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How to Make Happiness An Ongoing Part of Your Day

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us go around pushing life’s buttons, trying to hit the happy buttons with some frequency. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. If you are still figuring out what makes you happy, and how you can make it happen more, you might want to read further.

Travis Bradberry, co-creator of the TalentSmart agency that services many Fortune 500 companies, tackles the issue starting with this quote from the Dalai Lama: “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”

Make the Effort

Just as we suspected, we have to make the effort to make happiness happen. But when we use a few logical starting points, it becomes a little easier to reset our happy button and move on through the day.

Go with gratitude – Even on bad days, dropping back and looking at the big picture in your life may change the immediate flow. Stop wrestling with the current problem for a minute and think about the people around you, the successes you have enjoyed, your pets, your home, your projects. Most of us have a whole lot of things to be thankful for, even if we lose sight of them in the crunch of the moment.

Use decisions to be in control – Don’t flounder around looking for the perfect choice. But do go ahead and make the best decision that you can to move ahead every day. We all know how much calmer and relaxed we feel, when we focus on a specific decision and just start moving. If you have ever watched someone go through the limbo world to make a tough choice, you know how this works. The minute they finally make a choice, they relax, smile a little, and start moving on.

Cut the power of negative feelings with labels. Surprisingly, there is a lot of power in labeling negative emotions. When you start having negative feelings as you approach a job, just stamp a label on them as they turn up.  You could even give them mocking names. But however you label the emotions, the effect may help to calm you. When you feel inadequate or unprepared, a little quick labeling may give you the upper hand, helping you move ahead.

Lend a hand to help yourself – The next time you reach out to someone to help, notice how much better you feel. Or watch closely when you see someone help another person, smiling all the way. One Harvard study said workers who helped others were 10 times more likely to be good workers who moved ahead.

Let touch ease the way – Holding a loved one’s hand, patting someone on the back or sharing a quick hug all work to reassure us all is well.  Touch reduces stress, decreases feelings of pain, and encourages sleep to reduce tiredness.

Happiness may still seem a little elusive, but remembering how to put it in perspective might make it a lot more likely.

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