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Have you wanted to be happier, but you’re not sure how to be or if you even deserve to be happier? Maybe it seems selfish or ungrateful to want to be happier. I’ve felt that way too! Here are my three lessons on being intentionally happy.
I’m on a mission to make my life happier. When I tell people this, they think I must be unhappy, but that isn’t true. I just want to be as happy as I possibly can be and that requires work. Every blog post, memoir and self help book that I’ve read about happiness covers the fact that being happy requires you to be intentional. Being intentional requires work, so being intentional about being happy requires you to make the decision to take some action to change your circumstances.
Here are a few lessons I’ve learned about intentional happiness:
- Gratitude is the number one thing that will make you happier.
I had a conversation with someone recently that went along the lines of:
“I’m just so frustrated with my circumstances.”
“Well, why don’t you make one change and show the universe gratitude. You’ll always get back the same energy you put out.”
They responded, “what if I don’t have anything to be grateful for?”
I told them, “some days, I even wake up crabby and irritated. I just start by taking a deep breath and saying a thank you that I’m alive, I have a place to live etc. etc.”
I also read about someone who spend the first few minutes of the morning saying “thank” and “you” with each step they take.
Happiness is itself a form of Gratitude
Wayne Dyer’s “Excuses be Gone” is one of my favorite reads on the topic. I actually listed to the audiobook presentation of him going over the book at a seminar he put on. It was great–I even got more exercise in when I was listening to it because I would listen to it while I took my kids on a walk!
One Thousand Gifts is also a good book on gratitude too!
2. Not everyone is out to get you.
Honking, waving, making gestures when driving does nothing but make you cranky and unhappy. Believe me because I am a huge offender when it comes to this! I’m finding that assuming that people’s intention was not to hurt, offend or upset you helps me keep my happiness up and frustration down.
It is especially important to keep this in mind in our friendships. As I’ve gotten older and had kids, I’m finding myself with less time and in a different life place than some of my friends. We’ve had feelings hurt on both sides by assuming that the other person doesn’t care or is purposefully trying to upset the other. I’ve had to forgive them (sometimes for things they didn’t even know they did because I made it into something bigger than it was) and then move on and start to assume the best instead of the worst.
10 Ways You’re Making Life Harder Than It Has To Be is a good read. I’m guilty of all of these from time to time, but #9 stuck out to me. Sometimes we have to let go.
3. Take some time to clear your mind
I’m not really a meditator. I think about meditating way more than I ever do it. I’ve read all sorts of books and authors from The Secret to Eckhart Tolle with a bunch in between. All of these happiness books talk about clearing the mind to be able to be more in control of your thoughts and happiness. The downside is, they’re somewhat unclear about HOW to do this!
I recently read 10% Happier by Dan Harris and it changed my mindset on meditation and happiness. I love the title because he talks about how a 10% increase on happiness is a pretty good ROI. I love his writing style and going through his journey to find the answer to the question “how to be happier”. I will be writing a review on this book in the near future!
This book changed my mind on meditation and I spend some time before bed laying there and working on thinking about nothing. It might not be actual meditation, but it is mindfulness and I think that counts for something!
One of my favorite bloggers wrote a post on Meditation for Lazy People!
These are my three keys to mindful and intentional happiness. What do you to do be intentionally happy?
Linking up to: My Girlish Whims, Fellowship Friday