Reading time: 4 minutes
“I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstances but by our disposition.” So said Martha Washington.”
Everyone wants to be happy. Right? Preferably right now. Who wants to wait….not me for sure.
Some years ago I was in Russia with my husband as part of a business delegation. We partners were given amazing guided tours, visiting all the usual places and some that were less than usual.
We received preferential treatment everywhere we went, since we were guests of the government, even given glasses of champagne on a flight from Moscow to Keiv, much to the amazement, or even amusement of our fellow passengers. I never did quite work it out.
I tried to always sit next to our guides to chat – not just because they did such a great job of keeping us to ourselves and away from everyone else, so we had little choice in the matter, but also because it’s always fascinating to speak to people from different cultures. I was fairly sure our hotel rooms were bugged, so they probably knew a lot about us. But that’s another story…as is an overnight trip on a train where everyone’s wallet was stolen. Well everyone in our carriage had a missing wallet, which, surprise surprise, was the entire delegation.
Back to the guides…the thing that I noticed most as we chatted was that they wanted the same things in life that we all do. They wanted to be happy.
People around the world have the same problems, and want the same things.
What are we waiting for? I say we don’t have to pursue happiness let it chase you down and jump right in your pocket.
And we can begin now.
Choose your mood
I kid you not. Stop telling yourself how tough everything is or how miserable you are. The sad fact is the world really doesn’t care. And we’re creating an energy of unhappiness to wallow in, which is okay, until we remember, that like attracts like. Ouch, more misery coming our way.
Feeling angry? Let it go. Feel it and move on.
For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mum used to tell us kids, it’s not what happens to you that counts, but what you do with what happens. Who hasn’t heard that one before? And the really big secret is that it’s how you feel about what happens to you that matters the most.
If you’re a complainer, give it up. If you love to tell yourself sad stories, let them go. Not the path to happiness. Oh wait, you’ve probably discovered that already.
They have an impact on our physiology. Not certain if it’s true? Test it for yourself. Say to yourself a few times, I feel awful, or words that mean the same thing to you. Pay attention to your feelings, how your body feels. Are you shoulders sagging? Do you feel heavy? Now say to yourself, I’m blessed. I love my life or any other little phrase that’s positive and watch your body shift, feel a lightness of spirit. It absolutely works.
“Our thoughts are prayers, the tools that we create with. Our thoughts are prayers that Spirit resonates with. Seek a higher consciousness, a state of mindfulness, And know that God is always there, And every thought becomes a prayer.” ~ Lucille K. Olson
Focus on the good things in your life
Have you noticed that when someone’s life is ninety percent great, they’ll often spend time giving attention to the ten percent that isn’t? We all do it, don’t we? Try looking at life through a child’s eyes. It’s a wonderful adventure. The world is filled with beauty, notice it. Take nothing for granted.
“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher
Take a nap
Seriously. Or at least make sure you’re getting enough sleep. It’s called beauty sleep for a reason, it beautifies us inside and out. Lack of sleep brings a greater chance of getting sick and less chance of feeling happy. There’s research out there that tells us that plenty of REM sleep eliminates negative feelings and accentuates the positive. There’s a song in there somewhere!
Choose your friends wisely
Friends who encourage your dreams and share your values are worth all the tea in China.
Want to be instantly happy? Do something kind for your friends. Heck, do something kind for anyone. Nurture your relationships. Share your good news and celebrate theirs. You’ll live longer too…a nice little side benefit. According to recent studies the longest lived people shared two reasons why. They put their friends and family first and they stayed socially connected.
When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people happy.” ~ Samuel Goldwyn
Yourself and others. Be patient and understanding and hone your virtues of compassion and empathy. Lighten your heart and the hearts of your friends and family with the act of forgiveness. Forgiveness is more than a concept it’s a verb, it’s something we do. We diminish ourselves and others by holding grudges, and yet great joy and happiness await us as we tune into the vibration of forgiveness.
Recognize we’re not perfect, not you, not me, not them. Just let it go and open the channel for inner peace to flow.
“As long as you don’t forgive, who and whatever it is will occupy rent-free space in your mind.” ~ Isabelle Holland
We all view the world through different eyes; through the culmination of our very own interpretation of the events and experiences we’ve encountered. If we demand that everyone views the world as we do, then we judge. Being generous and allowing others to have their own truths as to what they see in the world, as to what they feel about the world, creates in us an appreciation for the uniqueness that is in all.
Be generous with everything. Your time, your money, your attitude, your love, your life.
Our happiness depends on the choices we make on a daily basis – perhaps it’s not so much choosing happiness itself, but that our happiness is a bye-product of all the little choices we make throughout our days.
Wishing you joy and happiness.
Encourage one another.