HAPPINESS SECRETS I LIVE BY
Throughout my life I’ve often been called Positive Polly. I always see the glass half full. Friends come to me when they need to see the bright side of something. My children have accused me of being “unrealistic”. They say, “Mom, not everything has a bright side!” But I wholeheartedly disagree. I believe this because I can’t help myself. For any given situation, I always seem to find a positive to focus on. It’s not something I have to even work at. It just happens. It’s like a reflex.
I have found that having a positive outlook has a direct connection to my state of happiness. I can’t explain to you how I became this way but I can share some of the secrets I’ve learned about the state of happiness.
#1 You are in control. Happiness comes when you allow it to.
It took me awhile (and a few years of professional counseling) to understand this concept. You can choose to let something make you feel unhappy or you can choose to be happy even in the worst of circumstances.
I’m still not perfect at choosing happiness when someone or something has upset or hurt me. But I’m working on it!
#2 You can’t be happy all the time. It’s not humanly possible.
Happiness is fluid. You must embrace it when it comes and strive towards it when you don’t feel happy.
I can remember sitting in a counseling session, with my then 16 year old daughter, saying, “I just want everyone to be happy.” Our dear sweet wonderful counselor said, “That’s not realistic. Everyone can’t be happy all the time.” That was an epiphany for me. I was striving for something that was impossible. I have since learned to enjoy the happy moments and be content with the everyday ups and downs.
#3 The way you think influences how you feel. Science has proven it.
Thinking positive thoughts has a physical effect on your state of happiness. In Amy Cuddy’s TED talk ‘Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are’ she describes the power our bodies have over our minds. It’s a fascinating concept that has a good amount of science behind it.
I’ve tried it on various occasions and have found it to be effective. It has given me a tool to use whenever I need a little confidence boost. Plus, this is one of the best TED talks I’ve ever listened to. I highly recommend it!
#4 Kind acts of service leave you with a feeling of accomplishment.
Do something for somebody. Open a door for a stranger, take cookies to a neighbor, play games with your children. I know you’ve heard this over and over again. Well that’s because it works! It doesn’t have to be a big thing, even small efforts reap big rewards. But remember, intentions are only good when they are actually carried out. Don’t just think about it. Take action!
#5 Smile. Even when you don’t feel like smiling.
- Smiling uses less muscles than frowning.
- Smiling releases endorphins which flood your body with a sensation of happiness.
- Smiling can change your entire state of mind.
- Smiling makes people around you feel happy too. Win win!
BONUS tip: Don’t strive to be happy, strive to be content. This is the secret to true happiness.
What are your secrets to living a happy, fulfilled life? Leave a comment with your thoughts. I’d love to hear them!