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How to Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life
Prayer, Meditation and Gratitude - Some of the Keys to Happiness
How to Find Happiness by Living in the Moment
Have you ever sat back and watched young children at play? They appear to be completely in the moment, laughing one minute and shifting quickly into anger, tears and back to joy. Children seem to know how to shake off the problems that have upset them, and get past their anger. They know how to be happy.
Don’t we all enjoy being around cheerful people? Don’t they somehow help us to enjoy the time we spend with them, and feel better about ourselves? Although no one is completely happy every minute of every day, some people do seem to be happier and more joyful than others. The good news is that anyone is able to discover how to be happy and maintain it for the better part of every day.
Living in the moment means that we put aside our regrets from the past and the concerns for the future. We apologize for past errors whenever possible, we prepare for the future as much as we can, and then we spend the rest of our time living in the present.
In other words, we let go of our regrets about the past and our fear of the future. There is nothing we can do about the past, unless an apology will smooth things over. In that case, make the apology and move on. We can't do anything about the future, other than make reasonable plans based on the knowledge we have at the present. There is no point in living in perpetual fear about the future.
Once we do what we can to deal with our regrets and fears, we owe it to ourselves to enjoy the present. That's the only place where we can find real joy!
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Practice Being Satisfied
One step towards learning how to be joyful is to practice being satisfied. Are you always unsatisfied with what you have? Do you constantly wish you owned things that were nicer, bigger, newer or fancier? Try putting together a gratitude list. Do you have a place to live? Do you have clothing to wear? Do you have friends? Do you have relatives who care about you? Do you have a pet? Do you have things to do during the day? Make a list of every single item, activity and person in your life, if necessary, until you realize that you have many reasons to feel gratitude. Then, spend time being satisfied with what you have.
Many people have discovered that happiness comes to us by simply being grateful. If you have trouble thinking of things that make you grateful, especially when you are upset about something, keep a gratitude journal. Any time something good happens, write it down, even if it as simple as a compliment that someone gives you. Then, when you are feeling sad, lonely or upset, you can go back and read your gratitude journal. It is a wonder way to restore yourself to feelings of gratitude and joy.
Practice Prayer and Meditation
Now that you have a gratitude list, practice meditating. If you have religious beliefs, you should also spend at least a few minutes each day in prayer. You don’t have to think about your gratitude list. However, if it does come to mind, you can focus on all the reasons you have to be grateful. Spending time in prayer and meditation has been shown to help people feel calmer, more peaceful and more relaxed. In turn, these emotions can lead to an overwhelming sense of joy. In addition, studies also seem to indicate that people who have faith in the presence of a Higher Power in their life tend to worry less. That alone is likely to help you feel happier!
Learn to Play
Often we spend so much time feeling dragged down by our responsibilities and the need to take care of others, that we don’t take the time to take care of ourselves. Learn how to play. Have some fun. Find a hobby. Get a massage or a manicure. Get in your car and visit a friend. Take a walk. Read a book. Watch a funny movie. People who know how to play are fun to be around. You knew how to do it as a child. Let your inner child out, again, to play!
If you practice just a few of these steps on a regular basis, you will soon discover that you will be much happier than you ever thought possible!
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Stop Trying to Fix Other People
Many times our unhappiness is not caused by any pain or discomfort that is going on in our own life. Instead, it is brought on by the behavior of other people in our lives. Release them. Leave them alone. You do not need to fix them, control them or improve them. Enjoy their uniqueness. It doesn’t matter if they behave differently from you, or think differently from you. They have the right to be who they are.
For many people, this is the most difficult step. We don't feel we have the right to be happy if other people are suffering. However, that is not true. We have the right to enjoy our own lives. We do not have to solve problems for other people. We can be sympathetic to the issues they are dealing with, without sacrificing our own lives.
At the same time, not trying to fix them also means that you are under no obligation to house, feed, or take care of another adult who disturbs your tranquility. They are free to be themselves, as long as they take responsibility for supporting themselves! If their actions or behaviors upset you or hurt you financially or emotionally, reduce your contact with them. You have the right to live in peace and to avoid toxic people.
Practice gratitude, live in the moment, play, and keep busy. Live your own life and let others live theirs. These are the keys to being happy for the rest of your life!