Ten Steps Toward Happiness

Self-ImprovementHappiness

  • Author Melissa Marcy
  • Published March 22, 2010
  • Word count 1,195
  1. FORGIVE

Forgiveness is not a gift you give to others, it is a gift you give to yourself. Work on letting go of past hurts so that you can live a happier and more fulfilling life. Harboring animosity toward someone else does not help you get even with the other person, it only harms you. It wastes your time and energy that you could devote to something more beneficial in your life. I know it doesn’t seem right for the person who was hurt to have to do the additional work of forgiving and letting go, but would you rather be self righteous or would you rather be happy? The choice is up to you. Always remember to forgive yourself too.

  1. ACCEPT YOURSELF

Learn to accept and love yourself just as you are. Accept yourself with all of your good qualities and your faults. Your worth isn’t determined by how many times you have succeeded or failed or by how much money you have. Nor is it determined by who you know, what you do or what you look like. Your value to the world is determined by what is in your heart. Remember that you are perfect just the way you are. There is nothing else you need to do or be in order to be worthy of love.

  1. HELP OTHERS

If you want the shortcut to happiness, here it is! You can help anyone you wish, just pick something to do that gives you joy and comes from your heart. Whether you choose to help children in hospitals, homeless animals, the elderly, the poor, the sick, or wildlife doesn’t matter - whatever is closest to your heart is fine. Even if you aren’t ready yet to commit to a major cause, just give out kindness wherever you see it is needed. Giving out smiles and compliments is not only a great way to start, but a wonderful habit to get into. Kindness costs nothing and can bring you a great deal of joy. If you see someone who seems a bit down, just give them a big smile. That can make more of a difference in a person’s day than you can imagine. Remember that your actions and your words should always come from your heart.

  1. STOP WORRYING

Worry takes you away from the present moment and strips you of your energy. I can’t tell you how many years of my life I lost being caught up in worry. I remember being so absorbed in possibilities of future events that I could not even feel anything in the present moment. I lived for the weekends, but could not enjoy them once I got there and seemingly wonderful events were always tainted by that ever present feeling of dread. I couldn’t even relax on vacation. Did all that worrying achieve anything? Nope! Did any of the things I worried about ever come to pass? Only in my mind, I lived them over and over again and experienced that torture on a constant basis. Don’t do that to yourself. Worrying about something will NEVER do anything to solve any problem. Worrying just forces you to repeatedly experience horrible things that may or may not even occur. Let it go! Even if the event does come to pass, it is better to only experience it once than several times, and usually the imagined events are far worse than anything reality would ever throw your way. Make a conscious choice to make every moment of your life count. Live in the present, enjoy the people around you and give 100 with them. When you are in a conversation, you are there with the person you are speaking to and not off somewhere else. When you visit a new place, you really drink it all in and experience it.

Enjoy each experience fully and experience everything fully without thinking about what needs to get done or what the future holds.

  1. FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE

Stop paying attention to depressing things and focus instead on happiness. I stopped watching the news a long time ago and usually will just pop in a funny movie so I can control the content of what I am seeing. My internet homepage is customized with what I want to see and nothing more (this is where I get my weather updates for those of you who are wondering). It isn’t that I am avoiding reality, I just know that there is no use in seeing things that stress me out or make me sad. That doesn’t do anything to improve the situation and it just strips me of energy I could put to better use.

  1. MEDITATE

Meditation helps you to slow down and look within. Take a few minutes each day and focus on your breath. Feel yourself breathing in and out. If thoughts come into your mind just release them with your breath as you breathe out. This is a great tool for learning to be present and a great way to discover the things that are bothering you so you can release them. As things come up, just let them go as you breathe out. As you think of things you need to do just let those go as well. Meditation is your me time, that little space during the day that is just for you.

  1. EXERCISE

You don’t have to be a marathon runner to benefit from exercise, I certainly am not. What I am saying here is for you to just not be a lump on the couch. Get up and go take your dog for a nice walk. Play with your children. Do some yoga. Even clean the house. It doesn’t have to be much, just get moving!

I will pair this one with eat healthy food, obviously!

  1. LAUGH

Laughter is important - it relaxes you and triggers reactions in the body that are beneficial to your health and happiness! Do things every day to make yourself laugh. Watch funny movies. Watch your kids or pets play, or better yet, play with them. Read funny books. Talk to funny people. Do things to make others laugh and laugh along with them. Laugh at yourself. Laugh, laugh, laugh!

  1. LOVE

Love is the essence of who we are and why we are here. Love is the source of life and the farther you are from it the less energy and drive you will have to make positive things happen. Love more and you can become more. Love freely, deeply and fully. Love everyone around you including yourself. Remember that the more you give, the more you will receive in return. Live your life from love and happiness will follow you wherever you go.

Disclaimer: this article is intended for inspirational purposes only and the techniques and ideas described herein are not to be used as a substitute for professional medical or psychological treatment or without prior consultation with, approval of, and under the supervision of your physician or therapist. Application of the information, techniques and ideas in this article is at the sole risk and discretion of the reader.

Melissa Marie Marcy is an author, artist and Reiki practitioner. She is the author of The Manifestation Guidebook and How To Be In Tune With The Infinite, and has produced a series of Reiki charged nature meditation videos and mp3’s. For more information or to schedule a Reiki session, please visit her website at http://www.virtualitystudio.com.

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