10 Steps to Finding Happiness

It’s raining outside today. It rained yesterday and it is forecast to rain for the rest of the week. Before all this rain, there were blue skies, sunshine, and the warm sun on our skin. In New England, the weather changes rapidly, and the seasons change just when you are starting to settle into one. Finding happiness can start to feel like this at times.

If life can change so rapidly, how can we achieve happiness? Most people strive for happiness, yet discover that once they find “happiness” it fades, is redefined, or evaporates. Let me just put this out there right now: happiness is a choice, not a chase.

Happiness is defined as a state of well-being or contentment; an emotion felt when experiencing something pleasurable or satisfying. It can be fleeting, but a little shift in perspective can help us keep choosing and finding happiness more often.

Here are 10 steps to help you find and choose more HAPPINESS in your life:

  1. Understand that what makes you happy is different from what makes others happy. Step one is to STOP defining your happiness based on someone else’s happiness or standard.
  2. Happiness is an emotion, a feeling. Feelings change, and emotions vacillate. It’s normal, it’s reality. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t feel happy. Move on.
  3. Happiness is something you choose more than something you wait to feel.
  4. If you are only waiting for someone else to make you happy, you might be waiting forever.
  5. Learn to laugh. Happiness always follows a good laugh. Surrounding yourself with people that love to laugh is a good start.
  6. Learn to deal with things and people that aggravate or frustrate you. If you always give negative energy your attention, it will consistently pull you into a less-than-ideal state of mind.
  7. Care deeply about people, but don’t always carry their burdens as your own. Life can get really emotionally heavy at times. It’s OK to practice mental and emotional self-care from time to time.
  8. Understand and accept that not everyone wants to see you happy. Keep calm and carry on.
  9. Every career has its unpleasant side. Don’t get overly disappointed about it. Try to put things in perspective. If it’s possible for you, another option is to transition to one that brings you fewer triggers. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get rid of them all. It is OK.
  10. Happiness requires a small measure of faith and hope in order to accept that TODAY may not be a “happy” one, but TOMORROW can be. This adds a deeper understanding of the phrase “don’t worry, be happy.”

So, will following these steps guarantee happiness all the time? Probably not. But, they will definitely equip you to manage the things within your control and choose happiness more times than not.

What else would you add to this list? What helps you continue choosing happiness?

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