We always seem to want those things we don't have. Moreover, we are often convinced that if we had those things we want so badly, we would finally be happy.
Is the glass half empty or half full? Life and relationships work better when the glass is half full. Below are some simple yet specific steps you can take to cultivate happiness and see the glass half full, regardless of your relationship status.
1. Be grateful
Create a sense of gratitude for what you have, for what is working, for what is wonderful and sweet in your life. A morning or evening gratitude list, written each day, can do wonders for helping you feel grateful.
2. Take care of yourself
Identify the small things in life that make you feel good, and do one daily. A short walk, a few minutes of writing in your journal, a short meditation, watching the sunset. Whatever reminds you that you are a human being and not a human doing will improve your outlook on life.
3. Be creative
Creativity and self-expression generate happiness. Schedule some creative time each day, even if it's just a few minutes of writing, painting, sculpting, etc.
Moving our bodies generates feel-good hormones called endorphins. Move a little every day to stay happy.
5. Get someone to take care of you
It feels good to be taken care of, even in small ways. Get a massage, a manicure, someone to carry your groceries, launder your clothes, or fix something for you.
6. Read inspirational material
It helps to be reminded of positive thoughts and positive attitudes. Get a small book of positive, inspirational thoughts and keep it by your desk. Read one or two thoughts each day.
Stand up for something that matters to you. Contributing, making a difference feels good. It boosts your self-esteem, your gratitude and feeling of well being.
8. Get some time
I know this one is hard, especially if you are a single parent. But if you are determined, you can find some time every day to just be. Make sure you do this - it will make a big difference in your ability to be happy.
9. Be in nature
Nature rejuvenates and restores the human spirit. Whether your brand of nature is mountains or the ocean, give yourself the gift of visiting it frequently.
10. Be happy
No matter how many wonderful things you do to create a positive, happy, satisfied life, you could still end up unhappy. Ultimately, happiness, gratitude, a feeling of satisfaction is a choice. People often do not choose happiness. Many feel refusing to be happy will somehow get them what whey want, like a child holding his breath. Holding your breath will not get your what you want. It is happiness that attracts.
Christine Spencer on Saturday, July 9, 2011