This is the second part of an article I titled 10 ways to stay happy. Incase you missed part 1, you can read via this link “Part 1”. I started off part 1 talking about a book authors Bernard Berkowitz and Mildred Newman wrote titled “How to be your own best friend”. In that book, they concluded that as humans, we need to choose to learn how to be happy just the same way we choose to learn a new language or a new habit. Simply put, the choice to stay happy is a personal decision we all have to make.
Earlier in point 1, we talked about “loving yourself and expressing it”. I went on to give us five (5) different ways we can show love to our own self. Below are the remaining nine (9) points I believe are practical ways to stay happy. I hope you enjoy reading and remember to share your own way of staying happy in the comment section.
2. Give more: The more you give in life the happier you are, this is something I have discovered personally. There is some form of fulfillment you get from giving or helping others. It shouldn’t always be about you alone. It shouldn’t always be about your family alone. Extend the hand of love and charity to people around you and see how happy you’ll be. When I say “give” it can be anything as long as it is positive. Give more care, give more gifts, give more of your time, give more money if you have the means. Show more love, you will find so much happiness doing it.
3. Expect less : The quickest way to become sad is to expect much from people. Whether in marriage, in your relationship with friends, acquaintances, colleagues, when dealing with people generally, expect less if not zero. That way if they give more, you are better off. Imagine expecting 80% from a relationship but end up getting 5% of whatever it is, are you not worse off? If you expect 5% and you end up with 80%, trust me you will be happier. Always apply the accountant’s principle of conservatism, it’s not being pessimistic it’s a realistic way of ensuring you’re guarding your happiness jealously.
4. Embrace the power in newness: Make a new friend, read a new book, go to a new place; learn a new song, memorize a new quote or scripture, try a new game, try a new cuisine, hear a new story, buy something new, just embrace “newness” in any form of it. It always comes with a breath of fresh air which is all you might need to stay happy.
5. Stay away from negativity: Life is filled with enough trouble, stress and pain you don’t want more of it. Avoid people, groups, events and environments that make you sad. Surround yourself with people who make you happy. As much as possible always position yourself in a healthy environment. Avoid unhealthy relationships. Also, some people are naturally bitter, and no amount of happiness you have can rub off on them, they will rather look for ways to drag you into their mess even if you’ve helped them or you’re trying to help them. If you give up your life for these category of people, it’s not going to change anything because it is not about you. It is who they are. While you want to be empathic you also want to maintain your sanity and stay happy. You should be able to identify these person(s) and environment and distance yourself. Hopefully, if these person(s) move away from you willingly, don’t go looking for them.
6. Forgive: You can’t stay away from negativity if you harbor it. Remember that brainy quote by Lewis Smedes “when you forgive, you set a prisoner free and that prisoner is you”? That saying is very accurate. Take it or leave it, when you are unforgiving, you simply imprison yourself; You cheat yourself of happiness and freedom. A heart that forgives is a happy heart.
7. Get busy: Get busy doing what you love to do. Exercise, travel, set goals and work towards achieving them, take up learning a new skill or a new language, get back to school (if you wish), read novels from your favorite authors. Get busy with your kids. Get busy doing what you love to do.
8.Stay off debt as much as possible: One of the fastest ways to lose your happiness is to drown in debt. The bible is right when it said the borrower will always be at the mercy of the giver. Avoid spending more than you have except you are making an investment. The lesser your debt the lighter your spirit. Debt robs you of happiness. Avoid it, live within your means.
9. Choose not to worry: I chose not to say “stop worrying” because I understand that it is hard not to worry. However, the truth is you need to stop worrying just because it’s not gonna take you any where. It will only deprive you of valuable time you should have spent doing other things like being happy. I used to worry even as a young child, little things would bother me. One day, some years ago while having my quiet time, I saw this quote in “Our Daily Bread” and that was the turning point for me. The quote went thus “worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you work to do but it takes you nowhere”-Van Havner. That quote has since become one of my favorite life quotes and truly Dan Zadra sealed it when he said “worrying is a misuse of imagination”.
10. Last but not the least – Laugh a Lot:
hehehehehehehehehehe…why do you think stand up comedians are making a handsome living within the entertainment industry in recent times just for making people laugh? Well, research has shown that Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain (Source-helpguide.org “Laughter the best medicine”). Now that you know, don’t stifle a laugh, stay around people who make you laugh. Laughter indeed is a feel-good, happiness medicine.
I hope my points will help someone out there. Feel free to share yours.
Thanks for reading.
Photo source: Huffinton Post (Getty)