Being an exemplar of happiness includes the hard work of being yourself without comparison to others, letting go of grudges and the burden of accumulation, and caring well for ourselves and those around us.
Being an exemplar of happiness includes the hard work of being yourself without comparison to others, letting go of grudges and the burden of accumulation, and caring well for ourselves and those around us. Choosing happiness is not about pretending life isn't hard, but about the process of how we respond to the challenges of life. Here are 10 ideas for happiness:
One of the biggest reasons people become frustrated, disappointed, jealous, or upset is because they compare themselves with others. Each person has his own unique set of gifts and challenges that help him become better — but the "better" is better than she was yesterday, not better than others. Focus on specifics of your own progress and development, rather than comparing yourself to the strengths of people around you.
Whether holding grudges or emotionally attaching to stuff instead of people, refusing to let go weighs you down. Clean out the closet, clean up the house, and de-clutter. Let go of resentment, anger, and jealousy. Breathe forgiveness, and feel how much lighter you become.
When you make a mistake, say so. Refusing to fess up will make it hard for you to learn from the mistake, and burying it will cause more mistakes to pile up. Be willing to apologize, and it will be easier to live at peace with those around you.
Being positive doesn't have to mean trying to emulate a "Pollyanna" attitude. Finding genuinely positive things about those around you will bring them encouragement and improve your capacity to appreciate them. Actively noticing the positive aspects in everyday life will improve your attitude and add to your sincerity.
Say "thank you."
Gratitude is an easy skill to develop, and will have a big impact on your attitude and the way you experience each day. It will also improve your interactions with others as you become grateful for their contributions to your quality of life.
Take care of yourself and your own basic needs, including getting enough sleep and eating nutritious food. Take care of others by having good boundaries, providing sincere service, and being kind.
Your brain, body, and spirit need balance. It is good to help others, but also important to learn to ask for help. Working hard is necessary, but so is rest. Friendship is a great way to add happiness to your life, but time alone carves character, also. The comfort of our home is something to be grateful for, but so is the great outdoors.
We often get caught up in work, whether it is a job or chores at home. Your strength may be in helping others, caring for children, or running errands for elderly parents. But you need to play, too. Be creative in your schedule in finding ways to play, and discover what play is for you — a moment of laughing with friends, gardening, ballroom dancing, a walk in the sunshine, a little bit of music, or a whole lot of silence.
Happiness requires enough silence and stillness to provide time for reflection, a necessary component of personal development. Praying, meditating on good quotes or spiritual thoughts, reading scriptures, studying the lives of others, pondering, and simply listening are all vital aspects of slowing down for reflection.
Ultimately, we choose happiness through our behaviors, interactions, and care of ourselves and others. We can choose happiness by honoring our grief, enduring through hardship, letting go of negative thoughts about others, and caring for ourselves when we are sad or worn out.
Happiness comes from giving ourselves permission to be who we are, and becoming better by being who we were created to be.