg. honesty, courage, etc.
- Thank someone who has helped you or encouraged you be a better person every chance you get.
- Write someone who has hurt you a letter expressing how what they did made you feel. Then write them a letter of forgiveness.(Delivering this letter is optional) Practicing forgiveness is a very good habit to form. If achieving greater levels of happiness is important to you, incorporate these activities into your daily life and I guarantee that you will be happier!