I wondered why this was the most popular and I realised it's because that's the one thing that all of us have in common. We all want to be happy, to be grateful for the life that we have and sometimes it takes one of us going through a rather bad situation to make all the rest of us realise that we actually lead for the most part a pretty brilliant life. Rather like my Rules for a Good Family Life, I thought I'd set out some rules I think that need to be applied to be happy.
Make Today A New Start
Let go of the past, of yesterday if needs be and start moving forward today. It doesn't matter if yesterday was terrible, the situation will change if you let it.
Love (Part One)
Love your family and friends and let them know. Send them letters (proper written ones from time to time), leave them notes, phone them, send them the occasional gift (doesn't have to be expensive) and pretty soon you'll realise just how much you have to be happy about.
Love (Part Two)
Find something you love to do. It might be singing, so join a choir or sing in the shower. It might be painting or gardening, or exercise or listening to music, but whatever it is make sure you schedule time for you to do it.
Find people you can share with, it might be that you find someone online who has the same taste in wallpaper, loves the same TV shows and hates slugs like you or it might be that you see a parent in the same playground every week. Happier people have more friends and people with more friends are more likely to be happy.
Trust in yourself
You can make the changes you want in your life and you can be who you want to be. It is never too late to change, you just have to make a start!
Honestly, exercise, exercise, exercise. Exercise releases endorphins which make you happy, and even if when you first start you hear a little voice telling you that you'd be better off on the sofa ignore it. After a couple of weeks of daily exercise you'll feel better, look better and be happier.
Eat a Rainbow as who can resist being happy when they are eating a wide range of fruit and vegetables? Don't forget to try new dishes when you can, I didn't try Mussels until I was 33 and I missed out on 33 years of loving them!
Expand your mind
Learn new things and find that not only if you are in a class will you make friends with similar interests and maybe discover a talent you never knew you had but it will help you feel more fulfilled and of course this will lead to being happier too. It doesn't even have to be a class, read a book or seven and you'll find your mind expanding.
Find someone to share jokes with, or find a tv show that makes you laugh or a website that never fails to make you giggle. If you can do this regularly you'll find yourself smiling in anticipation.
Look Forward to stuff
To a holiday, or a day out, or a day off or a meal or anything that is coming up that you'll enjoy. Spend a few moments daydreaming about what you'll do or how it will turn out and cheer yourself up immediately!
Have some fresh air, even if it is 15 below and six foot of snow. The fact that you are outside probably indicates you are going to get some form of exercise and the fresh air will give you a new found energy.
Serve others, it doesn't matter if that means you volunteer at a local Charity shop, or on the School PTA, or at a Nursing Home or anywhere else. Just help others when you can and do so willingly and you will find yourself being happier as you are giving to others.
Keep yourself grounded
When I'm starting to feel down, I find that a quick walk in the garden helps me buck up and find that inner happiness. Just being out there (even when it was all over grown) made me feel more like me. Find what keeps you feeling you and make sure you do it often.
I love talking to my husband and friends. Sometimes we will have deep meaningful conversations and other times we will talk about the randomness that pops into my brain (come on you've all seen my Facebook and Twitter questions haven't you?!), just having that connection with someone though enables you to feel happier and to discuss some of the issues that are weighing you down, and if you want to then add me as a friend on Facebook and I'll be that person you talk to.
I smile all the time to all the people and animals, and plants, and teddies and cars and lamp posts and trees and anything else that falls into my eye line. I find that smiling all the time makes me feel happier, it's like my face tricks my brain into forgetting all the rubbish that goes on.
I love to pray, I mean of course I do as I look at it as a way to talk to my Heavenly Father, but it's a good way for me to be Spiritual. For you it might be easier to meditate or sit quiet and think of nothing (which is basically what meditation is right?!) but having this time to relax is one of the most important things in allowing me to be happy.
It's about a choice when you get down to it though. Do you want to be happy or do you want to wallow? Make the choice to be happy, and find that you live your life instead of dread it.
Want to know what really makes me happy though? People commenting on my blog posts and following me on Twitter and Facebook...
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