6 Ways to be Happier and Create a More Positive Life

I am grateful heart

By Margaret Bligdon-Boyt

Happiness is something we all strive for, but at times it can seem quite elusive. Many of us equate happiness with something outside ourselves, such as material possessions, money or a good job. On top of that, society can reinforce the idea of happiness being "out there" with any number of subtle, and not so subtle messages. If we lose weight, get that perfect job, buy a new car, etc., we will be happier people. But in truth, happiness comes from within ourselves. It is a state of mind that can be nurtured through greater self-awareness, acceptance and gratitude. Here are 6 ways to be happier and create a more positive life:

Adjust your Attitude

As mentioned earlier, happiness is generally a state of mind. In fact, studies have proven that optimistic people are usually happier people. But more than just seeing the silver lining, optimists tend to have a healthy sense of self-worth and see themselves as part of a whole, rather than an isolated individual. So, take a look at how you view life. Instead of seeing yourself as a victim, realise that everyone has their own personal struggles. The next time something bad happens in your life, remember that it's temporary and that things can change for the better. Learn to be accepting of who you are, and don't be hard on yourself when you make mistakes. Instead, view them as valuable lessons and opportunities for growth.

Perform Random Acts of Kindness

Being kind to others not only helps them to feel good, it can make you feel a warm glow of happiness too. Carrying out small acts of kindness can also help us feel more connected with community, and the world, which creates an improved sense of well-being. Acts of kindness can be anything from helping out a friend when they are sick, doing volunteer work, or simply smiling at a stranger. Make it a habit to perform acts of kindness every day. Susan Calman is one celebrity who hopes to spread the word about performing random acts of kindness.

Have an Attitude of Gratitude

This ties in with the previous suggestion, and has to do with consciously recognising the blessings in your life. Write down what you're grateful for by keeping a gratitude journal, or take note every day of what you're thankful for in life. Gratitude is also something that is best shared, so show your gratitude through actions and words. Read our 7 life changing reasons to keep a journal post for more inspiration.

Set Realistic Goals, and Pursue Them

Studies have found that people who set goals, and reach those goals, tend to experience more positive feelings than those who don't. Goals can give us a clearer sense of where we're going in life, and a satisfying sense of accomplishment once the goal is reached. When setting goals, make sure they are realistic and suited to your needs.

Take a Break from the News

In our daily lives we're exposed to a wide variety of tragic or hard luck stories through the news media. While it can be good to be aware of what's going on in the world, too much news can leave us feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Wean yourself away from television news and online headlines, and replace this time with something more positive and meaningful.

Keep Your Sense of Humour

A good sense of humour not only helps us be more positive, it can also help us be better problem solvers and relate better with others. Having a sense of humour is not the same as ignoring one's problems though. Instead, it's a way to loosen the rigidity within whenever we feel burdened and overwhelmed. Look for the humour in your life, and allow yourself to laugh.

These are just a few ideas for developing greater happiness, and becoming a more positive person. Keep in mind that it's impossible to be happy all of the time, nor is it necessary. But by nurturing a happier state of mind, you can learn to live a more fulfilling and positive life.