Turns out today is a holiday in Canada. It depends on the province whether we call it British Columbia day, Civic day, Heritage day, Natal day or New Brunswick day, but most of them have some excuse for taking the day off. Being your own boss isn’t always advantageous, because my “boss” ignored this free day off completely… so off to work I went this morning, armed with fresh coffee and all, thinking I was ready for the day ahead. I’m writing this late afternoon, and have to conclude today was no “magical Monday”. Ranging from missed meetings to technical website trouble I wasted a lot of time not accomplishing much at all today. I think I’ll opt to take the next holiday Canada comes up with as a day off and go for a long bike ride or something.
And that’s really what the problem is, isn’t it? We write off entire days as “good” or “bad” days. We choose to hold on to emotions and opinions much longer than needed, in particular the negative ones. What if we did something every day that would turn that day in a good day, even if it was just for 15 minutes? Because there is no secret to being happy, you just have to make up your mind to be happy and you will be. I’m teaching what I most need to learn myself today. So in case you’re like me and need a reminder every once in a while, here are 15 steps you can take to begin learning how to find happiness in every day.
“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” (Abraham Lincoln)
- To be happy is relatively easy: just decide to be a happy person. Choose to be happy. Suffering is optional!
- Once you make the choice to be happy your world will change to accommodate what it is you want and you will find being a happy person easier to do than you first thought!
- Decide today that you are the best person to make you happy, and find ways to do that.
- Remember that no one can make you happy! Your happiness lies more in your hands than it does anyone else. Thinking “he should, she should, they should” puts your life in a shaky position because when “people” aren’t making you happy, you are miserable.
- Laugh! Laughter has an amazing effect on the body, mind and spirit, raising us up when we feel down. Just stop for a minute and remember a really funny incident. It doesn’t matter how long ago it happened, just recall it now and see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel what you were feeling. It should bring back the feeling inside of you of being happy. Now whenever you are down just recall that memory. ‘Laughter is the best medicine’.
- ‘The only thing in life that will always remain the same is change’, and in our life we have the power to make the necessary changes if we want to. Even if we find ourselves in an unbearable situation we can always find solace in the knowledge that it too will change.
- Social networks and relationships are important. Nobody likes to feel alone (although you never truly are – but that’s a whole other topic!). Join groups, dating sites, network groups, whatever it takes to get you socialising.
- People are different, accept people for who or what they are, avoid clashes, constant arguments, and let go of all kinds of resentments.
- If arguments seem unavoidable do your best to make an effort to understand the situation, see it from your point of view, then their point of view, then see if you can become an outside observer looking at the two of you disagreeing and see it from that point of view. What difference does that make for you?
- Being grateful is a great attitude. We have so much to be thankful for. Thank the taxi driver for bringing you home safely, thank the cook for a wonderful dinner and thank the guy who cleans your windows.
- Express your feelings, affections, friendship and passion to people around you. They will most likely reciprocate your actions.
- Avoid holding on to anger or frustrations, this is bad for your health. Instead find ways of expressing them in a way that will not cause injury or harm to anyone. I love thumping my pillow or screaming really loud (into my pillow or somewhere secluded!). I find the best medicine for expressing my feelings is writing in a journal.
- Learning is a joyful exercise. Try and learn something new everyday. Learning also makes us expand and broaden our horizons. And could also give us more opportunities in the future.
- Run, dance, walk and do other things that your body was made for. Feel alive.
- Avoid exposure to negative elements like loud noises, toxins and hazardous places.