What does happiness look like to you? Do you wake up every morning thinking about how happy your life is? Truth is, not many of us do. Most people go through life looking for ways and situations that will make them happy. The definition of happiness means many different things to different people. To me, happiness is spending time with family over meals and good times. We laugh, eat, play games and talk about old times.
But for some people happiness is something that they seek. Happy days and happy times consist of going away from the everyday stress of a busy life. Happiness for them is something that is found or an adventure.
Here are five ways I use in my practice for clients to identify their level of happiness. It is not the only tool I use to measure one’s happiness, but the results are sometimes astonishing.
- Are you following your dreams? Many people find their happiest days when they are doing things that make them feel good about themselves. When a person spends time reaching for goals and doing things to better their situation, these individuals tend to be more often quite happy.
- Do you have quiet time? This may come as a surprise, but spending quiet time is essential for one’s happiness. During this time most people are able to block out negative thoughts and listen to what their hearts are saying. Also during this time, you can reflect on what it is that will make you happy in your life right now. Quiet time can be resting, reading, bathing or doing nothing at all.
- Is there too much stress in your life? OK, everybody knows how too much stress is never good for you. But did you know that people who deal with lots of stress in their lives are generally not happy people? Stress brings on many different things, including unhappiness. Try your best to get rid of stress and watch how happiness will soon follow.
- Do you hang around happy people or people who are always unhappy? Ever find yourself hanging around someone who is always talking about how miserable her life is? These are the people who always seem to have something negative to say about everything around them. If you ask them how their day is going, they’re sure to tell you about all the bad things that seem to be bringing them down. Be careful and remember to watch the company you keep! Negativity is like a virus; if you’re around it too much, you will catch it.
- Are you getting enough sun? I usually need proof that something works. But after reading the effects sunshine has on people and experiencing this first hand, I truly know this is real. I find myself really happy when the sun is shining bright and I am out enjoying it. The sun does many things for people, but the mood change affect is amazing. If you don’t believe it, try it for yourself.
And, as always, stay focused, stay determined and keep striving for greatness.
Article by Penny Jones-Richardson
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