Growing up, when things were not going the way I wanted them to, cribbing to my mother that I was not happy did not yield the desired sympathetic response. Instead she would refer to the Bhagavad Gita and remind me that happiness came from within.
I was too young and inexperienced to understand the depth and meaning of those words but I did understand that while I could not, beyond a point, control the externals I most certainly could do something where I had control. That became my attitude and reaction to situations and life in general.
This thought was further validated and reinforced in the form of a book that my father gifted me to back up my mother’s sage views – Bertrand Russell’s The Conquest of Happiness.
Russell believed that happiness could only be achieved through thought and effort. The book of essays is guide on living a happy life and if I may dare add a true self-help classic from a time when the concept of self-help didn’t exist. It’s one of many books that I recommend reading. While the cover of the book that is available is not as pretty as the one I got as a teenager, the essence is more important than the look.
In my post Self-Help Tip for Happiness, I’ve addressed the art of happiness from the metaphysical aspect and teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. In this post, I’m addressing happiness from a practical habit forming perspective.
5 Habits of Happy People
With the book I was gifted, I found new insights and information presented in a logical form (not surprising as Russell is considered to be one of the 20th century’s premier logicians!).
From there the happiness habit began to form which I find does help. While one size does not fit all, there are 5 habits that one can start with and then make new habits once you get the hang of it.
Be grateful for the good in your life
Understandably, when things are going wrong, it is difficult to be grateful for anything. Our experiences make us who we are and there is always something to be found even in a bad situation which helps you to avoid mistakes further on. Being grateful for all the good things already present in your life will make the tough times easier to handle.
Believe that hope floats
No matter what is going wrong in your life, make positivity and optimism your secret ally. Focus on your actions and detach yourself from the results and the things that are outside of your control. Treat each experience as a challenge and an opportunity to learn and grow. Make optimism a habit and you will see the same world from a different perspective.
Develop your coping strategies
You know yourself better than anyone else will. Analyse and understand how you react to situations. Are your actions always the best for coping or do they aggravate the situation? Knowing your reaction triggers and working out a strategy in advance helps you to cope better with whatever situation you find yourself in. Different strategies may work for different situations. The strategies don’t have to be very complex, sometimes calling a good friend or going for a walk might just work.
You can also consider the tools in this book as part of your coping strategies. These exercises plus tips have worked for my clients and participants in my Creative Visualization workshops. Click the image or here to learn more.
Develop meaningful social relationships
Happy people are surrounded by meaningful relationships whether they are with family, friends, colleagues or personal relationships. These are people whom you may not talk to or even meet very often but are there for you when you need them and vice versa. It may be cool to have hundreds of cyber friends on Facebook but they don’t have the same impact as genuine social interaction where you can chat and share your life experiences.
Do little acts of kindness without any reciprocity expectations
This is my favorite habit. The feel good buzz from helping a senior citizen at the post office or even helping out a friend in distress without any reciprocity expectations cannot be described. It has to be experienced. Ironically, the more you selflessly do little things for others, for some reason, the Universe does respond and send you helpers and guides when you need them the most.
Need help in forming habits or breaking bad habits? Try the tips in the following chart.
|Tips to Break and Form Habits from Karmic Ally Coaching|
At the end of the day, it all comes down to the lens with which you view the world. A happy person will always find something to be happy about, the silver lining while an unhappy person will find fault with everyone and everything. Given a choice, I would much prefer being Sunshine than Whinny.
Practice these 5 habits for 21 days and see how it raises your happiness and positivity level. You’ll also notice that you start attracting opportunities for further happiness and success without any effort on your part because your vibration level will attract more happiness.
As a parting motivator, I’m sharing a favorite quote from Kevyn Aucoin. I feel it sums up all our choices – including the one of forming a lifetime habit of being happy.
What about you? Is happiness a habit you strive to perfect? How do you manage to stay upbeat and cheerful when the chips are down? I’d love to read your tips.
Share with others!