I suspect there might be somebody somewhere who is happy all the time, but I am certainly not. Personally, I struggle with happiness a lot and really have to work at it. So, I don’t think it’s easy to be happy. However, there are some things you can do to feed your happiness level:
1. Lower your expectations. William Shakespeare wrote that expectation is the root of all heartache. As I have told so many people on my show over the years, if you lower your expectations regarding a person or situation, you won’t be disappointed. The difference between expectation and reality is the space where disappointment builds.
2. Have a goal. Get organized, learn something new, or challenge yourself in some way.
3. Don’t put your happiness in the hands of the future. Never say things like, “I’ll be happy when I lose 10 pounds,” or, “I’ll be happy when I find the right person to marry.” If you keep postponing happiness, you’re either going to be disappointed or you won’t even know it when it slaps you in the face.
4. Surround yourself with people who make an effort to be happy. Misery loves company, so avoid the miserable. If you’re around people who are happy, their emotional state will be infectious.
5. Use yesterday as a lesson, not a place to live. We’ve all screwed up, but (hopefully) you have learned from your mistakes and now act and think differently. This makes you a teacher, not a hypocrite. Your past does not define you. You define your past every day.
6. When something goes wrong, come up with a plan to turn things around. I believe a certain amount of whining, complaining, and stomping around is OK, but keep it minimal. The moment you shift from “poor me” to “how can I fix this?”, you can turn the circumstances back in your favor. Don’t let a setback take you down. If you need help, call someone you know and trust, and brainstorm on how you can make things better.
7. Do nice things for yourself. For me, it’s pouring a glass of Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio at the end of a long day, putting my feet up with the dogs snoozing on either side of me, and watching a movie.
8. Find the humor in life. It’s a great way to deal with things.
9. Take care of yourself. Eating right and exercising makes you feel a whole lot better.
Happiness is not about luck. Anybody can be happy, but it’s up to you to make it happen.