Writer and life guru Katie Oman gives us her 10 easy ways to embrace instant happiness and start living a more positive life
1. Happiness is a choice
You can’t control the things that are happening around you, but you always have the choice of how you react to them. Yes, having an abundant and secure life make it easier to be happy, but that doesn’t automatically mean you will be. Neither is it anyone else’s responsibility to make you happy. You don’t have to wait for their approval or permission to bring more happiness into your life. Happiness comes from within you! This is your life, and you are responsible for your own happiness in every second of every day.
2. You can be happy…right now!
Please, please, please don’t put your happiness off one single second longer. You have the power to start to be happier whenever you want to, and all you have to do is decide to be so. Write on a piece of paper: “I decide to I want to be happy.” Make sure you put it up somewhere you’ll see it several times a day, like your kitchen or bathroom. You have to keep reminding yourself that you deserve to be happy, and can start to be happier right now. Once you’ve made the firm decision to be happier no matter what, you’ll find that it becomes your default setting. I’ll admit – life will still get pretty crappy at times, but, by committing to being happy every day, you will always come back to this central place. Things and people may try to knock you off balance and pull you down into fear, but you’ll find that you’ll get really stubborn with it!
3. It’s a state of being
We live in a goal-focused society. So many of us want to know where you want to be in five years, or what you want to be when you grow up. Results, targets and goal setting are highly valued commodities now, and you’re almost seen as having something wrong with you if you don’t have these as part of your dominant thinking. Focusing on the things you’d like to achieve isn’t in itself a bad thing, but it may have a negative effect on how you think about your happiness. Listing your goals could almost give the impression that, until you’ve ticked them off, that you’re allowed to be happy. It shouldn’t matter if you’ve ticked off every goal on your list, if you’re only on the first step, or if you haven’t even got a list! Happiness is not dependent on results and outcomes.
4. Happiness is a choice… but so is sadness
Life can be tough – stresses and worries around money, work, relationships, children and health can be a huge headache, and you may find yourself in a victim-martyr state of mind. When we get caught up in a daily grind of stress, your happiness can seem like a distant memory. You may wonder how you’re even going to be happy again. But if you can choose to be happy, then you can also choose to be miserable. I’m not saying that your life circumstances aren’t difficult, or that you’re not allowed to be sad, angry or resentful. Your emotions are a natural reaction to each moment, and can provide valuable clues to what’s going on within you. But when you’re getting stuck in that place for huge periods of time, then you have to worry whether it’s the situation that’s causing you to feel that way, or whether you’re (consciously or subconsciously) choosing to feel that way. Your life is centred on free will, and you have the power to choose in each moment what to do and how to feel. You’re not a powerless victim, even if others try to convince you that you are.
5. Spread happiness around like chocolate spread
Happiness is hard to fully grasp if you try to keep it yourself. Like a slippery eel, the harder you try to keep it to yourself, the more it wants to slide out of your hands. By seeking to share it with others from an open heart, you will make others happy, and yourself! Seek not to be greedy or selfish – for that shows that you don’t really believe you’re worthy or deserving of being happy. The more you give, the more you will receive.
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