So I have been doing a lot of thinking lately (and watching a lot of TED talks) about the art of being happy. In addition to my health goals, I have been on a mission the last few months to actively cultivate happiness and I thought that today, I might share with you my completely unscientific finding about being happy.
1. Practice makes perfect. What I am about to tell you probably makes me sound like a cuckoo bird, but every day, when I wake up, I try to write down at least one thing I am grateful for. Then before bed, I spend 15 minutes clearing my head, calming my spirit and counting my blessings. It allows me to start and end my day with gratitude- something that can turn even the worst day around.
2. Own the responsibility for your happiness.
There is nothing in this world that is going to make you happy unless you let it. A better job, a bigger house, a boyfriend/husband, a raise, losing weight, none of these things will make you happy. Because, things don’t make you happy. You make you happy. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have goals, but you shouldn’t assume happiness is the outcome of accomplishment. Happiness is the outcome of choosing to find fabulous instead of flaw.
3. Practice the 80/20 rule.
At least 80% of the things you say out loud, post on social media, or obsess about should be positive. The more you focus on the good, the less the bad matters.
4. Exercise. “Exercise gives, you endorphin’s. Endorphin’s make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” But seriously, exercise is good for mind, body and soul.
5. Spend time doing good things. Volunteer, go to beautiful places, be kind to people, share your talents. The more good you put out into the world, the more good comes back to you. They say Karma is a bitch, but I tend to think she’s pretty kind.
6. Pet baby animals and make babies laugh.
If that doesn’t make you happy, you may have a black heart.
7. Be authentic. I say this a lot, but I’ve found that the easiest way to be happy is to be yourself and love who you are. Don’t try to put on a show. Don’t let yourself be consumed with what other people might think, just do you- and have a hell of a good time.
There you have it. I don’t have any scientific data, to back these things up. I certainly don’t have my own TED talk, but I fell like a unofficial and completely unqualified expert on how to go from sad, cranky and self obsessed to genuinely happy. Try following these rules and let me know how they work for you. (I’m serious about petting baby animals.)
Do you have any happiness rules? Share them with me!