Scientists tell us that our genes play a big role in our temperament – whether we are naturally positive or negative, high-strung or low-key. Does that mean, however, that we have no control over how we feel or on our outlook on life?
We all know people who seem to enjoy being miserable. They find fault with everything and everyone, feel victimized by life, and seem to not experience any happiness. We also know people who seem to bounce from one happy moment to the next, always looking at the bright side, and spreading joy wherever they go. Most of us are somewhere in the middle as we navigate life’s ups and downs. Is it possible to shift the scale to more happiness and less dissatisfaction? YES! As with anything, it takes practice. What could be easier though, then practicing being happy?
Practice Being Happy
- Hang out with happy people. We may not get to choose our family but we can choose our friends and acquaintances. If a relationship is not mutual, if it is dragging you down, consider pruning your friendship tree.
- Show thanks. This is one of the easiest things to do and the return on investment is incalculable.
- Look for purpose. Ask yourself, “what is my purpose in life?” and you’re likely to find reason to be happy. Perhaps it is to be the best mom you can be or to serve others or make lives easier/better in some small but significant ways.
- Look for meaning. When things go wrong, as they do, find meaning. Don’t dig too deep! It may be as simple as a lesson learned or another step in resilience.
- Live in the moment. Make an effort to let go of yesterday and not worry about tomorrow. All that you have any control over is what is right in front of you today.