7 Keys to Happiness by Ingrid Kelada

We are Always Pursuing Happiness

Think about it … every single thing we do is intended to make us happier. The people we choose to spend time with. The ways we spend our time. And yet sometimes we get distracted and do things that actually move us away from this goal.

We all have the potential for genuine happiness. We make choices throughout our lives. Each option is like a series of locked doors in front of us. We choose which path to follow and open the door we’ve chosen. The result of all these choices combined determines our level of happiness. Make the right choices and happiness can be yours.

Here are 7 tactics we can follow on our journey toward genuine happiness:

1. Look for the Positive in Everything. You know the old saying about a glass being half-full or half-empty? Finding the positive means choosing to focus on the parts of a situation that are going your way. Do this and you will be happier. Those who soar against all odds do so because they look at the positive that could come out of their situation, no matter how bad it may seem to others.

2. Listen to Your Feelings. Feelings are your body’s messengers. They make us aware of circumstances around and inside us. Sometimes those messages are pleasant, other times not. Our tendency is to distract ourselves from unpleasant feelings or to resist them in some way. Sometimes we tell ourselves we shouldn’t be angry or sad or frustrated by something that has happened to us. The next time you have a feeling like this, take a moment to stop and experience it. You don’t have to live in it, but pushing it away or pretending it isn’t there isn’t healthy either.

3. Give More. The more you give, the more you receive. It seems that the more of yourself you give, the greater the thrill and uplifting effect on your psyche. Help the needy. Give time if you can. Give anonymously or without expecting praise or payback.

4. Visualize Your Happiness. You have the ability to make things happen using your mind. Top sports stars, and business people use it, and so can you. Get a picture in your mind of whatever it is that you want to happen. It does not actually have to be a visual picture; it could be a feeling, a smell, a sound, or any combination of the senses. Imagine finding the perfect parking near the entrance as you arrive at the supermarket or mall. Persevere! We are not used to utilizing this tool, so it takes practice.

5. Accept the Things You Cannot Change. We resist things we don’t like, and often expend a tremendous amount of energy on this resistance. When something bothers you, take a moment to ask yourself, “Can I do anything to change this situation?” If the answer is yes, get to it! But if the answer is no, then give yourself a moment to feel the disappointment or frustration and then begin to move on.

6. Take Responsibility for Your Choices. Nobody’s perfect. At one time or another, we will all face uncomfortable consequences. Sometimes they’re the result of mistakes or impulsive actions. But even the most careful planning can’t guarantee safety from negative consequences. It can feel convenient to blame outside causes for things that go wrong in life, but your life is the sum of all the choices you make along the way. If you tend to blame other people or things, it may be scary to take responsibility for what happens in your life, but it is really quite liberating because instead of seeing yourself as an effect of outside forces, you realize you are the cause of everything good you achieve. Don’t abdicate responsibility for your life.

7. Schedule Regular “Me Time”. Take time alone to inventory your life. Spend some time analyzing where you are in life, your strengths and weaknesses. How can you turn the latter into the former? Think about your views on everything from your job to global warming and the existence of aliens—then work out why you feel the way you do. Is your reasoning sound? The better you understand yourself, the better you understand the world.

The more successful you are at assimilating the concepts and processes described in these points into your life, the more genuinely happy you will be, and the happiness will last!

Look for more keys to boost your happiness, productivity and energy in my book, 21 Days to Happiness.

Ingrid KeladaAbout the Author: Ingrid KELADA, Monthly Mentor, is an experienced psychologist, speaker and happiness expert. As a speaker, she has facilitated over 1000 workshops around the world. People find her to be pragmatic, inspiring and funny! With over 25 years experience, Ingrid offers her expertise to a wide range of clients. She is bilingual and a member of the professional association of Psychologists of Quebec, Canada. Ingrid is also the Author of 21 Days to Happiness. Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated or just want to increase your happiness, Ingrid teaches you how to be happier in just 10 minutes per day. Read More…

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