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How to Hang On to Your Happiness

By Sandy Schroeder

Happiness can be especially elusive during the holidays. One minute everything feels great, the next, not so much. But if you look closer, happiness really is within reach most of the time. We just have to use the right tools.

Travis Bradberry, co-founder of TalentSmart, an agency used by many Fortune 500 companies, has some good suggestions on ways to activate happiness.

Make Your Own – Too often, we expect others to make us happy. Sometimes that works, but not always. The best way to be happy is to make the effort. Start with what you have, and enjoy where you are. All of us have things to be thankful for. We just have to keep those benefits in focus. When we do, it’s much easier to relax and reach out to others.

Build a Good Circle – We all have circles of friends, but not all of our friends help us to be happy. Some want to complain nonstop. Others want to indulge, taking us with them for another round of drinks, or more pizza. Be selective. Pick the friends who are always ready to help. They are often the same ones who smile more and complain less.

Be Sure to Like/Love You – That seems obvious, but if we look a little deeper, sometimes self-love wavers. Accepting who you are, and treasuring your abilities, establishes a strong base for happiness. When you feel good about you, it’s easier to move forward, help others, and enjoy life as it is. Take a moment and think about what you do well, what you value. That’s your secret supply of happiness.

Make Sure You Are Rested – Trying to be happy while losing sleep on a regular basis can be futile. Do your best to get at least seven hours a night. Try for regular sleep times. Skip electronics, tobacco and alcohol right before bedtime. And make your bedroom a sleep haven. When you are alert, positive and focused, the whole day may work better too.

Be Thankful – Look around and look closer at the things that you are grateful for. Your family, friends, home, lifestyle and talents may all be counted. When you acknowledge them, stress goes down and your sense of wellness goes up.

See the Funny Side – The happiest people that I know are quick to see the humor in everything. They know life isn’t perfect and every day has a few challenges. But they are always looking for that funny story, movie or author that they can share with you. Humor eases the way and happiness often follows.

As you try these tools, or shape a few new ones on your own, relax and enjoy the results. Happiness and holidays really do go together.

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