5 Simple Ways to Allow More Happiness into Your Life

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Are you happy? Recently I asked a client if she was really happy. She quickly said, “Yes!” Then she said, “Wait, I mean no.” How come she didn’t know if she was happy right away? You would think that this is an easy question to answer but many people have forgotten how to be happy. A woman I know even told me that she didn’t think that happiness was for her. 
The concept of happiness can be elusive. What is happiness? The definition of happiness is the quality or state of being happy; good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.  Do you feel good fortune, pleasure, contentment, or joy on a daily basis? 
Research on happiness, according to positive psychologists, has revealed that 50% of happiness is genetic, 40% is dependent on the choices you make, and 10% has to do with your life situation. You may think that you don’t have control over your happiness because you were born that way. It has been shown though that it is possible to change your happiness set point but it does take  some practice. 
Why would you want to practice being happy? Because I believe that happiness gives life purpose and meaning. According to Buddhist monks and positive psychologists being happy doesn’t mean a constant state of bliss, although bliss is possible. More realistically happiness is a sense of contentment with your life. 
Here are 5 simple ways to allow more happiness into your life:

  1. Be conscious of your body’s comfort and discomfort level                                                             How do you feel right now? Are you comfortable inside your body? What can you do at this moment to feel more comfort, physically and mentally? Can you simply change positions in your body stance, such as going from standing to sitting in a comfortable chair? If you are feeling unhappy about a situation in your life, what positive steps can you take today to feel better about the situation?

2.   Focus on living in the present moment                                                                                            I once heard a saying that if you are living in the past or in the future then you are nowhere. There is a calmness and peacefulness about living in the present moment. An easy way to be present is to breathe deeply several times. Try this really quick breathing exercise: Inhale for a count of 4, hold for a count of 2, and exhale for a count of 6, hold for a count of 2. Evaluate how you feel. 

     3. Take time to be silent every day
      Being silent is key to the wellness of your body and mind, it is really that important. All day long we tend to be focused on ‘doing’ yet ‘being’ is where we nurture our body and mind. Spend some time ‘being’ in silence each day. You can practice silence using the breathing exercise in #2. Start out by sitting in silence 5 minutes per day. You may be amazed at how this simple practice will change your level of happiness. 
 
      4. Avoid feeling the need for approval from others
      I don’t know about you, but this is a biggie for me. What helps me is to remember that I can create my own happiness and I don’t have to rely on anybody else to make me happy. If you are used to relying on someone else to make your decisions then try and look within for the answers. What do I mean? Well, I hate to sound redundant but try the breathing exercise in #2 three times and then ask yourself what is the answer to your question, you may be surprised how quickly the answer comes to you.

5. Practice releasing anger and dangerous emotions

      I believe that your anger stems from frustration with yourself, although you may think it has to do with others. If you feel yourself getting angry find a way to release that anger by punching a pillow or jumping up and down a few times (make sure you feel safe to express yourself) and then when you have calmed down try your breathing exercise. The key is to find relief and then when you are calm you will have the ability to resolve your issue. 
So there you have it! 5 pretty doable ways to increase happiness. By the way, that client who didn’t know if she was happy felt that just being conscious of these feelings increased her level of happiness instantly. 
What do you do to increase your level of happiness? Let me know in the comments and please share this post with anyone who could benefit from being happier. Thanks:)

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