Life isn’t easy. It often has a way of pushing you down whenever you try to move forward. As a result, you may have struggled to find happiness in your life.
Not only has this impacted your overall outlook but also your satisfaction with life. Yet, you’re ready to start fresh, building your happiness again. In building a happier life you can check out a post from earlier, A Life Worth Living.
Interestingly, one of the best ways to create more happiness in your life is by practicing gratitude.
Rather than committing to big, sweeping changes, let’s focus on the small, sustainable acts of gratitude. After all, these have the most impact over time, creating a more positive and happy outlook on life.
1. Smile More Often
It’s hard to believe, but you can build happiness simply by smiling more often! It can help you feel more positive.
When you smile, you feel more relaxed and open. You will find it much harder to be bitter and negative if you are smiling.
Keep in mind that smiling doesn’t necessarily mean laughing. This is more like the, “I feel really satisfied,” kind of smile.
However, to reap the benefits of smiling you have to practice it. Though it only takes a few seconds to smile, the results over time will be well worth it.
For motivation, visualize a moment in your life that was positive and felt good to you. Use that memory whenever you are practicing your smiling.
2. Say Thank You
Another way to express gratitude is simply by saying thank you. They are two simple words, yet they go a long way towards both expressing and feeling gratitude.
Now, you don’t have to march right up to random strangers to practice saying thank you. However, you can start by saying thank you more often to your partner, a parent, a friend, or someone who has helped you.
Perhaps they have helped you when you were in need, and now you have the opportunity to give them thanks for what they’ve done for you.
3. Give Back to Others
A surefire way to practice gratitude is giving back to others. This not only allows you to contribute to someone or a group in need, but it also helps you as well.
You are sharing your time, your energy, or your resources for someone who truly needs it.
• Donate clothes or unused possessions to a thrift shop.
• Volunteer at a food bank, shelter, or other organization.
• Contribute financially to a group or cause.
• Make baked goods for a fundraiser.
Giving back doesn’t have to be one particular thing. You may surprise yourself in the ways that you can give back and make a real contribution.
4. Appreciate What You Have
Sometimes when you are feeling unappreciative you forget what you truly have in life.
For example, do you have a family, friends, or community who appreciates you for who you are? Are there times in your life when you knew that you truly made a difference? Or, are you someplace right now that is warm, safe, and dry?
You’d be amazed how often you hear of people who have no material possessions at all yet still are able to find ways to appreciate what they do have.
5. Learn to Let Go
Often the root of misery is when you are too attached to something and can’t let go. Perhaps it’s an expectation, goal, or belief that you can’t shake.
Ask yourself, “Is this getting in the way of my happiness?” If so, then don’t be afraid to shift gears and make a change.
When you are able to let go, you are better able to be more present, more accepting, and have a greater degree of happiness.
Creating happiness isn’t always easy. Yet, it doesn’t have to be painstakingly hard either.
By making little changes in your daily life you can start to build a foundation of happiness that will last for many years to come.
If you would like support as you find your own happiness, I would like to help. Please contact me today to get started.
Suzanne Carter, MA, LPC says
Lovely article! these 5 steps are very do-able!
Brenda Bomgardner says
I am curious if you have a step you would like to mention. If you have a tip on your website please feel free to provide the URL.
Thank you for stopping and I look forward to hearing from you.