Have you ever noticed how some people seem happy all the time? Have you ever secretly wished you were one of them?
Years ago, I remember watching an Oprah show about the Blue Zones. The Blue Zones are specific areas of the world where people live measurably longer lives, such as Sardinia Italy, Okinawa Japan, Loma Linda, California, Nicoya Peninsuala, Costa Rica and Icaria, Greece.
What I got from watching the show, was that happiness comes from how we relate to ourselves, others and to the rest of the world.
What follows are the 8 secrets to happiness I picked up that you can easily use.
1. Happy people find their way
Years of having low self esteem, feeling unwanted, and believing my life had no meaning had finally caught up to me. For months I contemplated whether I would ever taste the fruits of happiness. During that time, I soaked in the sun. I listened to music. I tried to think happy thoughts, but nothing would lift my spirits. It was an excruciatingly dark and lonely period in my life.
Not until I abundantly embraced how happiness must be cultivated from within did my life change for the better and force me to see a common thread among the happiest people I encountered.
2. Happy people create their own rainbows
Happy people focus on what they have in their lives rather than what they don’t. They recognize that acquiring enough material things to make them feel good is impossible. Fancy cars, big houses, yachts and a walk-in closet are all nice, but do nothing for the soul. The soul needs gratitude, love, connection, community, reverence for life and an outlet to express itself creatively. When those needs are met, happiness follows.
3. Happy people look for the light
The happiest people on earth are positive. Even when they are facing a situation with a potentially catastrophic outcome, happy people find the upside of their predicaments. A couple of weeks ago, I attended a class for work and I was drawn to sit next to someone I knew would positively affect me.
My table-mate had multiple sclerosis (an auto-immune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord). From the description of her symptoms, her situation sounded pretty severe. I told her that I didn’t know the path for someone with multiple sclerosis; she gently informed me that it was incurable. I said, “I am sorry,” to which she replied, “That’s ok. I figure because I have it, I can handle it.”
In speaking with her, I was reminded of just how small my problems were.
4. Happy people take care of themselves
We can’t deny the mind-body-soul connection. Have you ever noticed when you decide to eat better, you are more motivated to exercise, or when you exercise, you are more inclined to think positively? You cannot take care of your mind without eventually wanting to take care of your body and soul, and you cannot take care of your body without eventually wanting to take care of your mind.
As long as a part of you is neglected, you will feel restless, like you should be doing something. The degree of restlessness will be directly related to how neglectful you have been. The only way out of this kind of restlessness is to take care of yourself and your environment.
Happy people don’t spend their days talking about what is wrong with their lives. Sure, life challenges them, just like it challenges us all; they just don’t complain about it.
They can’t be bothered with harassing themselves with worry, anxiety, guilt, shame, frustration and other feelings that don’t make them feel good.
And when they do experience these emotions, they don’t allow them to take up residence and control their lives. Happy people speak from a point of positivity. They greet the world with wonder, excitement and passion–passion for being alive.
Happy people don’t harbor resentment, judgment, grudges or other toxic emotions. Although they have strong social networks, they are also masters of letting go of people who are not good for them. Because happy people are complete, in that they don’t need someone else to complete them, they are perfectly fine with being happy alone, rather than miserable with someone else.
7. Happy people are humble
Happy people know they are no more important than any other person on the planet. Happy people just see people, not titles, or statuses. They recognize that we are all products of our environments, and some of us have environments filled with a lot of peace, joy and happiness, while others face one challenge after another. Each set of our circumstances, experiences, thoughts and beliefs has led us where we are.
8. Happy people do what feels good
Happy people recognize that passion isn’t something you discover; it is something that already exists in you—you just have to release it. Passion exists in each of us and it is our job to bring it to the surface so it nurtures everything we do. Happy people do things that make them feel alive and connected to the world.
Being happy is largely a product of not living in the past or the future, but being present for the moment, so give your undivided attention to what you are doing, or who you are with.
YOU have to realize that your happiness is solely dependent on you.
YOU have to nurture your family.
YOU have to create a meaningful circle of friends
YOU have to take care of yourself through a positive outlook, diet and exercise.
YOU have to create your own Blue Zone.
So, go out and do it.
What was the happiest time in your entire life? You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below
With all my love,
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