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Human beings experience a wide range of feelings during the day.  Think about this:  Let’s say you wake up excited about your day, then you get annoyed because your coffee spilled, then sad because you have to leave your kids to go to work, back to excited about a lunch date, etc.  If you take a look on Marshall Rosenberg’s site for nonviolent communication, their Feelings Inventory lists about one-hundred different feelings (based on whether your needs are being met or not).  That’s a lot of feelings!  By the way, if you want to read a great book, his book on Nonviolent Communication:  A Language of Life is one of those books that can change your life.

Sometimes you can get so disconnected from life that you spend a majority of your days just plowing through them.  Is that how you want to live life?

If your feelings are like a pendulum, with anger on one side, happiness and pure joy on the other, and neutral in the middle–where do you spend most of your day?  I’m betting that little moments of happiness occur in your life, but they’re few and far between.

Life CoachHere are 5 ways to inject more happiness into your life:

  1. Play.  What did you love to do as a child that was fun?  What activity makes you laugh or feel happy?  Blowing bubbles, using sidewalk chalk, making sandcastles, drawing, painting, playing ball–what did you like to do as a child?  Reconnect with that part of yourself.  Stop taking life so seriously.
  2. Watch/read something positive or funny.  One of my favorite movies is “Last Holiday.”  It reminds me that life is too short to not be living your dream.
  3. Contribute and give back.  Contributing and putting in good effort with a good attitude really does make a difference.  Think about how good you feel when you give more than you take.  Additionally, giving back to others takes you out of yourself and focuses your attention on others.  That just feels good in your heart.
  4. Smile more.  Simply moving your mouth upwards in a smile triggers the brain into thinking you’re happy–or at least happier!
  5. Be grateful.  Humans love to compare.  It’s the comparisons that can bring you down when you start thinking about the things you don’t have.  Shift this:  How about thinking of the things you do have?

Another way I experience happiness is when I meet a challenge.  Going through it can be tough, but when you’ve completed it–doesn’t it feel great?  5k runs–it feels awesome to train and then run one!  Two of my kids just ran their first 1/2-marathon!  You can bet they were happy (and tired and sore!) afterwards!  I also work as an Executive Director of a nonprofit in New York.  Certain aspects of the job are very challenging, but when I work through the challenges–it feels pretty darn good!

To read a great article on the benefits of happiness, I just came across this one on the Dr. Mercola website:  Why Happiness is Healthy.

What makes you happy?  Do you consider yourself a happy person?