Throughout the ages, lots of people have written about Happiness. One thing is for sure, happiness is a choice. It all depends on what you really want in your life. If you feel unhappy, it means there are things you need to change. But are you ready to do it? Are you ready to make efforts? Are you ready to take risks? Are you in fear when you need to make changes? These are the real questions you need to ask yourself. And you’ll see that the answers to these questions will totally be different between someone who’s happy and someone who’s not…
Happiness is already inside of you, you just have to allow it to grow. In this animated video, the Happy Chef gives his 17-ingredient recipe for happiness:
1. Every morning, smile at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you’re going to have a wonderful day.
Words and thoughts are powerful. When you wake up in the morning, you’re not yet in the rush of the day. Your brain is not yet saturated with too many thoughts. Smiling at yourself is sending a positive signal to your brain. In addition, saying things like “I’m going to have a wonderful day” or “I’m awesome” are positive affirmations that will be stored in your brain. The more you repeat them, the more it’ll become true in your life. The same as if you tend to say negative things in a repeated way, then it’ll really turn your life that way… There are many scientific studies about how your thoughts can impact your body and globally your health. Perhaps you’ve heard about the Placebo effect… So try this little exercise with smiling and positive affirmations as much as you can ;)
2. Be grateful for what life brings you every day.
Do you see the glass half empty or half full? You already have lots of things that you can be happy about in your life but do you see them? Do you have food to eat, clean water to drink, a warm place to sleep? Do you appreciate it? Your degree of happiness mostly depends on how you perceive things. In life, everything happens for a reason, nothing is random. Therefore, if something is happening to you, there’s a message for you to understand. If you don’t want to get it, then the same message is going to be sent to you in a different way until you accept to look at it. Therefore, the life you have is exactly what you have asked for. It is the result of your conscious and unconscious choices. The law of attraction is real… So, whatever happens to you, whatever you see, whatever you hear, whatever you own etc. is a blessing. Be grateful!
Besides, one of the first things we tend to forget is that we’re alive. And that is already a little “miracle” if you consider all the things that must be put together for life to thrive. So, say: “Thank you, thank you, thank you” :)
3. Don’t take things too seriously. Laugh a lot.
Have you ever heard about the power of joy? In life, you shouldn’t take things too seriously. When we were kids, we used to laugh for random things and that made us happy. As we grow up, many people tend to become more “serious”. So, let go and accept to smile and laugh throughout your day. Talking about serious and sad things from a remote point of view, through humour, will relieve you from a big anxiety. And there are many other health benefits of laughter (it makes you live longer, boosts your immune system, relieves pain, reduces depression…).
4. Step out of your comfort zone, this is where life truly begins.
Everybody has a “comfort zone”. This refers to a psychological state where you feel “in control”. In fact, this relates to your habits, the places you are used to go to, the people you are used to meet, the things you are used to do. When you are in this “zone”, you feel in “comfort” and you experience a neutral level of stress and anxiety.
However, many people feel unhappy in their lives but don’t realize that this is due to the monotony they have developed. So, why not get out of your comfort zone and discover new things? You’ll have to make efforts and need to take “risks” yes, but at least you’ll feel alive and your life will really be an adventure! And what about finding who you truly are deep inside? Are you ready to meet the real YOU?
“You have to take risks. We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.” (Paulo Coelho)
5. Don’t compare yourself to others. Dare to be yourself.
We’re all unique, we all have gifts and we are all awesome in our own way. So we don’t need to compare ourselves to others. And remember that if we all have gifts, we all have flaws because we are humans. So, you may admire a person in public but he/she might be a totally different person when in private… And if you knew about this side, you would probably be disappointed. Also, some people may smile, may seem to be cool and may be joyful in public but in reality they have a big problem of confidence and have a low self-esteem… So, as in the quote says: “Be yourself, everyone else is taken” (Oscar Wilde). You can’t live the life of somebody else but yours only. So accept who you are entirely and you’ll shine!
6. Do things with your heart more than with your mind.
Sometimes our mind is telling us not to do something, simply because we are in fear. However, that “something” could be life-changing. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you have to do crazy things that would put you in danger… It simply means not to lose an opportunity to enrich yourself because you were too afraid to do it. The fear is a complete creation from the mind that can even be irrational. So let yourself live! And living with your heart more opened also means following your intuition… And this could be a serious advantage in your daily life!
7. Choose a job you love so you’ll never work a day in your life.
Since our early childhood, we all have somehow heard: “At this age, you have to do this… and at that age, you have to do that…”. That comes from our own family, school, media etc. But what if you didn’t want to be a doctor or lawyer, what if you simply wanted to be a painter or a photographer? Of course, you’ll argue that you need to have a stable financial situation and so on. But first, it’s not incompatible. And second, it’s better to do something you love because you’ll do it with passion and the outcome will be in line. Money will then follow.
Beside, remember that if money can contribute to have a comfortable life, it will never buy happiness. Many rich persons are not happy… So better be in line with who you really are inside instead of wanting to look like a stereotype.
8. Feed yourself with inspirational books and movies.
Living in happiness implies being surrounded by anything that could bring us positivity. Therefore, the first thing you have to do is spend less time watching TV, especially TV news which is so negative, violent, spreading fear etc. Instead, why not read inspirational books of self-help like “The Power Of Now” (Eckhart Tolle)? Or watch movies that could give you positive vibes like “The Pursuit Of Happyness”? These will help you to free your mind from the heaviness of our society.
9. Embrace a healthy lifestyle. Eat well, sleep well and exercise.
If you want to be happy every day, you have to make efforts. You really have to make concrete changes and quit bad habits like smoking and drinking for example. Instead, you should take time to cook healthy food, pay attention to your sleep cycles and exercise on a regular basis. Are you ready for it?
10. Take time to balance your body and mind every day.
One of the main things you have to do to reach the path to happiness is to take time to balance your body and mind. If you have time to watch TV and to browse your Facebook page, it means you have time to practice meditation for example. It’s all about choice. Do you want to be happy? If yes, then you need to take some time for it. Activities like meditation, yoga, tai chi and chi kung all have many scientifically proven benefits that could change your life.
11. Enjoy the present moment. Today is a gift.
The main message here is to let go of any regrets and don’t get anxious about your future. The only option you have is to live in the present. So enjoy it as much as possible! Look around you with your eyes fully opened! There’s beauty all around us but we need to change the way we look at things. And whether you want it or not, you can’t physically live in the past or in the future, you’re stuck in the present, so enjoy! :)
12. Dare to achieve anything you’ve ever dreamt of.
Don’t let people tell you you can’t do something. Protect your dreams. You were born with the capacity to achieve anything you’ve ever dreamt of. Now, this is linked to point 4 (“Comfort Zone”). What you have to understand here is that you have an infinite potential. What you really wish in life, you can get or become. It all depends on how bad you want it. Once again you have to make continuous efforts but the reward will be huge! If you have a dream, you can’t just keep it unaccomplished, you have to make it real. “Don’t dream your life, live your dreams!”
13. Spend more time with the ones you love.
This sounds quite obvious but you have people who love you. It can be your family, friends or even animals. Spend more time with them. Their positive energy will be beneficial to you. Something we feel alone even when we are surrounded by people. There is sometimes a lack of sincere relationships. So, focus on quality rather than quantity… And remember that Love is the most powerful energy in the world. It can do incredible things!
14. Don’t let anger consume you. Learn to forgive.
As mentioned in point 3, you shouldn’t take life too seriously and understand that there’s a reason for everything. So, even if you have been annoyed by a situation or person, you should get over it because past is past and you can’t do anything about it. Also, you have to learn to forgive. Why? Because when you’re angry, the first person that you’re hurting is yourself… If you keep on thinking about something negative, it’ll affect your life at a higher degree, you’ll not sleep well, you’ll tend to have a bad diet etc. You’ll be stuck in a complete vicious circle. So let go of the past and forgive quickly because you need to focus your energy on NOW!
15. Dare to give without expecting anything in return.
This is not an easy thing but if you live with your heart more opened, this is something you’ll naturally do. Giving will always be rewarded by life. Follow your heart, follow you intuition and you’ll be lead to develop the virtue of altruism. Helping someone in need even if you expect nothing in return will fill you with a warm feeling of joy because of the genuine gesture of kindness you have done. In the end, give to the world and someday, somehow, the world will give back to you… Even if you expect nothing in return!
16. Spend more time in nature and reconnect with your true self.
Spending time in nature is very important. The energies of the cities are very dense and you truly need to press a reset button once in a while. Going to somewhere green with pure air will be a great benefit for you. You’ll feel different and this is when you’ll know that you have found yourself again… And many studies prove that being in nature accelerates healing when you are ill. Do you have a park or forest nearby? Trees are waiting for you! :)
17. Collect moments, not things.
In today’s world, the message that is sent by media is similar to: “to be happy you have to buy, consume etc.” But all of us know that this can bring a bit of joy, something temporary but not true happiness, which is something that you feel in the long-run. So instead of buying in a compulsive way and being stuck to materialism, why not try to see life in a different way? Wherever you are in the world, there’s beauty. So, once again open the eyes of your heart and you’ll see life from a different angle…
Happiness is definitely a choice. It requires stepping out of your comfort zone, making efforts, changing useless habits and taking risks. Focusing on the reward should be your unique motivation! Don’t let fear consume your life, dare to open your heart. Are you ready to be happy?