One of the best things in life is happiness. While most people understand the old adage “money cannot buy happiness” this does not answer the question of how to be happy. Here are a few things you should know.

Let Go of Preconceived Notions of Happiness

The first step to happiness is getting rid of preconceived notions. Some of the most prevalent is that you should be happy with one thing or another. Also, looking at someone who looks happy and wanting to mimic their life will not bring you happiness. This is because happiness is different for each person. What makes your mother, significant other, or friend happy will not necessarily make you happy.

Along with this, you should also remember that status symbols will not bring happiness either. You may think that you will be happy if you have a certain vehicle, boyfriend or girlfriend, a set amount of money, or other status. This is not the case. Unless you have the things in your life that are right for you, then you simply will not be happy.

Figure Out What Makes You Happy

[pullquote]Looking at someone who looks happy and wanting to mimic their life will not bring you happiness. This is because happiness is different for each person. [/pullquote]

The next step to finding happiness is to figure out how to be happy in life. This will be different for each person. Don’t think you can figure this out in a few minutes. Rather, this is something you will want to give a good amount of time and attention to in order to. Make a list and write these things down.

Examine each item that you think will make you happy and try to figure out why. For example, if you think having a dog will make you happy, think about why. You may find that you want a dog for the companionship, to have someone to talk to and a way to help get more exercise and be healthier. This can be the perfect reason and finding the right dog will bring you true happiness.

However, it should be noted that you do not want to fill up your list with different products you want to buy. Sure there may be some items you will need to buy, such as a car if you have been walking everywhere, but this does not mean that happiness can be bought. Rather you want to think about how your life would look for you to feel perfectly happy and what would be in your life. This can encompass things such as building a relationship with a family member you haven’t spoken to in years or even just finding a job that you love.

Achieving Your List

Once you have your list of things you think will make you happy, the next thing you will need to do is figure out how you can achieve this. Keep in mind that this also is not an overnight process. Do not rush into anything just because you want it as you are more likely to end up with something that is not right for you.

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Using the dog example above, if you take the time to figure out which breeds will be best suited for you (instead of just thinking about the ones you think look best) and then finding a dog that has the right temperament for you and your level of dog experience you will be much happier than if you went out and bought the first dog that grabbed your heart.

Gratitude is Essential

While reading through this, you may think that you are looking at a recipe for happiness, but it is important to realize that happiness does not have to wait until later in life. In order to figure out how to be happy, you will need to learn about gratitude. This is the act of being thankful for what you do have now rather than just looking forward to what you want to have in the future. Putting yourself in the mindset of being thankful helps to create happiness. You will find that when you take on an attitude of gratitude you will have a different outlook on your life and this can help you to figure out how to make yourself happy.

Quotes on Happiness

There are several quotes on happiness that you can rely on to help you in your pursuit to figure out how to live a happy life. One of shortest, yet most impactful is from Leo Tolstoy which says, “If you want to be happy, be.” This means that if you want to know how to feel happy just make the choice and be happy.

Helen Keller’s thoughts on happiness were “Many persons have the wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” This means that in her opinion, the secret to how to find happiness is to find a worthy cause and devote yourself to it. There is a lot of truth in this because people who give or do for others tend to be happier.

Learn to Love Who You Are

Overall, the best thing you can do is learn to love who you are. You may be wondering how to be happy with yourself and the truth is that acceptance. Rather than looking at yourself and seeing all that is wrong with yourself or all that you do not like, focus on the positives. Maybe you have an excellent smile, an amazing capacity to love and a kindness that is impossible to find out in the world. These are amazing qualities that can trump anything else you may think of.

It is also important that you accept your shortcomings or aspects you don’t like if there is nothing you can do about them. For instance, if you are short and don’t like that you are short, you need to accept this because there is nothing you can do about it. If there is something you can change, then you can make the changes to be where you want to be, but the goal should be to be happy with who you are right now.

Also, learn to be happy with your current situation. If you do not have a significant other, learn how to be happy alone. You have to learn to be happy with who you are before you can be happy in a relationship. When you figure out how to be happy single, you will surprised at the opportunities that arise for you.

Exercise and Meditation

[pullquote]“Many persons have the wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”[/pullquote]

It is a known fact that exercise is excellent not only for helping you to achieve the body you want, but for also helping you to improve your emotional health. This is because exercise releases feel good endorphins in your body that will help to make you feel even better about yourself. You do not have to buy a gym membership. Start small. You can go for a walk to start and slowly build up your activity level over time. It is a good idea to talk with your doctor to ensure that you are doing the right exercises for your needs.

Along these same lines, meditation can help you to learn to be happy with what you have. It is a centering exercise that can help you to calm your mind and focus you on what you want. People who meditate at least a few times a week tend to live happier lives overall. Keep in mind that meditation is not something you learn in five minutes. It is a practice to be mastered, something you must work at to achieve.

If you are trying to figure out how to get a happy ending, the thing to remember is that it is all up to you. Only you know what will make you happy. Figure out what this is and pursue it. Once you know what will make you happy, as the old saying goes “fake it ’til you make it.” Just putting on a happy face and pretending to be happy can help to create a happier mindset for you.

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