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Practicing Happiness 

By: Michael Blankenship |

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” 

– Dalai Lama

What more does a person want then to be happier? 

The good news is that happiness is not just an emotion, but a skill — a skill that, like any other, can be practiced and mastered. 

You see, happiness isn’t merely a by-product of external circumstances, it’s also something we can actively cultivate from within.

If you need a little more happiness in your life, here are some ways to cultivate it (regardless of your external circumstances)… 

Do Nothing: This practice, also known as “La Dolce Far Niente”, encourages us to deliberately create periods of idleness in our day. It’s during these moments of quiet that we can recharge, reflect, and connect with our inner selves.

“Doing nothing often leads to the very best of something.” – Winnie The Pooh

Laugh More: The old saying that “laughter is the best medicine” holds true. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, leading to an instant mood boost. Make time for humor in your daily life – watch a funny video, share jokes with friends, or even try laughter yoga!

“Laughter is an instant vacation.” – Milton Berle

Experience Awe: Research shows that experiencing feelings of awe can lead to a boost in happiness. This can be as simple as taking an “awe walk” – a walk in nature, an art museum, or any place that leaves you feeling inspired and humbled.

“In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.” – Aristotle

Be Grateful: Take a few minutes each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for. This practice not only shifts your focus from what’s wrong to what’s right in your life but also cultivates a sense of contentment and well-being.

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” – Aesop

Be Kind: Engaging in acts of kindness, whether big or small, has a positive impact on our happiness levels. It could be as simple as sharing a smile, offering a compliment, or helping a stranger.

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

Connect With Others: Cultivate strong relationships and spend quality time with people who bring positivity into your life. The feeling of connectedness is integral to our happiness.

“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” – Elisabeth Foley

Get Physical: Regular exercise isn’t just good for your body, it’s excellent for your mind too. Even a short burst of 10-minute brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy, and positive mood.

“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.” – Carol Welch

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