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How To Be Happy

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Personal happiness is a state of mind and in the current economic climate it is extremely difficult to feel happy when we have a problem paying our bills, managing our relationships, or worrying about a job. The dictionary defines being happy as ‘lucky, fortunate, content, well-being, pleasure’, so what we need to do is define what gives us our own feel-good-factor during the course of a normal day.
‘Feel lucky and you’ll be lucky’ stems from having a positive attitude to everything we approach, rather than a negative one. A positive mindset means that we set out to do something constructive about sorting out our debts (see How To Manage Debt), family/relationship problems, or career difficulties instead of bemoaning our lot. Once we start to think positively about implementing changes in our life, then we find the Lady Luck often gives an unexpected hand.
The feeling of being fortunate often comes from helping someone or something less fortunate than ourselves. Make a point of doing one good turn every day … rescuing an injured animal, or clearing the snow from an elderly neighbour’s front path can give a warm glow of satisfaction. It doesn’t need to be some expansive gesture, a simple act of kindness is all it takes.
Contentment comes from counting our blessings. No matter how miserable or depressed we feel, there is always some aspect of our lives that offers a priceless moment of peace and contentment during the day. It might be the welcome we receive from the cat when we arrive home from work; or that first cup of tea in the morning, when we know we don’t have to get out of bed for another half and hour.
Well-being comes from being fit and healthy. If life isn’t going as smoothly as we wish it’s easy to slob about at home, indulging in comfort eating and feeling sorry for ourselves. Get out and walk in the local park; take up running (see How To Start Running); or have a swim/sauna at the local pool.
The best pleasures in life are the simple ones. Even if money is scarce, occasionally treat yourself to something you really enjoy – wine, chocolate, smoked salmon, etc, - take time out to enjoy them by switching off the phone and computer, and listen to music or watch a favourite film for an hour or two (see How To Relax At Home).
Happiness is relative to our own personal lifestyle and as the man said: “You can’t change anything but yourself, but if you change yourself, the world changes around you”.


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