Happy Thoughts: 10 Tips for a Joyous Life
Is there a secret to being happy?
Studies show an astounding 98- 99% of our thoughts are actually repeats - and much of these repeating thoughts are negative. Moreover, people tend to dwell on the negative rather than the positive, which means they immerse themselves in a spiral of self-destructive thoughts. But what if this power was turned inside out, so that thoughts were changed to be mostly positive? Would we all be happier?
Varying Conceptions of Happiness
To ask somebody what would make him or her happy is like opening a can of shaken soda. Answers would spray all over and range from mild (like a new job) to ridiculous (a mansion on my own island with an aerospace station and private circus). In the end, happiness may come down to what you’re looking for in life, or how you simply define this evasive word.
Definitions of happiness seem to be affected by culture. Some see it as a matter of sheer luck or chance, others tie happiness to religion, some feel happiness is having more time for leisure than work, and still others see happiness simply as being a "good person."
All of this is pretty vague and circumstantial. When it comes right down to it, people who are happy generally possess characteristics that distinguish them from their unhappy counterparts.
... are good friends. They reach out and nurture friendships and familial connections.
... keep busy. They devote time to cultivating their passions, hobbies and interests.
... are thankful. They remember and appreciate that they are blessed with things other people are not.
... look for a silver lining. They try to look at adversity as a learning experience and they recognize hard times and difficult emotions are only temporary.
... are charitable. They share their time, effort, and possessions without expecting reciprocation.
... aren't materialistic. They recognize that the things that really make them happy are not things at all.
... have effective coping strategies. When things go wrong, they have ways self soothing they've found work for them, and they move on.
... nurture themselves. They monitor their mental, physical, and emotional health and take time to protect and heal it when necessary.
... see the bigger picture. Whether through religion or simply knowledge of their part in the bigger picture of the world, happy people appreciate their connection to something larger than them.
... have goals.They have something to work toward and thus, to look forward to.
What this all boils down to is simplifying your life and being mindful (slowing down, appreciating what you have, and observing what’s around you). In turn, you complete tasks at an appropriate pace and schedule yourself with plenty of time to do what’s necessary. Following these ideas, it’s possible to recognize what concerns are truly important and what have instead been impressed upon us as important, even though they’re not.