Making Happiness a Habit
“Happiness has nothing to do with success. Happiness has nothing to do with ambition, happiness has nothing to do with money, power, prestige. It is a totally different dimension. Happiness has something to do with your consciousness, not with your character.”Osho, Joy: The Happiness That Comes from Within
Happiness, contentment, and health are co-related. Staying happy can drastically extend the quality of your life. Happiness does not rely upon the events that confront you or someone else’s behavior towards you. It depends upon what you do regularly. While it is understandable that you cannot be happy all the time, you can be so most of the time by following some simple guidelines.
When we are unhappy, it is usually not because of other people but because we are dissatisfied with ourselves. It has happened to all of us at some point in our lives, and it causes a slew of other issues, such as job dissatisfaction, health issues, rifts in relationships, and more.
The secret of Making Happiness a Habit
One day, I made a checklist of things for which I was thankful. Amazingly, I discovered that it contained many people and events, including my wife, kids, friends and relatives, my career, and the environment around me. It was a magical list because it transformed my way of thinking. My focus shifted from what I did not like or did not have to something that made me really grateful!
Ever since I have experimented with a range of habits and learned a few things about happiness:
- To begin with, you do not need to do too much. Just a handful of activities are enough to make you happy.
- Secondly, incorporating these activities into your life (turning them into habits) makes you consistently content. While these two facts appear to be small realizations, they are hugely significant.
Basic Rules of Making Happiness a Habit
Let us now examine the very habits that make us happy.
1. Make a Daily Checklist
Try to make a list of three positive aspects of your life each day. You can create an evening habit at a fixed time every day to write down on a piece of paper or, better still, tell your spouse, a relative, or a friend about three good things you encountered that day. Doing so will serve as a constant reminder every day when you focus on what you are grateful for, create a cognitive habit of gratitude, and help you cope with events that you don’t like or things you don’t have. At such times, finding a way to be grateful keeps you happier.
2. Assist a Person in Need
“The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.”Mark Twain
Focusing all the time on ourselves makes us self-centred and shrinks the world into a small place. Why be alone and aloof in this world? Why not expand your worldview and reach out with your heart to a few others? When you see others suffering, try to reach out. Do something that makes their lives easier. Help reduce their stress and bring a smile to their face!
Helping at least one person every day will shift your perspective and bring feelings of satisfaction and happiness to your life.
Meditation is an important habit that affects everything else. Therefore, make meditation a daily ritual, even if it is just for a few minutes. It will give you insight into your thoughts and help you stay more focused on the present. It helps detect the origin of worry and distraction. When you become an observer of your thoughts and senses, you learn to stay calm.
4. Maintain Physical Fitness
Keeping fit is essential to being stress-free.
Regular exercise removes stress and toxins from your body and helps clear your mind, thus making you happier throughout the day.
Once you set these fundamental habits in motion, you will notice a change in yourself. The miraculous shift as you evolve into being more grateful and outward-focused is nothing short of a blessing.
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