There are no set answers to the question “How can I be happy?” However, there are simple habits that you can develop starting now that can help to increase your level of happiness. The good news is, the more you practice these happy habits the easier they become and the happier you will be. Developing these happiness habits also puts you in charge of your emotions which give you more control over your actions and ultimately your results. These keys to happiness can be implemented immediately for quick but lasting results, but first you need to decide and commit to living a happier life. Here are the first five happy habits that hold the key to happiness:
1. Have a Sense of Gratitude
No matter how unhappy you are, if you woke up today, then you have something to be grateful for. Many people around the world did not live to see today. Develop a sense of gratitude by shifting your focus from all that is going wrong to all that is going right or all that did not go wrong. Think about suddenly losing the things you complain about: your job, car, the coffee shop, family or your home. Think about losing the ability to experience the things you complain about: the weather, your body, sounds, or the subway. Gratitude is an important key to happiness as it directs your attention on those things that you have and should be happy for.
2. See the Better Side of Things
Optimism in the midst of things not going perfectly is essential to your happiness. When things are not perfect you need to develop the habit of looking for the silver lining behind each dark cloud. For example, you lost your job but the down time allows you to go on interviews for work you really love, you lost thousands of dollars now but you learned valuable lessons that will ensure you don’t lose hundreds of thousands in the future, your marriage ended but fortunately you didn’t have kids, your car got stolen but on the bright side you are safe.The key to happiness is to remember there is always a more optimistic side to look on should we choose to do so.
3. Be Kind to Others
The more you soften the way you interact with others the more likeable you become and the more the world reacts to you positively. Grouchy people always have a miserable day because they tend to put other people on the defensive. When you respond peacefully, treat others kindly and fairly, you then feel freer to let down your guard. When dealing with people who are there to provide you with a service remember the “polite” customer is always right and also gets better service.
4. Grow in Your Present Job
If you are not satisfied with your current job it may be time for a career change. However since this may not be immediately possible, a quick way to happiness is to find a way to grow within your job. What skills can you improve? How can you perform better at different aspects of your job? Are there any relationships that you can work on that would be beneficial to you when you leave the company? If you are learning and growing in your current job it makes it a lot more tolerable while you search for another one.
5. Create a Social Network
No matter how much of an introvert you may be, the lack of friends who support you will have a negative impact on your happiness. The happiness habit here is to develop relationships with people who share your interest. This is not a numbers game however; the goal is to create friendships with a strong foundation with people you truly like. You can start to extend your social network by finding groups that share your hobby, profession or volunteer interests.Respond positively to people who are trying to make small talk and when appropriate initiate conversation yourself. The key is to create a network of people who add value to your life and you to theirs.
So there you have it, the first five keys to happiness. Please remember to stay tuned for part two.
Which of these happiness habits can you start to implement into your life today?
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