5 Keys to Happiness
"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." A favorite quote by Abraham Lincoln comes to mind when I sit and think of what makes people happy. There are tons of books and articles out there designed to help unhappy people discover their happiness. If you ask me, it's very simple. It all comes down to one major factor, and that's choice.
Somewhere along in our lives, and we all reach it at one point or another. There's a downfall, discouragement, anything...that takes us down the road of unhappiness. Most of the time it's just a short visit that we make, but for some it seems to be their favorite vacation spot, if not their home base. Rather than take hold of what we know, regardless of the situation it becomes easy to fall prey to our feelings enableing them to overcome our thinking. Very importantly we need to remember that no matter what the situation at hand, ultimately it's our choice to decide how or if we will allow things to affect us.
Just as important as choice, is the ability to implement it in our everyday lives. For example, you want to work out, but "there's no time to make it to the gym" so ultimately, indirectly that leads to your unhappiness as far as how you feel about yourself and disappointments. Why not make the desicion to find something alternative that works? Wake up a half hour early every morning and build your own workout at home whether it be lead by an excercise program on dvd, or simply incorporating a series of strength and muscle building moves along with some free weights, a brisk walk around the block, etc. Point is, make the choice and decide with every matter in life how you're going to deal with it, and determine your own outcome. I drill this into my kids brains as much as humanly possible! I want my kids to be strong individuals who can withstand anything because they know they have the ultimate power to decide.
With that in mind, the road to happiness is easily paved out for you. Your only focus then would be to stay on the road! I personally, have a basic outline of 5 things that I make a point to implement daily throughout my life.
- SMILE- It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile! Besides, it’s contagious! Try smiling at people randomly as you go throuout your day. Make it a challenge to see how many frowns you turn upside down. Remember this; "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." ~ Leo Buscaglia
- EAT RIGHT- I’m not saying you have to be a health NUT. But be concious of what you eat and the portions you eat them in. Try to opt as much as possible for the healthier choice, over impulsive cravings. Feed your body what it deserves, and takes to be it’s best and look it’s best. Doing this, you’ll find yourself happier with the effort you’re making to physically be at your best. When your healthy, you feel great, when you feel great, it shows!
- GET IN TOUCH- Take the time every now and then to get in touch with friends, loved ones and family. Everyone has their eveyday routine. Think of how a simple phone call, text, email, or even a good old fashioned handwritten letter can make your day. Be that someone for someone else. It’s important to take the focus off your daily grind once in a while to invest it where it matters most, with family and friends.
- RELAX & REFLECT- Relax. Wooosaaah! Whether it be 5 minutes of peace and quiet, a solitary lunch at the park, or an hour long soak in the hot tub, definitely make time for YOU! Take that time to reflect on your personal accomplishments and interests, and celebrate yourself.
- THINK POSITIVE- “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our Attitudes.” -Charles R. Swindoll Always, always, always think positive. Keep as many positive people surrounding you as you can. Be grateful for where you are and what you have in life. Remember that it is truly the simple things that bring meaning and value to our lives.
If anything at all, just remember that ultimate happiness is up to you. "Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice." -Wayne Dyer
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