Six Ways to Increase Your Happiness

by Sue Musial Bigelow

1) Believe

To believe is very powerful. Believing in the unknown, the unseen and the intangible is to have faith—a state of mind and awareness used to harmonize with universal powers. Having faith creates hope, and hope gives us something to look forward to in the future. Although we should embrace the present moment with all it has to offer, it is with glorious anticipation that we can look to tomorrow.

Whether you believe in God, Sacred Spirits, the Universe, Buddha, or a Higher Power of another name, spirituality can bring you peace and comfort when times get tough. It also can offer a guidepost when you have lost your way or simply nudge you in the right direction when questioning what to do or where to go next. Trust in your intuition and know that those gut feelings can come from this Source of spiritual energy.

So the next time your plans get canceled, or that job you applied for doesn’t come to fruition, try not to be disappointed; embrace the outcome in your highest and best good. Believe that there is something more wonderful waiting for you around the bend. Be patient, be happy and always believe.

2) Love

Only love is the real deal! It is the only state of consciousness that truly matters in life and can bring us more happiness than anything else. But before you can love others, you must love yourself. Embrace who you are, what you look like, how you speak, how you feel, for we are all different. Learn to be comfortable within you own skin. You are a special being and through self-love you can then allow yourself to love others. Love is the basis of everything. It crosses many boundaries and has no end. Love others for who they are, not what you would like them to be. When you allow your heart to open up to people who are different than you, you will find warmth within yourself. Sometimes someone who rubs you the wrong way initially can become one of your closest friends or an intimate lover. Love from your heart and keep it pure, for love is timeless.

3) Give

Giving to others can bring us a unique sense of joy. The gift can be as simple as a smile that may brighten someone’s day or come in the form of time, unconditional love, material goods or money. When we learn to give, we open door to beautiful emotions we may not have experienced before. Find something that you enjoy and then find an organization where you can volunteer. The payback is twofold because everyone wins. Learn to be giving in your relationships by being emotionally available and friendly. Studies have shown that those who are giving are not only happier but also healthier.

4) Forgive

Forgiveness is essential to a peaceful existence. It is not for the person we may need to forgive—it is for us. Without forgiveness, we live with resentment and anger, which only causes stress and tension in our life and body. We all have had wounds that can leave us with persistent feelings of anger, bitterness or even vengeance. But without forgiveness, we will be the ones who pay the price.

When you learn to forgive those who have done wrong, you clear your body of negative energy and lighten your burdens. When embracing forgiveness, you also can embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy. Take stock in how forgiveness can lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being and, ultimately, greater happiness will ensue.

5) Gratitude

Gratitude can thoroughly increase our happiness, and protect us from stress, negativity, anxiety and depression. Being grateful for what we have and what surrounds us can open new doors for other positive things in life. You first need to be grateful for what you have. There is always something to be grateful for; you may have to learn to discover the beauty of what you behold. Remember, things could always be worse and humans often dwell in the negative pool of doom! But know that it only takes three weeks of writing down three things that you are grateful for every day to turn your focus around to the positive side of life. Practice finding the positive in every action in your day that may otherwise be deemed negative, and you will soon see your spirit lifted.

6) Create

Being purposeful has been shown to increase longevity, and creating from the heart can help meet this objective. Start by creating work or doing a deed such as cooking, gardening, painting or sewing for yourself and others. Experience something or encounter someone by participating in community or spiritual activities. Or reconnect with nature and find that sense of grounding that fills the void and gives you meaning. And finally, the attitude you take toward unavoidable suffering can be adapted to help you cope, heal and find true meaning life. The sooner you find your purpose and direction in life, the sooner you can reap the benefits of the protective effects that occur with true meaning.

Ultimately, remember that happiness is something that comes from within; it is not derived from external possessions and things. So first we must assess where we are in life and where we would like to be. Ask for what you want, go after it, and then allow it into your life. Things don’t always fall into your lap. You still need to make life happen. And you need to be the one to open the doors to let it all in. Oh Joy!


Susan Musial Bigelow is vice president of Health Coach Connect and a Licensed Respiratory Care Practitioner with a passion for organic gardening. She believes good health starts in the kitchen. Sue earned her Bachelor’s of Animal Science from the University of Massachusetts and worked for many years in the veterinary and pet industries with a focus on animal nutrition, where she noticed that animals’ skin and ear infections often could be cured with dietary changes. Throughout her journey, Sue continued to educate herself regarding health, wellness and nutrition, spirituality and lifestyle improvements, realizing all issues have a root cause. Going through her own personal and career transformation, Sue earned a degree in Respiratory Therapy and later received her Masters of Science in Administration from Saint Michael’s College. After witnessing too many patients dying of preventable chronic disease, she was motivated to pursue a certificate as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Her passion embraces animals, horseback riding, kayaking, cooking, and walks in the wilderness. Visit Health Coach Connect at


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