Today is International Happiness Day. Happiness means something different to each of us, often elusive, or so we believe, happy feelings bring joy, they are infectious and powerful. When we are happy, we believe in ourselves, in our futures, and we are free.
But how do we get happy? Here are five steps:
1. Stop thinking you’ll be happy when you get there.
Wherever there is, it’s obviously not here. And since here is where we are, we are denying ourselves happiness. Be happy, and know when we get to wherever there is, we will already be happy,simply because we were happy the entire journey.
2. Don’t pretend to be happy when you’re not.
It’s confusing. When we don’t validate our own feelings, we rob ourselves of trusting our emotions, what they mean, the clarity they provide. If we aren’t happy, discover why, explore the depth, and use the information to make healthy changes that honor happiness with integrity and truth.
3. Find gratitude and grace.
Without perspective, we can’t experience happiness. And a perspective of grace, of gratitude for what we have, fosters deep opportunities for happiness. When we feel like we deserve to be happy, we create the dynamic that we aren’t happy because we aren’t worthy, and entitlement ensues. It’s not that complicated, or at least it ought not to be. Happiness is a state of mindfulness, grounded in gratitude. Find the things for which you are grateful, and you will feel happy.
4. Choose happiness.
There’s always a negative. Always. And if it’s our focus, we will never be happy. Instead, let us shift our focus to the things that are good, that make us happy. Choosing to be happy does not dismiss the negative, bad or wrong things in life. In fact, choosing to be happy often fosters a stronger and healthier environment for problem solving strategies simply because we have a larger perspective of opportunity and faith. It’s not always easy, but it will be the path that offers meaning and grace.
5. Dance. Move. Breathe. Be free. Live happy.
Part of the reason I love Pharrell William’s Happy (video below), is because it embodies happiness. I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but dance. Every time it plays. In the worst of moods, my toe taps, then my shoulders and bouncing, and pretty soon, I am walking and dancing and living free…I’m happy. Allow happiness to envelope every part of your life. Spread, live and embody happiness.
On this International Day of Happiness, consider and share, what creates greater opportunity for happiness in your life?