My Top 5 Ways To Be Happy

It is up to us to choose the ways to be happy over the ones that make us unhappy.

We are responsible for our happiness. We can’t blame life and circumstances for our depression and hopelessness. True happiness is not determined by the events, circumstances or relationships in our life.

These are my top 5 ways to be happy (I have turned them into habits!):

1. Be Grateful

2. Don’t Believe Everything You Think

3. Embrace Challenges

4. Trust the Universe

5. Don’t Worry!

1. Be Grateful

Count your blessings… Of all the ways to be happy, this is my favorite! When you stop complaining and list all the things you can be grateful for, your mood will shift immediately.

People that feel grateful enjoy more vitality and optimism. They experience less stress and anxiety.

If you can’t find many things to be grateful for, you can be grateful for the simple things that sometimes we take for granted, like the water or the sun that make life possible, the trees that provide us with shade, the flowers that adorn our garden or any other reason that would make you feel grateful.

Gratitude is the way to incline our heart towards joy.

A dear friend taught me that every time I was feeling anxious or stressed, I should stop everything I was doing right away, then, take a deep breath and remember to be grateful for all the blessings in my life. That lesson has been priceless!

2. Don’t Believe Everything You Think.

Question your thoughts and stop scaring yourself!!!

One of the most wonderful things I have learned in life is that I can observe my thoughts. I don’t have to believe all the dreadful stories I tell myself sometimes. I can choose what I want to believe and discard what I don’t want to believe. Do you have any idea of how empowering this is?

Almost all the time we are either terrified about what may happen in the future or resentful for things that happened in the past. Those thoughts are a waste of time, they poison our life!

Honestly, if you pay attention to your thoughts throughout the day you will be amazed at how predominant these thoughts about the past and the future are. What was in the past, is already gone… What is in the future is not here yet. You only have this moment… The present moment.

Make peace with the past, and do not worry about the future. Amongst all the ways to be happy, this in particular is very effective!

Do you want to know more ways to be happy? do not wait for things to happen in the future for you to be happy.

The myth of I’ll be happy when I:

- “Get the new job”

- “Find my soul mate”

- “Buy my dream house”

Etc, etc, etc…

This present moment lacks nothing. This is the only time in which you can be happy. If you nurture the idea that only future events are going to bring you happiness, you are going to be disappointed. It is O.K. to be enthusiastic about future events, but do not derive your happiness from those events.

Know that true happiness is never rooted in things or events outside yourself. It is an inner state. The future doesn’t “contain” your happiness. Only YOU “contain” your happiness

3. Embrace The Challenges

Move from being a victim to being a Victor! Victors are all about solutions, while victims are all about complaints!

Do not focus on the problem more than you need to...

Yes, sometimes situations can be very frustrating and disappointing, to say the least. But we CAN’T get stuck in those negative feelings. Cry, scream or curse only until you release that negative energy and then move on… For your own sake, let go of the frustration. If we sit there in despair forever, we are just making things worse...

When facing challenges, look for the teaching instead. All challenges carry a hidden gift, I promise you!

It has happened to me that situations and circumstances that I judged as very bad at the beginning, turned out to be great opportunities for me at the end. Everything happens for a reason… This leads me to the next item on my list of ways to be happy…

4. Trust The Universe.

Believe that this is a friendly Universe. Not only when it is good to you but always. It is always choosing the best for you and for everybody around you. You may not be able to see it at the time but just trust it… And you’ll be greatly surprised …

Every event and every thing is part of the wholeness of life. Nothing is separated; we are all connected... Every event ripples infinitely in time … Everything is part of a perfect order that the Universe knows but we can’t comprehend with our individuated mind. We only see the little parts and we judge them as "good" or "bad". The Universe is not personal, it works as a whole.

Life is neutral. We are the ones that have the "opinions" about what happens. Circumstances that may seem to be "bad" for you can turn out to be blessed opportunities for somebody else so when you truly recognize yourself as part of something greater that yourself, you learn to be at peace with life. You embrace the challenges and flow with life instead of resisting it.

5. Don’t Worry!!!

“Worrying is like a rocking chair; it takes a lot of energy and doesn’t get you anywhere.”

Many years ago I watched the movie “7 Years in Tibet” with my mom. This movie was about the years preceding the invasion of Tibet by China, and how the Dalai Lama had to flee away from his own country.

In the movie, His Holiness The XIV Dalai Lama (still a Child) was asked if he wasn’t worried about the conflict between Tibet and China to what he answered: "If the problem has a solution, why should I worry, if It doesn’t have a solution, worrying is not going to solve it!"…

We worry about all the terrible things that might happen… You see, “things that might happen”… They aren't facts. And what would you think if I were to tell you that almost 99% of the things you worry about the most, never end up happening?

Now, what does the word “preoccupied” mean?

The prefix “pre” means:

• In advance

• Before

• Earlier

Think about it…

So as you see, worrying and being preoccupied about things that haven’t even happened is a total waste of precious time and energy… It sabotages your happiness! We do it because we are habituated to it. BUT, you CAN change any habit in your life if you really want to…

Happiness Is Our Function…

How can we incorporate these ways to be happy into our life? How can we stop believing everything we think? How can we embrace challenges and stop worrying about things that haven’t even happened?

If we want to be happy, we MUST learn to rule our thoughts!!! This is fundamental! All the ways to be happy are actually derived from this.

Before conquering anything in life, we have to conquer ourselves!

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