May 11, 2016 Youth Impact

Cultivating Happiness

We always seem to want those things we don’t have. Moreover, we are often convinced that if we had those things, that we want so badly, we would finally be happy.

The truth is that happiness is an attitude. It’s not something created by outside circumstances, but instead is completely within your control. You will not get that deep sense of satisfaction and happiness you crave just by getting or improving a relationship.  Nothing will give you that sense of happiness, unless you cultivate it consciously.1

Or else it will root into sorrow!

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Is the glass half empty or half full?  Life and relationships work better when the glass is half full.  Below are some simple yet specific steps you can take to cultivate happiness and see the glass half full

  1. Be grateful
    Create a sense of gratitude for what you have, for what is working, for what is wonderful and sweet in your life.  A morning or evening gratitude list, written each day, can do wonders for helping you feel grateful.
  2. Take care of yourself 
    Identify the small things in life that make you feel good, and do one daily.  A short walk, a few minutes of writing in your journal, a short meditation, watching the sunset.  Whatever reminds you that you are a human being and not a human doing will improve your outlook on life.
  3. Be creative
    Creativity and self-expression generate happiness.  Schedule some creative time each day, even if it’s just a few minutes of writing, painting, sculpting, etc.
  4. Move
    Moving our bodies generates feel-good hormones.  Move a little every day to stay happy.
  5. Get someone to take care of you
    It feels good to be taken care of, even in small ways. Get a massage, someone to carry your groceries, launder your clothes, or fix something for you.
  6. Read inspirational material
    it helps to be reminded of positive thoughts and positive attitudes.  Get a small book of positive, inspirational thoughts and read it.  Read one or two thoughts each day.
  7. Contribute
    Stand up for something that matters to you.  Contributing, making a difference feels good.  It boosts your self-esteem, your gratitude and feeling of wellbeing.
  8. Get some time
    If you are determined, you can find some time every day to just be.  Make sure you do this – it will make a big difference in your ability to be happy.
  9. Be in nature
    Nature regenerates and restores the human spirit.  Whether your brand of nature is mountains or the ocean, give yourself the gift of visiting it frequently.
  10. Be happy
    No matter how many wonderful things you do to create a positive, happy, satisfied life, you could still end up unhappy.  Ultimately, happiness, gratitude, a feeling of satisfaction is a choice.  People often do not choose happiness.  Many feel refusing to be happy will somehow get them what they want, like a child holding his breath.  Holding your breath will not get you what you want.  It is happiness that attracts.2

Happiness is not the way to live life, it is life.

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