A woman smiling"I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition." Martha Washington

Miriam Webster defines happiness as "the state of being happy." It then goes on to define happy as "feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc." What one person finds pleasant and enjoyable, another person may find onerous or boring. Happiness can seem elusive. It often feels as if we can't be happy without loads of money and time. There's no magical solution to becoming more content and pleased, but here are some affordable suggestions that can bring more enjoyment to your life.

Ten Ways To Be Happier

  1. Learn. Take classes if you can. If not, go to the library and check out books on a topic you want to know more about. When your mind is engaged, it's good for your physical well-being, too.  

  2. Be creative. Adult coloring books are popular right now because it's a good way to decompress after a long day or week at work. Do something with your hands, whether it's wood carving, bread making or painting.  

  3. Accept yourself. Many people think they won't be happy until they lose weight or earn more money. While those are very acceptable goals, don't forget to be content with who you are right now.  

  4. Forgive. Or not. Letting go of slights and mistakes frees the individual who is forgiving. However, it's OK to not forgive if that's your choice. If you choose not to forgive, let go of the guilt and stop listening to people who don't have enough knowledge of the situation.  

  5. Be positive. Learn to see the world through different eyes. When you get trampled, instead of telling yourself that you're a failure, remember that it took Thomas Edison more than a year to find the right method for creating a light bulb.  

  6. Invest in your physical well-being. Get enough sleep. Eat healthy. Walk around the block every day. These small things make you feel good. If you don't do well one day, try harder the next day.  

  7. Be grateful. Thank those people around you who make your day better. Appreciate the small things someone does for you. William Arthur Ward said, "Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."  

  8. Look for the good in your own life and in others. It's okay to be realistic about the ups and downs in your life, but you need to remember that the positive emotions of inspiration, joy and kindness keep you looking ahead at better days instead of looking back.  

  9. Do unto others. Generosity is associated with many health benefits. Research shows that when we help others it lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and may even help you live longer. Most importantly, it boosts your mood. It doesn't have to be something big. Drop a few coins in the Salvation Army Christmas buckets. Take a plate of cookies to your neighbor. Deliver a bowl of soup to a shut-in from your church. Stay a few minutes and talk.

  1. Take time for yourself. Life gets busy. Each of us is guilty of forgetting to stop and smell the roses. It's important to relax and enjoy what you love. Listen to music, read, dance, garden, play golf. Do something that lifts you up.

There's no one secret to happiness. If you're having a hard time rekindling pleasure in things that you once loved, talk to your doctor about depression. Take time every day to be happier and watch your outlook change.

Category: Health and Wellness

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