The funny thing is, people are often happy and don’t even know it. It makes me think of the song “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands…” Some people are so busy focusing on what is wrong with their lives they don’t see what is right with their lives.
I’ve asked a number of people what makes them happy. There are a few things they always seem to mention (in no particular order):
Being with Family and Friends
This is one of the biggest things to everyone. Everyone wants to feel loved by others. Sometimes however, being near certain members of the family or certain friends does not make us feel better – in fact, it can make us feel worse. We are able to limit some of our time with people who have a negative impact in our lives. Sometimes, it is OK to say no to an invitation if you know it will make you miserable. Make it your goal to increase the amount of time you spend with people who make you happy and decrease the amount of time you spend with people who make you unhappy.
Doing Something Nice for Someone Else (Before Your Are Asked)
When you do something nice for someone else you feel good about yourself. You should always be nice but that doesn’t mean you take it to the point where people take advantage. Doing something nice for someone else can be as simple as telling someone why you appreciate or admire them.
Two things you need to keep in mind when doing something nice for someone else:
- Choose to do something you actually want to do. If volunteering to help someone paint their basement or drive their kids around is going to make you miserable – don’t offer. Find something else.
- Whatever you choose to do, do it selflessly. Be nice without expecting something in return.
Focus on the Good
It’s true. Every cloud does have a silver lining. Happy people tend to look for good things in bad situations – even the worst situations. This is a skill and takes practice.
Try This: Take a piece of paper and make 2 columns. On the left side, write down something you are unhappy about. On the right side, write down something good about this issue. This is difficult but don’t give up. If you can’t think of something good right away, put it down and go back to it later in the day – but keep trying and don’t try to talk yourself out of something that is good, no matter how small it might be.
Happy people are grateful for the good things. Sometimes, it is difficult to find good things to focus on but they are there. Being grateful and acknowledging good things in your life helps you to change your perspective to being more positive. Writing down positive thoughts further reinforces them. There is a reason why gratitude journals have become so popular – they work.
Try This: Find a notebook, journal, writing pad, calendar, or anywhere else where you can make entries regularly. At the end of each day, write down 3 things you are grateful for. It may be difficult at first, but it will get easier over time. When you are feeling a little down, read your journal to remind yourself of the good things in your life.
One last note
I apologize if the song “If you’re happy and you know it…” is now stuck in your head. It has been stuck in mine ever since I thought of this blog. The good side of this is every time I think of this song I start to smile. The song alone makes me happy and I hope it makes you happy too.
(Photo Credits: geralt / Pixabay