1. Desire to be happy. Expect to be happy. The verbs desire and expect talk to your subconscious mind. Wants and needs talk to your conscious mind. Your subconscious mind controls your life.
2. Make smiling a habit. It is easy, cheap and simple. A smile counters negativity. The normal process is that your brain controls your body language. Reverse the process and force your facial muscles to create a happier you.
3. Be grateful for everything you have today. Being grateful shows an appreciation of kindness. Thankful is merely a feeling. Thankful implies a giver and a receiver. Grateful is a state of being – being grateful for what is.
4. Write a list of ten times in your life that you were really happy. Describe the details of the situation – who was there to share the moment with you – what was the weather like – was there an aroma in the air – why was it so special?
5. Watch something funny – a movie, YouTube has many of them. Laugh aloud and often. As kids we laughed a lot more than when we grew up. We lost a lot of our spontaneous appreciation for humor.
6. When something goes wrong, think of what caused it to go wrong – don’t dwell on it, but determine to not let it happen again – find a solution that works and implement it the next time you see disaster coming down the road.
7. Listen to relaxing and enjoyable music. Dance if you want. Sing if you want.
8. Set aside ten minutes each day to read an inspiring article.
9. Control your thoughts. Cancel out negativity. Turn off the television, radio, Internet and any other distraction. Concentrate on the positive things in your life.
10. Stay away from unhappy people. Don’t watch disturbing programs on television. Avoid drama queens and drama in general. You are typically the average of your five closest friends. You might have to start developing new relationships.
11. Focus on today. Release yesterday – capture the solutions to your mistakes, but don’t dwell on them. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Be optimistic about tomorrow instead.
12. Avoid instant gratification. Even thought this sounds counterproductive if you want happiness, avoid fleeting desires of immediate satisfaction.
13. Do a random act of kindness for a stranger every day. This can be as simple as holding a door for someone. Even smiling at strangers as you pass works.
14. Plan your happiness. Schedule it into your day. The earlier in the day the better. But, it doesn’t hurt to schedule it several times a day. It may only take a brief minute of your time.
15. Reflect on your accomplishments. Accomplishments can be small or large. The feeling you experienced upon the completion of a project is the joy you should seek to remember.
16. Maintain your health. Good health goes with happiness. Poor health covers your happiness with a veil of disappointment. Learn to breathe better. Force more oxygen into your body.
17. Do something good for yourself each day. Talk to yourself if necessary. Compliment yourself on your incremental successes. Read for a couple of minutes. Listen to something that puts you in the mood.
18. Determine what makes you happy and think about them often. This might involve a person, place, activity, etc. Lots of things in our lives add happiness.
19. Learn stress relief techniques to overcome and reduce the stress in your life. Stress is cumulative. You should let it go daily. Left to its own, it will affect your life. Discard it every day.
20. Learn anger management techniques for those occasions when you might need them. Many of us never get angry. We might get upset. But, anger is a level annoyance or displeasure. Take a deep breath and count to ten works well.
21. Share your happiness with others.