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Ten Ways to be Happy

Updated on August 25, 2016

Often, when asked what we want more than anything, the answer is “to be happy.”

But it never happens.


Because being “happy” is such a vague term that it doesn’t mean anything.

After all, if you had to describe what happiness is, you wouldn’t be able to do it because happiness is just a fleeting emotion, not a continual state of being.

It’s something we feel briefly and then it’s gone.

For example, we feel happy when we finish a chore, pass a test, receive a gift, or even when we meet up with an old friend.

But usually after just a few seconds, that smiling, happy feeling is gone.

So while being in a permanent state of happiness isn’t possible, what is possible is to stop doing things that make you feel unhappy.

And if you can stop all the thoughts that make you feel miserable, you can then bask in a feeling of contentment, which is what you’re really looking for.

And here is a list of ten things you can stop doing and thinking. They are ten things that make you feel bad all the time.

1.Being Right, Right, Right, Always Right. 

If you ‘re having a conversation and you feel uncomfortable with someone having a different opinion to you - stop!

It’s OK for others to think differently and even if you KNOW that they’re wrong and you’re right, you should never say so.

Just let it go.

Let others have a voice.

Let them question your views.

None of it matters.

Trying to be right all the time and forcing your views on others, only creates bad feelings.

Especially for you.

2. Alway Wanting to Be In Control.

Accept the natural flow of situations and events and stop trying to control them.

Things happen whether you want them to or not.

What’s most important is how you react to them.

Also understand that you cannot control other people, so don’t even try.

If you find yourself using the word, “should” when talking to others (“you should try…” “you should always…” “you should understand…”), stop immediately.

Telling people they “should,” is being a dictator. People don't have to do something just because you say so. So don’t tell them that they SHOULD.

3. Playing the Blame Game.

Stop looking for someone or something else to blame when things go wrong.

Playing the blame game is simply a way of avoiding taking responsibility for your own actions.

It’s a way of avoiding having to take action to put things right because, after all, if it’s someone else who caused the uncomfortable position you're in, then it’s not up to you to put it right.



It’s always up to you to fix your own mistakes or to correct what’s gone wrong.

Stop looking to blame another person or a particular circumstance.

Grow up, act mature, and accept responsibility for the role you played and then take steps to put it right.

4. Stinking Thinking.

Stinking thinking is a term that psychiatrists use to explain monumental over-exaggeration.

It goes like this:

Your doctor says you need an x-ray. You immediately wonder if you’ve got cancer. Perhaps you only have a few months to live but you just don’t know it. If it is cancer the doctor will prescribe chemotherapy, your hair will fall out and the treatment may not work anyway.

This is stinking thinking. Your mind went from x-ray to grave in less than 30 seconds

Avoid all this stinking thinking.

Things don't “always” happen to you.

One set back doesn’t mean you’ll “never” be able to do something.

And not “everyone” hates you.

Just keep things in perspective and remember that whatever happens, it is what it is right now.

Let tomorrow take care of tomorrow’s issues.

5. Complaining Hurts Only You.

Whether you’r complaining to yourself or to someone else, stop it right now.

If you’re not happy about something, ask yourself why? This will give you a whole new perspective on things.

Just imagine that in the midst of your complaining someone asked, “So what?”

And then answer it and explain why the situation is so bad for you.

When something happens, don’t complain about it, even if others are.

Just look at how you can change it.

6. Don’t Take Things Personally.

Not everything is for or about you.

So stop taking things personally.

If you do always think that everything that someone says, or everything that happens is for or about you, you’re wrong.

In psychology they call it the 13, 40, 60 rule.

At 13 you think that everyone is looking at you and talking about you.

At 40 you no longer care who is looking at you or what they’re saying.

At 60 you realise that no one ever really gave a damn about you anyway.

And that is the most liberating feeling of them all.

7. What Will Others Think?

People will either like you or dislike you and there’s nothing you can do about it.

That’s why it’s a waste of time to worry about what others think of you, or to try and act in such a way as to make them like you.

No everyone you meet will like you.

Even your friends who do like you will still dislike certain things about you.

But that’s OK.

We’re all different so we’ll never think of each other as perfect.

So stop trying to please others and instead be your authentic self.

Because, in the end, people will still like you or dislike you no matter what you do.

So spend your life pleasing yourself instead of trying to make everyone like you.

8. Fearing the Future.

Fear is an illusion. It’s something that doesn’t exist outside of our minds.

We make it up and then believe it.

What we fear most is the future.

We fear about our health, upsetting others, debt, illness and even death.

Mostly we fear upsetting others and creating confrontational situations.

And nearly every time our fears are unfounded. And even if we were right, things never turn out as bad as we think.

So, if you weren’t scared of upsetting someone else, what would you do?

See the truth of what could happen and end your imaginary fears.

9. Time to Change.

No one likes change.

We all get comfortable in our little ruts (sometimes called comfort zones) and we want to stay there.

We get comfortable with what we know.

We’ll even live with uncomfortable things because we’re used to things as they are and whenever change happens it means we have to do something different or spend time learning how to do a new thing.

But we need change in order to grow and to improve.

So when things change, embrace it and see what’s new so that you can use it to your advantage.

10. Let Bygones be Bygones.

What happened in the past shaped you, but it doesn’t define who you are now.

As James Arthur Ray said, “It’s not who you are, it’s who you WERE.”

The Buddhist philosophy of only living in the present moment means you are able to let go of the past, not worry about the future, and enjoy life now.

You can’t control the past, nor can you change it.

But you can unshackle yourself from it and stop fretting about it.

Think only about this day, this hour, this minute, this moment, and let the rest go.

True Happiness

Contentment is the best state of being.

The buddha said that “wanting is suffering.”

So don’t want anything in the future.

Stop wanting to change the past.

Don’t let yourself want to blame others, want to worry about what others are thinking or want to fear upsetting others.

Just concentrate your mind on yourself in this present moment.

This is where true contentment can be found.

Because happiness cannot be found anywhere.

But you don’t even have to look for contentment.

It was right here all along.

You just couldn’t see it because you were too busy looking for happiness.


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