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The High Road to Happiness

Keen Category: Spiritual Advice

A happy woman stretching out her arms in triumph with a bright blue sky behind her

Some people always seem to be happy. They wake up with a smile on their face and throughout the day they exhume an exuberance of joy. They say things like, "life is wonderful" and "isn't it a beautiful day", every time you see them. High on life, they are energetic, enthusiastic and expect the best the majority of the time. You scratch your head because from the outside looking in they don't seem to have any more than you do and their problems seem just as big.

Most people would agree happiness is a state of mind. But happiness is not so much a state of mind as it is a state of heart. With a heart brim full of joy the mind follows suit and everything seems bright and joyful. Every experience is deemed magical and meaningful and there is plenty to smile about. And the best part is that others can't seem to get enough of you.

Happiness is a high road that few seem to be able to travel consistently. Most people have high or peak moments sprinkled sparingly in with worry, stress and plain old unhappiness. Here are 9 tips that will help you travel the high road of happiness more frequently:

  1. Coax Out the Child in You with Song
    Your inner child holds the key to your happiness and anything you can do to coax the child out to play is paramount to your health and happiness. Children love to play, dance and especially sing. When you stop to think about it, it is hard not to feel happy when singing a song. So sing in the car, on your walks and in the house dusting your furniture and soon your heart will be singing a new tune – one of happiness.

  2. Celebrate Each Day
    Each day has something to celebrate even though you might not acknowledge the moment when it comes. The key is in opening the daily gifts life presents. A moment when a problem gets resolved with just one phone call, when someone sends you a thank you card in the mail unexpectedly or when your kids finally cleaned up their room without a fight are all reasons to celebrate. To celebrate requires three things: to honor yourself, to appreciate the moment and to invite someone you love to join in on your enthusiasm. Just celebrate being together with those you love. It's not necessary to throw a party with balloons and champagne on ice to get in a celebratory mood. The shear joy you feel when you stop to appreciate the special moments of your day lifts your spirit onto the high road. Happiness will fill your heart with every celebratory step you take.

  3. Muzzle Your Inner Critic
    A sour puss usually resides alongside your more joyful side and is ready to extinguish your happiness with criticism, perfectionism and judgments if you let it. To banish your inner critic from your thoughts is no easy task. It may take a muzzle of mind control to restrain the inner critic's negative comments. When the critic says something ugly to spoil your mood, just tell yourself stop and think of an antidote: sing someone's praises, accentuate the positive and embrace the moment with gratitude.

  4. Think Happy Thoughts
    As simple as it sounds, by just shifting your thoughts to the happy side of life you'll begin to feel the volume of joy in your heart go up and up. As Maria sings in "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music, "I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad." Focus on the positive, the beauty around you, and the simple pleasures you enjoy and sooner than later you'll discover "by gosh" you are happy. On a rainy day, think how as a child you used to love sloshing through a puddle in your galoshes. Or when your bills overwhelm you think about how loved you are by those around you. Gloomy thoughts cloud up your days, but happy thoughts create sunshine in your life.

  5. Talk Happy Talk
    Conversations that are focused on good news, interesting things, and happy experiences feed your heart and your relationships. There is nothing worse than listening to someone talk endlessly about the terrible headlines stories in the newspaper or who just plain enjoys gloom and doom talk. It doesn't mean that you should never air out your sorrows to a friend, but just give as much airtime to the good experiences in your life.

  6. Think of Challenges as Fun
    Rather than letting a challenge or problem drag you down, perk up and see it as a game you are about to win. How wonderful it is to find that integral puzzle piece in a 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle! Some people truly enjoy meeting a challenge. Let yourself be one of them. The joy and excitement is in the solving.

  7. Do a Lot of What Makes You Happy
    If you know something will make you happy, do it more than once in a great while. Feed yourself a diet of the things you love to do and you'll find that you are brim full of happiness the majority of the time. Sometimes we get into the habit of denying ourselves simple pleasures because responsibilities take a front seat. Or worse, deep down inside we don't think we deserve happiness. Time to snap out of it and take that walk in the park, shop till you drop or do that one thing you know will make you happy.

  8. Surround Yourself with Joyful People
    Some of us need role models of a cheerful attitude because we come from a long line of morbid, humorless, and grumbling people. We wish we could scrub their influence out of our DNA, but they are insidious to our make up and surface in our attitudes way too often. Happy people not only make you feel good in their presence but they teach you how to be happy through example. Stand with happy people and seemingly through osmosis you'll be happy too.

  9. Make Someone Happy
    Jimmy Durante, the comic with the big "Schnozzola", sang it:

    Make someone happy
    Make just one someone happy,
    And you will be happy, too.
    It's true! There is nothing like seeing the joy beaming on someone's face after giving them a little bit of consideration, love and attention in your own special way. Yes, it is possible to make someone happy, as Jimmy Durante did with his humor and charity during his 50-year career in television. People who give are the happiest people alive. They understand that the joy of giving, in most instances, exceeds the joy of receiving.

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