Copyright © 2016 Sonia Sylart
Some will remonstrate "Why can't I just be happy? Why should I have to make effort to be happy?"
Well the answer is that if you wait for things to go your way before you allow yourself to be happy, you could be waiting a loooong time!
Making the effort to be happier is also about making the effort to be less self-pitying, less pessimistic and less miserable. What's the point in condemning yourself to unhappiness when you could be developing resilience and positivity and live a much more contented life than might otherwise be the case?
The simple truth is nobody’s life is perfect in every respect and, even
if it was, perfection does not equal happiness. And thankfully, it’s entirely possible for human beings to be flawed and happy. Noticing and
appreciating the small things in life and consistently refusing to be overwhelmed by life’s trials will help you make the best of life in general and, over time, the conscious decision to create
room for happiness will become more spontaneous and happen more naturally, more often.
So, yes, go ahead and make conscious consistent effort to turn negative self talk into more positive thinking and use positive affirmations to bolster your thoughts. But don't stop there. Read on for other ways of elevating your overall happiness.
If you want to give your chances of being happier a boost then take heed that an essential of more positivity and more happiness is to be grateful for the good things in life, rather than ignoring or taking them for granted.
A daily “attitude of gratitude” regime might consist of everyday saying/thinking/affirming “today I am thankful that I am feeling no/less pain”, or “I am thankful to have sufficient food and shelter” or “I am thankful the train was on time today” or “I am thankful my little baby gave me the biggest smile” or “I am thankful my partner’s ears are so cute” or “I am thankful I am becoming more resilient and strong.”
· What 3 things are YOU grateful for today?
Remember it doesn’t have to be 3 big or obvious things - it's perfectly fine to start small and continue that way. If you need help getting started, at the very least, if you’re reading this with your own two eyes, be grateful you have sight and vision. There are many who don’t.
Get the picture? Don’t take too much for granted because, as the song and saying goes, you never know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone!
The thing to do is to make a conscious effort to answer the above question at least once every day. So go on ... put a reminder in your phone or diary right now! Don’t procrastinate, just get it done and don’t ignore it when the reminder pops up!
Doing the "Gratitude Thing" daily helps
you to increase your happiness. It focuses the mind on the positive, assisting you to keep things in perspective, and eventually helps to plant a smile on your face. To begin with you
might even want to go as far as consciously making the effort to smile as you think through your gratitude list for the day. Later you'll find the smiles come spontaneously
as you happily muse on the positives in your life.
Down the line, why not challenge yourself to find more than 3 things to be grateful for each day?
"Be Thankful For What You Got" - William DeVaughn
Doing things for other people - and that is helping others without any ulterior motive/expecting nothing in return - is a fantastic way of climbing your own happiness ladder. Be it volunteering to aid strangers or helping out a neighbour, friend or family member, it's all good.
Thus do look for opportunities to do good deeds and be useful whenever you can!
Maybe you find that you are too frequently second guessing your decisions or forever trying to people please or get somebody else’s permission before you can be happy.
If yes, then please do yourself a big favour and heed these recommendations because, for the most part, your own mindset, and nobody else's, determines how happy or unhappy you are and you have a responsibility to yourself to actually CHOOSE and affirm to be grateful and positive and to develop and accept yourself. That’s how you find happiness within yourself!
So what are you waiting for ... if you haven’t already done so, set up your reminders to do the things on the checklist. It may well feel unnatural, silly, awkward or even pointless to begin with but rest assured, it can work wonders so stick with it for the duration. You’ll be glad you did.