“Folks are usually as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ~ -Abraham Lincoln

Being happy. It sometimes feels so easy, and yet, in times of stress when it is replaced by another emotion, where did the happiness go? Some people are clearly born as natural cultivators of life’s most prized emotion – happiness - and that makes them particularly interesting. Where are you on the scale of happiness?

Perhaps we should think of being happy as more of a lifestyle choice, because many people who claim to be happy make deliberate decisions about how to live their lives with happiness as a crucial element of it. And some folks just sort of drift through their days not realizing they have a choice to be happy.

Many articles and research papers have been written about happy people. If you only give them a sideways glance, their happiness doesn’t look like deliberate choice on their parts. The good news is that they have made the choice to be happy.

They seem to be busy doing the following:

1. Happy people know themselves enough to mold their lives around their own unique strengths, personalities, values, and abilities. It can be argued that a bit of luck is necessary to be able to choose a lifestyle that fits your needs perfectly, but it doesn’t hurt to pursue it to the fullest. You can chose to do what you do best and be happy about it.

2. Happy people find ways to stay connected to the people they love. Many studies conclude that depression at any age can be buffered by fighting the disconnection we face in modern life. Pick up the phone. Knock on a door. Cultivate your sense of community, and maintain contact deliberately.

3. Happy people are grateful. The more you find to be thankful for, the happier you will feel. As an experiment, stop for five minutes and make a list of things around you for which you feel grateful. It’s a nice surprise.

4. Happy people value optimism. They don’t allow negative thinking to trip them up, and they compartmentalize and focus on areas in which they have control in order to conserve their time and energy for a sense of purpose.

5. Happy people invest their time in others through volunteering. Being of service in and of itself can make you happy.

6. Happy people tend not to be very materialistic, although owning self-help books doesn’t count here.

7. Happy people have learned to face life’s challenges with healthy coping mechanisms that work for them. If you feel challenged, can you find a way to laugh about it?

8. Happy people are spiritual. A sense of connection to the universe, or to a higher power, has a myriad of physical and emotional health benefits.

9. Happy people focus on wellness and do what they can to take care of themselves. It is the most virtuous form of being interested in the self.

10. Happy people have objectives that move their lives in positive directions. They allow their set of values to inform the paths they choose in life. A happy life is transformative, and it is clearly a series of choices. However, we sometimes encounter forces beyond our control when it comes to the way we feel. A good counselor is a great investment if you feel that you need a little extra help on the happiness track.

With over 20 years of experience gained across television, radio and print, Maria Khalifé brings to her clients knowledge and understanding in holistic and motivational living. Maria brings to the world powerful life-changing experiences for those who seek extraordinary lives and want to reach their maximum potential. Maria can help you to uncover your true dynamic self. Please visit http://www.changecoachinginstitute.com

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