THE BLOG

10 Ways to Be Happier

01/08/2013 12:54 am ET | Updated Mar 09, 2013
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If I asked you what you wanted most out of life, either for yourself or your family, you'd probably say "happiness." You might say "money," but only because you think money will make you happy, which we all know doesn't. In the 24/7 technology-centric environment in which we live and work, true happiness seems to be less attainable than ever before, yet it's the one thing everyone seeks. Here are 10 ways that can help you bring more happiness into your life.

1. Find the humor.
Don't you love being around someone who makes you laugh? There is humor to be found in just about anything that happens, even if it's just isolated moments within a grim situation. Put your comedienne hat on and allow yourself to laugh. Laughter helps lighten the darkest of days, and as an added bonus, studies show that it helps boost the immune system. If you're healthier, you'll naturally be happier.

2. Accept yourself and your life.
Accept yourself, with all your imperfections, and accept your life with all its ups and downs. Imperfections are what make you interesting. Life's ups and downs are what make it exciting. Wouldn't it be boring if we were all the same and nothing ever changed? Next time you're down, find something positive for which to be grateful and focus on that.

3. Practice neutrality.
Neutrality keeps stress to a minimum and happiness to a maximum. It enables you to allow others to have completely different beliefs and opinions than yours without your judgment. You never have to be right, correct a wrong, control another person or prove a point. What others do and think or how they live their lives is really no business of yours, so just let it be.

4. Take time to play.
There are 24 hours in a day. If you spend 18 of them working and the remaining six sleeping, like many people do, you can't possibly be happy. Be sure to schedule some play time every day. That could be spending quality time with your family, a spa treatment, a hobby, a vacation, a sport or even sex! Play gives you a much-needed break so that when you do return to work, you're more refreshed and productive.

5. Develop your intuition.
Believe it or not, tapping into your natural insight and intuition will make life much easier and happier. It can save you lots of time agonizing over decisions, and in some cases, it can even save your life. The best way to develop your intuition is through some kind of meditative practice. That could be as simple as taking a mindful walk, a yoga class, or practicing a few deep breaths every day. It's anything that helps clear your mind so you can connect within for a few moments.

6. Nurture yourself.
You must remember to nurture all of you -- the physical, emotional and spiritual you. On the spiritual side, this means giving yourself time to connect with your higher self to create inner peace and awareness. On the emotional side, it means doing things that make you feel good as long as you're not harming another person -- quality time with loved ones, eating chocolate, gardening. The physical side is about honoring your body with nutritious food and exercise.

7. Live in the present.
In order to enjoy life, you must live in the present. We spend a lot of time in regret about what has already happened or in fear about what might happen, rather than enjoying what's happening right now. The past is done and therefore cannot be changed. The future is unknown, so why worry about it? The present is now and the only time in which you can truly participate.

8. Slow down.
Let's face it. We're all in a big fat rush all the time. When you move quickly, you push aside all the things that give our life meaning, like being generous, thankful or kind to people. At the end of your life, it doesn't matter how much you got done in record time. What matters most is how many people you impacted positively and how much of your time was spent lovingly.

9. Surrender to life.
We are so hard-wired to control -- to make things happen with our will. Surrendering doesn't mean giving up your power, but rather empowering the spirit within you to take over the controls once in a while. It means going with the flow, even though you don't know the outcome. It means taking a different turn even though it wasn't part of your plan. It means accepting that sometimes you don't have all the answers.

10. Make someone else happy.
Think about how many ways you can make someone happy. It could be a pleasant smile, a compliment, a gift, a favor or anything else that brings joy to another. When you live your life with compassion and kindness for others, it gives you a natural "high" on happiness. Try it today. I guarantee you'll like it.

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