The 3 Secrets to happiness

Happiness can be a life-long gift to yourself, if you know the secrets to acquiring happiness and keeping it.

The road to happiness

Most of us are generally happy people.  Sure, we all have rough spots – that is a part of life and the tough times help us enjoy the good times.  When the rough times come as often as the good times that can be a warning sign, and when you are feeling down and sad more than you are happy and full of joy, you have a problem that you can fix forever!

How to identify if there is a problem.

There are certain things in life that make us feel sad; the loss of a job, a close friend moving away or the loss of a loved one.  Life events such as these can make us feel sad if not depressed.  That is normal.

You may have heard people say, “If you are sad for more than 30 minutes that is your choice”, well forget that junk.  Each of the above events comes with it’s own unique grieving time.  You may be sad over a loss of a close family member for a week, where the loss of your aunt who lived out of state may be just a few days.

It is ok to be sad or grieve over major events in your life.  That is normal, and some would even say is healthy.  When your sadness, regardless of the reason, consumers you and robs you of your right to be happy, then it is time to fix it by using the three secrets of happiness.

Acquire your own happiness

Find a quiet place, away from all distractions and give yourself some much needed “me time”.  During this time of reflection, ask yourself “What will make me happy”.

Take your time in finding the answer to this question.  It may take more than just one “me time” session.

During your “me times” you may come up with several answers.  That is fine if your happiness is not dependent on every one of them being met.

Some of the answers you come up with may be appearing to be quick and easy fixes.  You may believe that going out to lunch will bring you out of your funk, or a shopping spree will do the trick, or a weekend getaway to an upscale hotel is what you need.  It is okay to any one of those things – if you are not sad because you are struggling financially.  If you are those fixes with price tags may give you temporary relief, but in the long run will only be making the problem worse.

Some good quick fixes that you could try are: taking a walk, riding a bicycle, jogging, etc.  Not only are they free, they also come with benefits for your health.

When a quick answer does not either come to you or seem to be what you really need, then you may need to identify the real problem or cause of your depression.

It could be your job, your business, your kids, your marriage, your finances, etc. Regardless of what it is, if it is a big problem the first thing you need to do is to come up with a plan that you can work to resolve the cause of your sadness.

Your plans may take some time to change the situation that is causing your sadness. During those weeks, months or even years for your plan to work the best suggestion I have for you to ward off the sadness and depression that the problem is causing is to remind yourself of every little victory you have over the problem until the problem is resolved.

Don’t give anyone control over your happiness

I have both met and known people who, when depressed, would say things like “I would be happy if my entire family spent the holidays together” or “I would be happy if family would come and visit me” or “I would be happy if the barista at Starbucks would go out with me”.

What is wrong with these answers to the question What will make me happy?

You are giving others the power to control your happiness, you have given someone else the power to decide when or even if you will be happy.

NEVER give away that power.  If you do, you will be a slave to the power holder for the rest of your life.

Share your happiness with others.

The best advice I can give you on being happy and staying happy is for you to share your happiness with others.

When you see someone down and sad, do or say something that will make the smile or even laugh.  If that does not work, be sympathetic and listen.

Remember, you have been blessed with happiness, so pay it forward and bless others!