How to be Happy in the Current Economic Circumstances
Being happy is not a matter of chance. People who are happy have certain things in common; much of this involves the choices that they make. Much research has been done to ascertain this and make it accessible to those of us who’d like to be a little or a lot happier.
9 Choices of Extremely Happy People
- an active intention to be happy (this may cause many people to say/think “DUH!” however, although most folks want to be happy, they don’t set an active intention to BE happy.)
- accountable for one’s thoughts, actions, feelings (having set that intention, take note of your thoughts and your actions for a month and see how many of them are actually not supporting you becoming happy/happier).
- identify what makes you happy and make that central in your life (most folks don’t actually prioritize these things to the extent that they schedule them into their lives, make them a regular part of their lives. Regard this as you would any other new habit that you want to establish for yourself: practice it daily for a month, get an accountability buddy to check-in with about whether you’re doing it, get a buddy to do it with on a regular schedule).
- find meaning in the face of tragedy or adversity (happy people, without being pollyannas, look for the lesson or the gift in difficult circumstances. This often leads them to greater self-knowledge, greater sense of family or community, greater sense of their own values and priorities.)
- be flexible and open to life’s many options (you may’ve noticed that life rarely goes according to our plans yet, to the extent that we can roll with it, it works out ok- sometimes better than our plans. This attitude is key to discovering and fulfilling one’s life purpose. I’ve written some posts about this and the connection to happiness and making more money.)
- appreciate one’s life and the people in it (this is another one that may prompt the “DUH!” response because it’s so obvious, yet, people do not do this to the degree that they could)
- give unceasingly without expectation of a return (research shows that people who have and practice a generosity of spirit have a much greater level of satisfaction and fulfillment in their lives. Volunteerism is actually on the rise in our culture.)
- be truthful with yourself and with others (it’d be pretty difficult to be happy if you’re deceiving yourself or others. It just feels so awful. The truth, however painful initially, always feels better and affords the opportunity to connect with yourself and others that wouldn’t exist otherwise.)
Given the extreme degree of stress and suffering over current economic conditions, I will write more on this topic because we can always choose our response to circumstances that seem out of our control. As Swami Satchidananda said “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” How many unhappy surfers have you seen?
What are the qualities of happiness that don’t depend on changing circumstances? You, knowing yourself, enjoying your Self, enjoying being alive, being as alive as possible, appreciating what is, acceptance, self-acceptance,….. keep the list going.