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“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” –Aristotle

Adapting healthy habits, reducing or eliminating unhelpful behaviors and formulating more rational and helpful thoughts will improve your well- being. This blog article and the following one will focus on 12 things that you can do to boost happiness and contentment in your life.

1.Identify and define what specifically happiness means to you – What makes someone happy may not necessarily be what makes you happy. Being happy is thus subjective as every individual perceives and experiences it differently. In order to make that goal more achievable and realistic you need to specifically define it and focus on what exactly happiness means to you; what needs do you have that need to be fulfilled in order for you to feel happy and what do you need to do or which steps will get you there.

2 Self- acceptance–  Know yourself, acknowledge who you genuinely, believe in yourself and in your worthiness. Appreciate that your flaws, limitations, imperfections are part of your individuality just as strengths, beauty, passions, capacities, achievements, successes and talents are. By giving yourself permission to embrace and accept the whole you, you can be more authentic in your life. Focusing on who you are right now not on whom you could become or should have been, or were in the past,  will bring more acceptance, contentment, self- compassion and happiness to your life.

3. Find deeper meaning and purpose– Set goals and implement them; follow your passions , mission and find deeper meaning in all that occurs. Living purposeful and intentional life empowers and fills us with more happiness. Additionally, connect with people who inspire you, support and care about you.  It will give you a sense of hope, purpose, direction, motivation, fulfillment, happiness and satisfaction.

4.Reduce worrying and complaining – both do not contribute to the level of happiness and contentment that you feel but only take you in a slippery sloop towards negativity, passivity, stagnation  and the development of psychological symptoms. Try problem solving, action taking, mindfulness and acceptance instead.

 5. Be flexible with your need to control- Find the fine line when it comes to controlling. Trying to control and change e.g.  people or situations that are out of your control will lead to frustrations, over-preoccupation and unhappiness. Differentiate between what is out of your control and what you can control and change. Making the distinction can make a difference in the way that you perceive and experience your life.

6. Gratitude- Counting your blessing ( about 5 things for which you are currently thankful) intentionally focuses your attention on the positives in your life, thereby adds some balance to a negative emotional state and lowers stress levels. Keeping a daily journal is a helpful habit that raises level of happiness in your life ,although for some people a weekly entry is also effective.

The next article will list 6 additional strategies so stay tuned.

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