A Recipe for Happiness

By Michael Dangovian

August 17, 2017

Here’s a simple recipe for lasting happiness.

Life can be hard. We deal with a wide range of emotions each day. Some days are better than others, but that doesn’t mean we have to be miserable.

Just the opposite, in fact!

Happiness is a choice. Even if your day is going horribly wrong, you can still shift your focus and remain positive.

Here are a few ideas for how you can get your mind headed in the right direction.

1. Spend 5 minutes with a favorite memory.

Find a few quiet minutes and think about a favorite memory.

Maybe it’s from your childhood. Or maybe it’s a time you spent with someone you love. Or maybe it’s the time you unexpectedly discovered something beautiful and inspirational.

Whatever it is, immerse yourself in it. What does the air smell like? What does the light look like? What else is going on around you? How did you feel right then? Consider how it felt to be you in that moment.

Relish it. Hold it in your hands like a smooth stone.

2. Text a friend something encouraging

It’s a scientific fact that doing things for others is the quickest and easiest way to make yourself happy.
So, take a moment and text something nice to a friend. Maybe she needs some encouragement. Or, maybe, she just needs to know that she’s not alone.
Whatever the friend, whatever the situation, whip out your phone and send some love.

3. Be Someone’s Superhero

Another surefire way to get a jolt of happiness is to look around and find someone who needs some help.
This doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Donating a kidney to a co-worker, for instance, is probably going overboard.
Just look around and you’re pretty much guaranteed to find at least someone who could use a hand. Namely, yours.

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4. Ring ‘Em Up

In our busy lives, it’s pretty easy to let a few relationships sort of fall between the cracks. So, let’s remedy that.
Think of a friend you haven’t chatted with for a while, and give her a call.
A good chunk of our happiness quotient is dependent upon how we approach our relationships with others.
And ringing up an old pal is a great way to boost your mood.

5. Gametime

Next time you’re around little kids, watch them play. They play with their whole selves. And they’re happy for it.
When you’re a kid, fun is king. So even when something isn’t fun, they make a game out of it.
Bored in church? Then build something out of the hymnals. Stuck inside on a rainy day without television? No problem: Just take out all the pots and pans from that drawer under the oven and hide in there until someone finds you!

The possibilities for what kids will come up with to defeat boredom is spectacular. It’s cosmic, even.

But we as adults lose a lot of that. Daily pressures, responsibilities, hectic schedules…. the world saps the child out of us over time.

But, here’s the thing…

It doesn’t have to!

Try thinking like a kid for an afternoon and see how your outlook changes.

Even if you’ve lost some of your imaginative capacity, I guarantee you’ll feel better just by trying to remember what it was like to be a kid.

It’s Your Choice

There are hundreds of other little tricks you can use to get your positivity back. I’m sure you could come up with an even better list than this one. But, the moral here is simple: Misery is chosen. Grumpy people, by and large, have decided to be that way. Again, bad stuff happens. It’s part of life. A necessary part, in fact. (The world renown monk Thich Nhat Hanh titled one of his books “No Mud, No Lotus,” which pretty much sums up everything that comes after.)

But you choose your happiness. It’s your life, and you can make it as enjoyable as you want.

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