“Happiness is a perfume which you cannot pour on someone without getting some on yourself.” – Emerson
The movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” is the true story of Chris Gardner, following his remarkably optimistic persistence, as he rises from homelessness, to a multi-millionaire stockbroker.
During the film he quotes Thomas Jefferson, from the Declaration of Independence, “
All men have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
If you’ve watched the film you’ll know that pursue is exactly what Chris does.
Do you know that the secret of happiness lies in your own hands? According to scientific research, happiness is something we choose, therefore just as Chris Gardner pursued happiness, you can too!
Dr Tim Sharp, author of “The Happiness Handbook” (2007), and The Happiness Institute says,
It (happiness) is a decision we make every single minute, every hour, every day, and every week.
The Happiness Institute use ‘CHOOSE’ for the six key strategies that lead to a greater sense of happiness:
C – Clarity (life goals, direction and purpose)
H – Healthy living (it’s difficult to be happy if you’re suffering from ill health most of the time)
O – Optimism (a positive attitude about yourself, your future and the world)
O – Others (including all the important relationships in your life)
S – Strengths (your inherent qualities and attributes)
E – Enjoying the moment (including having fun, as well as being grateful and appreciative)
Dr Sharp states,
Happiness is a skill and just like any other skill, the more you practice it, the better you get; the better you get, the more effective it is; the more effective it is, the happier you are.
10 effective strategies to a happier more fulfilled life:
#1 Be kind and compassionate to others
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
There’s no doubt about it you will attract kindness by being kind.
The physical act of smiling promotes feel good chemicals in the body.
Research suggests that if we make ourselves smile the Duchenne way, we can literally make ourselves happy.
#3 Have direction in your life
What are your goals? What is your purpose in life?
Having direction in what you do helps you stay focused, and eventually allows you to achieve your life goals.
#4 Follow a healthy lifestyle
Get some good foods into you, and take regular exercise – if your body is healthy it’s much easier to be positive and happy, despite life’s difficulties.
#5 Seek the company of those with positive outlook on life
Their attitude will undoubtedly rub off on you.
#6 Be optimistic
Try to have a positive attitude about yourself, others, and the world in general.
People are drawn to individuals with this attitude; therefore it has the added benefit of connecting you with others.
#7 Be flexible and adapt
No matter what comes your way, rather than trying to hold onto things that simply aren’t working for you.
#8 Be aware of your bad attitude
And, challenge negative thoughts immediately, replacing them with more positive ones.
#9 Make a consistent effort to reshape your attitude
This may require daily assessment, constantly critiquing your attitude to situations.
You may find it useful practice to keep an attitude journal, as you plan to overcome negative triggers in the future.
#10 Help those in need
Maybe you have a relative, friend or neighbor who could use some help and support, or could you volunteer for a good cause?
The act of doing good helps you bond with others, and ultimately cultivates joy and self worth.
#11 Have fun
Can you remember the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
It’s easy to get swept away with our hectic schedules, but you need to have fun too! Why not set aside a few hours this week to do something you really enjoy?
While happiness may not be something that comes naturally to everyone, you can learn how to be happier.
Commit to it daily, challenge negativity as it arises, and don’t give up on yourself.
Check out 15 Behavioral Tips to Develop the Habit of Positivity for more tips.