Thursday, April 14, 2011

10 Steps To Happiness

The things that we think will make us happy usually don’t make us as happy as we think they will. Looks, money and fame have all failed the happiness test. This might be because we are social animals and therefore social relations are the key to our happiness. Good relationships, acceptance and love are the best natural resources for happiness. Here are 10 steps to happiness. These steps are not a guaranteed solution for everybody but following them will surely help you feel happier.

1. Nurture healthy and close relationships. Concentrate on the quality of the relations you develop not on the quantity. Having 20 not so close friends will never beat having 2 very close friends. Friends, family, loved ones and acquaintances who make you feel more alive, happier, and more optimistic are some of the most important treasures in life.

2. Live in the present. Don't dwell on the past. Nobody can change the past but you can enjoy the present and shape the form of things to come.

3. Build boundaries. Modern technology means work can seep corrosively into private life. You need to make clear mental and physical distinctions between the two. Learn to say "No" to others. Learn to say "Yes" to yourself. Happiness is balance.

4. Fall in love and make love. When you say "I love you" make it mean something. Sex, especially with someone you love, is considered one of the top sources of happiness. Love and happiness go hand in hand.

5. Embrace routine. Research shows that although we believe we want variety and choice, we’re actually happier with limited options. It’s not that we want no choice at all, it's just that we don’t want to be overwhelmed. Routines help limit choices. They’re comfortable and familiar and used judiciously, they can make us happy.

6. Don’t compare yourself to others. Financially, physically, and socially, comparing yourself to others is a trap. You don't know what battles others are fighting. People are highly subjective to reactivity - the tendency to act or appear differently when they know they are being observed. Focus on your own life and goals.

7. Set and pursue goals. Take baby steps. Live one day at a time. Continued self-improvement makes life more fulfilling. Once someone said: may all your wishes come true except one, for you to always have something to look forward to. The person you are today shapes the happiness of the person you'll be tomorrow.

8. Develop healthy sleeping, eating, relaxation and exercise habits. There's a strong connection between physical health and happiness. Don't sleep too much nor too little. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Specialists say 7-8 hours of sleep a night is better than 6 or 9 hours. Exercising will make you feel better. Ask for a friend to join you. Jogging is always better in company of a friend. Go out, dance,  get in touch with nature, laugh,. Laughter is a priceless way of relaxation.

9. Help others. Over and over again, studies have shown that altruism is one of the best ways to boost your happiness. Volunteering at the local homeless shelter helps and so does being nice in everyday life.

10. Learn to be content with what you have. Sometimes people tend to want more what they don't have in their lives than what they do. Sure, there will always a newer and better sandwich maker at the supermarket but that's hardly a reason for you to feel unhappy. Instead, you better dress up your face with a big fat smile and be grateful for what you have!

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