Five Simple Ways to Stay Happy

June 18, 2009

Healthy family relationships equal happiness

Twenty years ago, in the midst of a failing business and deteriorating marriage, Andy Feld started to ask those big life questions so many people have wondered about.

Twenty years ago, in the midst of a failing business and deteriorating marriage, I started to ask those big life questions so many people have wondered about - Why does life sometimes involve so much discomfort? What's my purpose for even being?

The path to happiness

As I asked myself these questions, my 20–year study of happiness began. I've discovered that life should be joyful and this joy can be learned. I've also observed that happy people are often more successful in relationships, money, and health.

Happiness is particularly important in these days of economic crisis. Many of us have discovered that a fancy dinner, new car, or bigger house no longer determines our outlook on life. As we get back to basics and begin enjoying the simple things in life, we realize that happiness can come from the inside.

I've developed a simple five–step happiness plan that – if practiced daily – can serve as a starting point for improving our overall sense of happiness, joy, and self love. Why not start now?

  1. Smile
    What happens when you smile at others? Usually, they smile back. Do this the moment you wake up and try to continue it throughout the day. How nice is it to have others smiling at you all day long? Smiling also releases the neurotransmitters serotonin and endorphins into our system. These chemicals are important in regulating our sleep, mood, and behavior.
  2. Appreciate
    Take a moment to appreciate all the little things we typically take for granted. How about the clothing in your closet, the food in your refrigerator, the beauty of nature, and your friends and family? When you look at the entire planet, how good do we have it?
  3. Forgive
    Start by forgiving yourself first. Most people have done things they regret. You can only create your life from the present, and when you aren't forgiving, you're living in the past. Forgive and move forward.
  4. Allow
    Because everyone's unique, it's a good idea to let others be who they are without judgment. It's time to stop thinking other people are wrong if they don't see the world like you. Try it and see how much better you feel.
  5. Reduce exposure to the daily news
    This is difficult for many, but the constant onslaught of news can make us fearful, which can shut off our happiness energy.

It will take some will power and self–discipline, but isn't a life of happiness and joy worth a little effort?

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