How to be Happy: 5 Steps to Living a Truly Positive Life
“Stop looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security, or love – you have a treasure within that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.” – Eckhart Tolle
From a really young age, as long as I can remember I’ve always been a lover of life.
I grew up as a little Pikinini in Papua New Guinea and my parents have always said they’d find me off somewhere, making new friends and laughing with life.
A funny thing happened with growing up and socialising in different circles; I started to notice the judgement from others and the comments that came my way about being “too nice, too trusting and too open”.
Fearing that I wouldn’t be loved as I am, I decided to develop a thick skin and become wary of people. I slowly tried to squash my happiness levels and instead made plans to worry about who I was dealing with and worry about the future.
Over the years this little worrisome voice grew tired and luckily the little Pikinini within me burst through my guarded layer. I found myself stripping everything off (calm down, not literally) and got back to basics.
I figured that life has its hurdles already so why waste any more time trying to jump over them to get to the finish line, when you could cheerlead your own race and have fun with life.
I’ve learnt some valuable lessons along the way when it comes to how to be happy, and here are a few tips – from my heart – that I’d love to share with you.
How to be Happy: 5 Steps to Living a Truly Positive Life
First and foremost accept where you are and who you are. You truly are exactly where you’re meant to be. Put your hand on your heart, breathe and let go of the need to change your circumstance to find happiness.
When it comes to how to be happy, you have to be present in the moment. This will awaken your senses and you’ll find yourself discovering things you’ve skimmed past. The beauty of being in the now is that it gets you out of your head and into your heart.
Find three things that you love and have a day where you practice being present in connection with them. For me, in this moment, it’s:
– Roses: I’m going to take the time to really smell the roses. Appreciate their beauty, look at their divine colour and smell the delicious scent.
– Cooking: Tonight when cooking, I’m going to watch the process in which I cook. Try a different spice, taste the flavours and savour each mouthful.
– Family: Instead of talking on the phone, whilst folding washing, cutting up carrots or washing the dishes, I’m going to sit, listen and be present with mum, dad or my sisters. Ask them how they are and be present in their responses.
Introducing a daily practice of mindfulness meditation is truly one of the best gifts you can give yourself when it comes to addressing how to be happy. Mindfulness consists of three main qualities:
– Relaxation (resting your body in its natural state)
– Stillness (of mind and body)
– Vigilance (heightened level of clarity and awareness)
So remember, although it’s beautiful to drift off into a meditative sleep, mindfulness is active. It’s being awake in the moment and having a focussed attention on the present moment.
One of the best analogies for Mindfulness came from my Positive Psychology lecturer and all round incredible human:
“Think of your mind as a stage. Most of us have enough props for five opening nights. It’s cluttered and messy. Mindfulness will help you clear out the clutter and put the props you don’t need in the wings, you can save them for later. When you’ve meditated and focussed your attention on the present moment, then your stage will be ready for opening night.”
One of the easiest ways to stay present and appreciate the life you live is to practice gratitude.
By definition, Gratitude is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for an to return kindness”. (Oxford Dictionary).
The benefits of practising gratitude are vast and include greater relationship functioning, lower levels of depression, a lesser need for materialism and it can increase your sociability.
Gratitude is my highest strength and ironically enough, one that I’m incredible grateful for.
Some simple ways to practice gratitude are:
– Look Up. When you look up, there’s so much beauty to be seen and to be grateful for. The blue sky, a beautiful flower or the smile from a stranger can make you whisper a thankyou.
– Write down 3 things that you’re grateful for each day.
– Call a family member or a friend and tell them how grateful you are for their love.
– Write a gratitude letter to a loved one. It might help them address how to be happy in their own life too.
There’s research into the positive affects that expressing your gratitude towards another has on your mental state and is extremely useful in fostering positive relationships.
Sending love from your heart, from the truest place you can find, is the easiest way to overcome negative delusions and free yourself from suffering.
It’s the advice I give anyone if they’re having a hard time dealing with someone or have a situation that’s been bothering them.
Think of that person or that situation and send love from your heart to them. You don’t have to verbalise this, you simply have to feel this within you, smile and send it their way in your mind.
People always talk about life being short, but I like to think of it as being long and full of wonderful adventures.
Go within, trust yourself and know that there’s a hidden treasure chest within all of us that’s waiting to be unlocked. You never know the amazing gems that you’ll find in there.
Love and light on your path beautiful friends xx
Did this help you answer the question of how to be happy? I’d love to hear how you make your life positive in the comments below.