(originally published January 4, 2010)
I have five tips for you to help you be happier:
- You may have to recognize that you inherited some propensities which are counter to a happy attitude: less emotional stability, less social activity, less physical activity than others. However, you may have also grown up with people who "bounce" or "squish," and you've learned to deal with life through parental example – good and bad. So, some things you've learned might have to be "un-learned" or consciously worked against in order for you to be happy.
- After performing good deeds, people are happier. That's a fact. And when many of you feel "mulchy," you tend to withdraw from people or just get downright nasty. That's counter-productive at best. Coming out of that dark place you're in to bring light to someone else shines back on you.
- Winston Churchill said that a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, but an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. Attitude is everything. I've taken people from "yuck" to giggles during three minute calls on my radio program just by using humor and getting them to "remember" a blessing or chuckle in their lives. You can simmer on "negative" or try to replace that with something "wonderful." It's your choice.
- Physical activity diminishes cortisol (the adrenal gland hormone secreted by angry or scared people which also increases blood pressure) and increases endorphins (which are natural, free and legal mood elevators, and give you a natural "high").
- Maturity works in your favor. As you spend more time on the face of the earth, you learn to endure and filter out the negatives, while focusing on what you truly enjoy.
Happiness takes some time and some work…and it is worth it.