Do you want to know how to be happy?

The secret is simple: You must choose to be happy – because happiness is a choice. And you’re the only one in charge of your happiness.

Yep, you’re in charge of your happiness. Not your partner, mother, boss or best friend.

Being happy isn’t the absolute sum of how much good or bad happens to you. It’s how you choose to view your life and the things that happen to you. You can read my post about the key skills needed to cultivate more happiness here.

If you’re not feeling happy right now, give these tips a try:

Try to make at least three people smile every day.

You’ll be interacting with others and increasing your interpersonal connections makes you feel better. Research has shown that smiling helps you feel happier, and I guarantee that making someone smile will put a smile on your face too.

Sit in silence for at least 10-minutes a day.

There’s a reason why meditation is on the rise. Studies have shown that a regular meditation practice can elevate your baseline happiness level. If you don’t have a regular practice yet, now’s the time to make that commitment.

Keep a gratitude journal.

This one is worth repeating: Gratitude absolutely increases happiness. And when you’re feeling angry or bitter or sad, reading your gratitude list is an excellent antidote. Read this post to learn how to write a gratitude list that works.

Frame every so-called disaster with these words: In three years, will this matter?

One of the hardest things to do when you’re feeling stressed is to keep perspective. Emotion mind thinking is almost always focused on what’s happening immediately in front of you, and it usually feels personal and permanent. But when you step back and put things in perspective, you’ll often find the situation to be far less consequential than it felt in the storm of emotion mind.

Stop comparing your life to others. 

This is a habit that will rob you of happiness because comparison of external things creates envy. And most of your comparisons are based on perception, not facts. Start focusing on the positives in your life instead.

Establish a self-care habit.

Our busy lives make it hard to find time to regularly do things that are self-nurturing. I bet you spend plenty of time taking care of other people, but what do you do for yourself? Setting aside time each week to do something that feels good and is just for you will create balance – and make you happy. So pick at least one self-care activity a week (read a fun book, take a yoga class, get a manicure) and put it in your calendar!

Make time for the important people in your life.

The strongest and most consistent finding from all the happiness research ever conducted can be summed up in two words: people matter! Our digital world has created so many convenient ways to keep in touch with friends and family, but the downside is that we spend less face-to-face time with them. So make a plan to see that friend you’ve texted but haven’t seen in ages.

Give these a try and let me know how you feel in the comment section below. And if you have a happiness tip, please share it.

Mindfully,
Erin

Photo credit: Bigstock