11 Exercises to Create Happiness

By Megha Mukherjee

Ask yourself in the moment, “Are you happy?”.  If it takes more than a few seconds to say “yes,” there probably are things running at the back of your mind, feelings that are not under your control that create a moment of angst or regret. Everyone wants to break the pattern of needless worry in their lives and rejoice in the present, but why does it seem so difficult at times?

By listening to people discuss joy and studying philosophies about the word happiness, I have come to believe that happiness is not something that can be found by reading a book or taking a class. Unfortunately, there is no formula for joy. However, the good news is that daily practice can improve your odds of lifting the gloom from your life. Look at it as exercises that can be performed each day to help change your approach towards all that you do and, in turn, change your state of mind to peace, joy, and happiness.

Every individual is different in terms of needs and perceptions, but the overall desires of today’s Western society mistakenly centre on a common axis of “love, power, and money.” These things may very well provide temporary, short-lived happiness, but the permanent solution for joy resides within each individual.

There are no set criteria to be happy. A poor man can be the happiest person on earth, because his needs are limited to three meals a day. On the other hand, a wealthy man may feel unhappy because he has money but works so hard he has no time to enjoy the fruits of his labor!

Happiness truly is a state of mind, one that can be acquired by adopting a positive attitude towards life and practicing it each and every day.

Following are 10 simple steps to perform everyday that will bring joy and exuberance to your mind.

1. Love yourself.
The first step to staying happy is to love yourself and your body. No matter what you do, you are never going to feel nice if you sport a shabby outlook about yourself and your appearance. Stick to the saying “When you look good, you feel good.” Believe me, you actually do!

2. Do activities that you love.
Most of us have jobs that we don’t like and a boss that we dislike. To balance the scales, it is very important to engage in additional activities that you love to do, even if it is something simple like talking on phone, dancing, or playing a game on the computer. Make time for activities that you enjoy doing for a minimum of half an hour during each day.

3. Prioritize your life.
Take out a piece of paper and write down your priorities in life. During the process, contemplate what has become the most important thing in your life, the one thing upon which you place the most emphasis. Then analyze whether or not you are working on your priorities correctly. If you are not on target, chalk out a plan on how you need to work towards reorganizing your life. Knowing that you are properly focused on your priorities will help to keep you satisfied and happy.

4. Share your feelings.
Let it out! Loved ones and friends hold an important place in your life. After a hectic day, talk to them about your entire day, good or bad, and seek their advice if required.

5. Write it down.
When experiencing moods of frustration and depression, try writing everything you feel in a letter. Express your deepest of feelings, and you will see that at the end of the letter you have already started feeling better. When you are done, consider burning the letter to release the feelings.

6. Engage in a physical activity.
Routine physical activity helps in maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle. Exercise reduces stress hormones and increases endorphins, chemicals that improve your state of mind.

7. Hold positive thoughts in difficult times.
During bad situations/circumstances, think about even worse situations that could have happened to you and find gratitude. Also remember that challenging situations can be your biggest growth opportunities. A moment of positive thought can change your whole perception of a “bad situation!”

8. Fight the demon of negativity.
Negativity in any form, people or thoughts, can create much sadness in your life. Stay away from people who are cynical and always talk about negative aspects of themselves or others. Also, your own negative thoughts can attract negative things into your life. Fight your negative thoughts by deciding that you have to defeat the demon inside, which tries to control your mind and cause havoc in your life.

9. Know the joy of giving.
When you do something genuinely positive and helpful for another, particularly someone in need, the feeling is exhilarating. Try doing something for another selflessly each day. Making a small gesture, such as feeding a stray animal or donating old clothes to the needy, will provide you with immense joy and satisfaction.

10. Always have gratitude and offer thanks for the things you have.
Think about people who don’t have what you have and who are less fortunate than you are. Thank God or your conception of the Creator for everything you have been blessed to receive in this life.

11. Use affirmations.
Keep saying to yourself, “I am a happy person.” Happiness is a state of mind, and you can be happy only if you think you are happy.

Megha Mukherjee is a writer whose happiest moments include spending time with her two-year-old daughter and husband, as well as admiring life and creation in any form. She has a degree in Information Technology from Rajasthan University in India, and she has been writing and blogging as a part of her daily routine for the past year. Megha’s writing niche consists of articles on Lifestyle, Parenting, Beauty and Technology. Visit her blogs at http://www.what-you-need-to-know.com/.

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