Feeling happiness is an ideal state of being. According to Healthline, people who feel happiness are more likely to lead healthy lifestyles, experience boosted immune systems, feel less stressed, live longer lives, and have better cardiovascular health.
If you want to ensure you have plenty of happiness in your life, consider the following ten steps to make sure you’re taking advantage of all the opportunities you can for extra joy.
Step 1: Take stock of everything you currently have in your life.
To start ensuring that you have happiness in your life, create a list of everything you currently have. This list can include a wide variety of things – not just tangible items you physically own. This could include your family, partner, and career or intangible thoughts or emotions like gratitude, compassion, sharing, love, etc.
Once you have a strong list, you can start analyzing it for things that stand out most to you. Perhaps some of these things bring you extreme happiness and joy; perhaps other items on the list do not. Use this list as a starting point to ensure you’re getting enough happiness in your life.
Step 2: Once you understand everything in your life, gauge each factor for the actual joy you derive from it.
As you peruse the list you created in step one, you’ll likely find a thing or two that don’t bring you much happiness or joy. For example, pretend your job doesn’t bring you any joy – you’re only working there because you need the paycheck, and beyond that, you really dislike the experience.
For items like this, you can begin to construct a plan to change it. Identifying areas that need change will help you find more happiness within that area.
Step 3: Determine what factors can’t be changed in your life and, if they don’t bring you joy, practice radical acceptance.
There will be aspects of your life that can’t be changed (at least, perhaps not right away). When you realize what these aspects are, practice radical acceptance.
Radical acceptance is the act of accepting something about yourself or your life even though you take some issue with it. By accepting it, you’re deciding to accept yourself for who you are, making room for happiness to enter your life despite what you can’t change or at least until you can make a change.
Step 4: Express gratitude for at least one thing you appreciate in your life each day.
Expressing gratitude is vital to ensure you have happiness in your life. Some of the unhappiest people in the world are that way because they fail to recognize the many things that they already have in their lives that is wonderful.
Rather than falling victim to this same mentality, make a point to recognize and give thanks for one aspect of your life that you appreciate each day. Whether it’s your friends, your family, your job, your house, your car, your sense of humor, or whatever else makes you feel deep and sincere appreciation, give thanks for having it in your life.
Doing this each day will create more happiness in your life.
Step 5: Extend gratitude to someone who means a lot to you each day, too.
Telling the people you love most how you feel about them will always invite happiness into your life. You’ll never regret telling your friends and family how important they are to you. Every time you have the opportunity, make sure they all know how much you love and appreciate having them in your life.
Step 6: Find activities you enjoy and make sure you’re scheduling time to do them on a regular basis.
Whether it’s reading, soccer, painting, quilting or swimming laps, if you enjoy doing it, schedule time to enjoy these activities or hobbies that bring you joy. Doing so will ensure you have plenty of regularly scheduled happiness in your days.
Step 7: Allow room for adventure in your life – even if it’s a small adventure.
Every adventure is an opportunity to experience some extra happiness in life. Whether you’re planning a trip to a foreign country or just planning to try a new restaurant, make room for adventures in your life. Whether they’re big or small, they’ll add some extra happiness in your life.
Step 8: Enjoy some genuine laughter each day.
Some days have more laughter than others. On the days where you’re in serious need of some laughter, have a plan ready to find it – watch videos of your favorite comedian, call up your funniest friend, or a comedy show on TV. Squeezing in a chance to relax and laugh is a great way to invite more happiness into your life.
Step 9: Make sure you process all your emotions rather than hiding or ignoring them.
Not all emotions are as pleasant as happiness and joy. When you’re feeling more challenging emotions, it’s tempting to brush them aside and ignore them as a method of “handling” them. However, ignoring those emotions won’t resolve them and return you to happiness.
Ignoring or repressing challenging emotions, often causes them to come up again later in a much worse way. While dealing with them isn’t fun, it’s necessary – process, feel, and understand all your emotions as they’re happening to you. This will ensure you’re able to return to happiness again much quicker.
Step 10: Give yourself congratulations and kudos when you do well.
Every time you do something good, make a point to give yourself some congratulations and kudos for a job well done. While it’s nice to get some recognition from others, it’s most important to hear those sentiments from yourself; hearing them is a fantastic source of happiness that you can create for yourself.
When you remind yourself that you’re doing a good job, you reinforce the idea that you can trust yourself to do good, you are capable, and you are caring toward yourself. Every time you give yourself that pat on the back, you build up some stock in your own self confidence.
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