7 Happiness Habits
“Money can’t buy happiness” is an age-old cliché. The funny thing about clichés is that they are often true. This cliché is certainly true, but its potency isn’t about money specifically. The truth is, nothing external can buy, bring, give, or deliver happiness. You are responsible for your own happiness, and you are the only one who can create it. So if you want to discover true happiness, start by instilling these 7 happiness habits:
1. Make Happiness Your Top Priority
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that almost everything in life is a choice, including your happiness. So if you want to be happy, make it your number 1 priority. Throughout the day, if/when something happens to disturb your sense of happiness, ask yourself a few questions:
Are my own thoughts contributing to this feeling of unhappiness?
How would I feel if I changed my thoughts to something more positive?
Is this situation worth my health and happiness?
2. Don’t Avoid Unhappiness
Life is not about being happy ALL of the time. We are equipped with other emotions for a reason. For example, when going in for a job interview, we feel nervous – that’s normal. I’ve had people in counseling sessions tell me they are depressed, only to find out that their best friend recently passed away. I find myself clarifying, “You’re grieving. This is a healthy reaction to what is going on in your life, not a psychiatric condition.” But because we so desperately want to avoid pain, we reach for alcohol, food, or whatever other numbing activity or vice we can think of. Instead of avoiding pain, find the courage to talk to someone who can help you work through it.
3. Set Yourself up for Happiness
Many rush out of bed in the morning (after hitting the snooze button three times) and get straight to worrying about what the day might bring. While worrying, they pound back a few cups of coffee, check emails and stress over all of the potential demands of the day. Instead of pressing the snooze button, take that ten minutes before getting out of bed in the morning to do something that will help start your day off right:
Thank your higher power for giving you one more day on this planet.
Ask yourself how you can be of service to yourself and others? (But do not try to answer the question, just sit with it for five minutes, trying to keep your mind free of any other thoughts).
Breathe in for eight counts, hold your breath for four counts, and breathe out for seven counts – this has a real calming effect on your nervous system.
Look in the mirror and say, “I love you!”, "I accept you”, “I’ve got your back”.