“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” ~ Dalai Lama

Happiness is elusive.

What you think makes you happy doesn’t. That new pair of shoes, the latest technology, or indulgent meal offers the lure of happiness, but it often leaves us wanting. And when you think back on your happiest memories they’re often times that just happened. Spontaneous events that occurred, with no recipe for making them happen again.

7 Shortcuts to Boost Your Happiness

While there might not be a recipe for creating a happy, spontaneous occasion there are ways you can boost your overall happiness.

Simple things you can do to boost your happiness and help you enjoy life every day – not just on special occasions.

1. Thank your mind. 

We’re all capable of analyzing a situation to death. Wondering whether someone else’s actions have deeper meanings than they do, or endlessly turning things over in our mind.

It’s fine to think about situations and establish what you can learn from them. But sometimes our mind gets a little obsessed and repeatedly churns things over, on an endless, self-flagellating loop. When this happens, think, Thanks mind, and move on to other things.

2. Accept your memories.

Everyone has some sad or unhappy memories. They’re part of life, and trying to suppress them is futile.

You don’t have to fully understand sad memories you just need to stop fighting and accept them. That way you can close the door gently on those ‘rooms’ in your mind. You can choose to visit those rooms if and when you feel inclined. But you can also gently close them off so that you can grow and heal.

Your memories are part of you. Stop fighting them and watch your happiness soar.

 3. Practice self-appreciation. 

Learn to love and appreciate yourself, just the way you are. You are just as unique, interesting and remarkable as anyone else.

Self-appreciation can be challenging because it’s often hard to value the qualities we have or to see them as assets.

Try making a list of the things people value you for, so you can remind yourself of these qualities regularly.

4. Make people a priority. 

Spending time with the people closest to us fosters warm feelings. Human beings are pack animals, and regardless of how introverted or extroverted we are, we need to connect with people.

Our best friends help us celebrate our wins, and get us through the tough times.

Seek out the people who make your feel good. When you’re just hanging out, enjoying each other’s company, you’re sending and receiving subtle messages of love and appreciation.

 5. Scrap comparisons. 

It doesn’t matter if you compare body shape, bank balances, or boyfriends, comparing yourself to someone else is always going to end in tears.

There are always going to be people both ahead of you, and behind you, on any scale. The only person you have to satisfy is yourself.

If certain activities – like using social media – leaves you feeling flat and unworthy, ditch it.

6. Choose your attitude. 

This is really tricky to achieve, but there’s a secret to choosing your attitude.

The key is to change can’t to can. If you find yourself thinking that you can’t do something, stop and force yourself to think about what you can do.

Try thinking, ‘If someone could solve this, how would they do it?” Distancing yourself from the problem in this way opens up new ideas, and pretty soon you’ll be capable of anything.

7. Stop living for tomorrow. 

We tell ourselves we’ll be happy when the kids are older, or when we get the next pay rise, or when we get a new job.

But when we get those things we put off being happy until we achieve the next great milestone.

Happy people live now. They feel now. They love now. This doesn’t mean they don’t have goals, but they appreciate what they have now.

No one knows how many tomorrows they’ll have, so live today.

Happiness is a gift you can give yourself, and share with your friends.

So, go and grab a little happiness today, and share it around.

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Cate Scolnik

Cate Scolnik is on a mission to help parents stop yelling and create families that listen to each other. She does this while taking care of two boisterous girls of her own, and constantly learning new parenting strategies. Download her free Cheat Sheet to Get Your Kids from "No" to "Yes" in Three Simple Steps and reduce your yelling today here.

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