Seven simple steps to happiness

Happiness is the most sought after thing today. I would like to present my tried and tested seven steps to happiness. There are many recipes to happiness,texasblubellepink.jpg but before we get there, let me state clearly that happiness is a state of mind which all of us can achieve; if only we tried.  It isn’t that elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that we make it out to be.

Try these seven steps to happiness and see yourself bloom as a person.

Stop complaining. That is simple; isn’t it? However, it seems like we are a race that cannot stop complaining and grumbling all the time. We could either be speaking out these feelings of discontentment aloud or we could just be ruminating over the dissatisfaction in our lives in our mind; either way it only helps us to become more miserable and wound up with the way life is turning out to be. Complaining stops you from seeing things as they are; it focuses on the negative and spreads the sense of negativity to all areas of your life. It loves to make the martyr out of you and encourages you to indulge in a pity party that takes you nowhere. Thus, the next time you feel like complaining, look for reason to be grateful, look for the good things that situation/life still offers you. Amend your complaint into a statement of gratitude. An attitude of gratitude can make your life a heaven on earth.

Open your mind to possibilities. Whenever your mind tells you that you cannot do something or you are not good enough, ask yourself – why not? Open your mind to possibilities; do not let limiting thoughts deter you from your destiny. Limiting thoughts are learned behavior from past experiences and not necessarily a realistic assessment of your current potential. You need to give yourself the freedom to explore possibilities and widen the realm of your experiences. Venturing into newer avenues only helps you create and enjoy new experiences while increasing your knowledge.

Refuse to equate criticism with rejection. Be open to accept criticism and praise with the same demeanor. These are only people’s opinion of you, their perception of an facet of your being. These are neither a total evaluation of who you are or your potentials. Take them in your stride and move on. Focus your attention on getting to your goals. Understand that neither does praise mean total acceptance nor does criticism mean total rejection; people opinions change with time and experience.

Pay attention to what you think of yourself. This is an important step to being happy. Watch what you think of yourself; determine whether you are negative and critical of yourself. Give yourself opportunities to learn and change. Don’t allow your thoughts to get superlative in their negative evaluation of who you are and your potentials. Get a balanced yet optimistic view of yourself and make the best of your abilities.

Focus on what you have and enhance your life. The media today has done us a great disservice by constantly badgering us to focus on our insufficiencies and lack rather than on the ample that we have. Often people with lesser means often do better than those with better means; purely because they embrace what they have and make the best of life. Dream dreams; but live in the moment, enjoy the now. Make the journey your goal; learn as much as you can.

Develop a sense of humor. Studies show that as we get older we lose our sense of humor; a reason why most elderly people are depressed. It is important to be able to see the amusing side of life; it is good to be able to laugh at your own mistakes. Life is a bundle of trials and rewards and it is vital to treat one thing as a necessary route to the other. The walk of life becomes easier if we can manage to laugh at the cloud of dust, shame and pain we raise up each time we fall. Life isn’t about the number of times we fall, it is about the times we get up and move on to achieve better things in life.

Give.  Give what? – you may ask. Give from the fullness of your heart. Help, mentor, reach out, comfort, counsel, do what you can to those who are worse off than you and you will find happiness. Being able to love and give (I mean forgive) gives you great freedom to be who you are. It helps you grow change and develop into a happier and better person.

Happiness is being and enjoying the person you are. Expecting to be at the zenith of happiness always is rather impractical. Learning to make the best of what you have and finding your balance in life is happiness.

“We cannot be happy if we expect to live all the time at the highest peak of intensity. Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.”- Thomas Merton