You do not have to search for the latest ideas, read books or attend seminars to find out what true happiness is in your life.
In fact, happiness lies already within you.
Happiness is really a state of mind.
No amount of money or material things will give you a long lasting feel of “happiness”.
Do a quick experiment here: Buy the bag, watch or dress you have been wanting to have for a long time.
See how long you are still excited about it after a day, week, month or year.
In my personal experience, my sense of “happiness” caused by a new bought item will plateau within a month.
Happiness gained from external objects are fleeting and not permanent.
The fact that you need to depend on something outside yourself for happiness guarantees that this “sense of happiness” won’t be long lasting.
What happened if the bag/watch is stolen or lost?
Would you be plunged in a depression? It sounds ridiculous, right?
The Key to Happiness is being able to see yourself who you truly are and accept it gracefully.
Look at the mirror and give yourself a big happy smile and you will find that your own inner beauty is what makes you happy.
Your happiness is a given because it is not dependent on anything outside of you.
In practical life, it is easier said than done that you are happy 24/7 but you can create conditions and environments to support and strengthen your state and feeling of happiness:
1. Surround yourself with supportive and positive people
By now you understand that the people around you has a huge influence on your perspective, opinions and state of mind.
Be careful of who you associate on a frequent basis.
Their energies, opinions, character traits and other human attitudes will impact you whether you know it consciously or not.
If you want to be optimistic, positive and happy, you need to start hanging out with people who possess those traits. (in abundance!)
2. Read, meditate and listen to music.
Creative hobbies has a calming effect after a long day of stress.
Listen to music, do a short meditation or read your favorite book or novel will remove a lot of negative stress from your life.
No matter how busy you are, schedule some creative hobbies every day to unwind yourself: painting, singing, drawing, reading etc. will make a positive imprint on you.
3. Diet and exercise.
Diet and health are interrelated.
If you eat properly, your health will be great.
And if your health is great, you will feel better and be in a better mood = happiness.
If you eat junk food all the time, your body will suffer because you didn’t take in the various nutrients found in vegetables, fruits and nuts.
Vary the amount of vegetables, meats and fruits you eat to ensure you have all the different vitamins and nutrients within your body.
4. Good sleep.
The amount of sleep will not be the same for everyone.
Some need more than eight hours of sleep while others can get by with only 4-5 hours.
Only YOU can know how many hours you need.
Personally I need eight hours of sleep to recharge myself.
Every time I sleep less than that, my whole energy level will plummet and I have to catch up on extra sleep the next day or on the weekend.
5. Have a vision and purpose in life
Having a goal and purpose in life is what makes life interesting, passionate and doesn’t feel boring.
Think about it, if I spend every waking moment on something I love to do, would not my life be a enjoyable journey (and hence happy) all the time?
Well, not all the time because life does has ups and downs.
But in general having purpose and passion in your actions is one of the keys to happiness.
In sum, happiness is a mental state.
In order to be happy, we need to listen to your heart and feelings.
Start by changing your external environment and slowly train yourself to be in a happy state of mind without the need of an external stimulus.
A great to read on the topic of happiness is The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
Here is a great TED Talk on Happiness:
This infographic is from http://www.FB.com/TributeToStephenCovey and listed the things happy people do differently: