10 Steps to Being Happier

We originally planned to keep this little article for later in the year, but in the light of the coronavirus sweeping us all out of our normal lives and setting us in a spin, we thought we could do with some happiness advice right now. And we would be very happy to hear from any of our readers on ways to stay cheerful in the current crisis? Any thoughts? If so, please email speaktofish@gmail.com

One of the worlds leading spiritual guides, the Dalai Lama  has said: “No matter what our situation, we all share the same aspiration for happiness. However, genuine and enduring happiness results not from material development alone, but also from the cultivation of inner peace.”

Endorsing a movement to cultivate that all important state of happiness, His Holiness launched Action for Happiness. Since 2015 a growing number of   people have been joining the movement, taking action to increase wellbeing  for themselves and their communities.

The courses focusses on 10 basic principles, which experts believe make us happier.

The first is doing things for others. Yes, it’s a proven fact that helping other people makes us happier and has the added benefit of making other people happier too.

Secondly, research has also shown that people with strong, good relationships are happier, healthier and live longer, and it’s not just family relationships. Good friendships help us feel a sense of belonging too.

Taking care of one’s body comes next, with encouragement to be active, to unplug from technology and get out into nature. Have you heard of mindfulness? Apparently, stopping and taking notice, becoming more aware of the present moment helps us to stop worrying and to feel more content with where we are in our lives.

We are also encouraged to keep trying new things. That’s in at five. Curiosity is very engaging, it seems, and learning new things gives us a good sense of achievement. It doesn’t have to be something that leads to a qualification. Just find something that interests you and give it a go.

Next on the list is having something to look forward to. Setting ourselves achievable goals is very good for us, and meeting new challenges that are within our capabilities gives us a well-deserved sense of self worth.

Number seven reminds us that we all have setbacks, and sometimes life seems very unkind. Building resilience by developing strategies for when life gets tough is a good way to help us bounce back after disappointments.  

Staying positive is also a great resource. Working on being one of those “glass half full” folks is definitely worth the effort.

We can  be very hard on ourselves and, while it’s obvious that ignoring our flaws isn’t a good thing for anyone, dwelling on them is definitely to be avoided.

Learning to be comfortable in our own skin is invaluable and will go a long way to encouraging our happiness. That’s what number nine wants us to remember.

Which brings us to number 10 on the list, which is all about finding some meaning and purpose to our lives. Apparently, people who find something that gives their life meaning are happier and less stressed.

Joining a club, volunteering for some group that means something to us, even becoming part of a faith community, can really boost our sense of wellbeing.  

If you would like to know more, go to https://www.actionforhappiness.org where you can find a wide range of resources and possibly locate a course happening near you.

All images used in this article are courtesy of Pixabay

Kitty Parsons

Kitty Parsons

Kitty is an incomer, with five summers under her belt and the knowledge that even the wettest and greyest of winters have not diminished her love of Pembrokeshire. She knows she will never live long enough to be considered a local but hopes to leave some small mark through writing about this beautiful county and its people.

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