Happiness is not something that we have. It is something that we do. As my good friend and training partner Brian Colbert says in his bestselling book ‘THE HAPPINESS HABIT’ (which I highly recommend as THE go to book on happiness), you have to do a number of things in order to be happy.
So in this post I want to shed some light on some of the most important things for you to do in order to become happier than you currently are. Let’s call them the keys of happiness.
1. Be Happy with yourself
To like yourself means that you are happy with who you are. It means that you accept your weak points and forgive yourself for them. It means that you know your strengths and you are proud of them and that you enjoy what you do and how you live your life. It means that you can enjoy time spent with yourself.
2. Be Happy with your mind.
Internal happiness is largely affected by what you do inside your head in terms of your thoughts and beliefs. Your brain filters the world around you. So the way that you think and talk to yourself will determine how you feel on an everyday basis. Learning skills from NLP, Mindfulness and CBT can really help you with this.
3. Be Happy with what you have.
Much of the science out there suggests that feeling grateful for what you have is a really important practice if you want to be as happy as possible in your life. Waking up every day and asking what you are grateful for is a sure great start to your day.
4. Be Happy with your present.
Meditation and Mindfulness have both been shown to help people feel happier in their lives. Staying in the present is a really important practice that can be extremely good for your brain. Get into the habit of simply being where you are and noticing the work around you, your inner thoughts, feelings and sensations without judgement. It really helps you escape from any stress or worry or bad feeling as they only exist in your past and future thoughts.
5. Be Happy with your past.
This means moving on and realising like my mentor Dr. Richard Bandler is famous for saying: “The best thing about the past is that it is over.” By seeing your past as something to learn from and as something to remind you of your greatest moments and achievements it can really help you feel much better about yourself.
6. Be Happy with your future.
Setting up your life so that you schedule in things that you love and enjoy in your future is critical. When we think of the future it is a source of excitement or anxiety. You determine which depending on the questions you ask yourself. If you ask ‘What if… bad stuff happens?’ then you will feel crap. If you ask ‘What can I look forward to?’ then you will feel excited. Design your future and create your world.
7. Be Happy with your loved ones.
Study after study has shown that when we spend quality time with those we love, it is the ultimate source of happiness. Often in this busy world we spend our free time working or worse… on the phone. Taking time to really have fun and be close with your loved ones is one huge step that you can take toward an extremely happy life.
Of course there are a number of other things you can do… but these 7 will certainly get you on your way.