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Seven Steps for Cultivating Happiness

Are you happy? Do you know what makes you happy? It is easy to look to the external world for happiness. You may look for happiness in a love relationship or you may think that having lots of money will make you happy. However, nothing in the external world will make you truly happy because happiness is an inside job. That being said, I am offering you seven ways that you can cultivate happiness. You may not be able to do them all at once and that is fine. Start applying one or two of these steps at a time and notice how you feel. Give yourself time to make internal shifts and you will see positive results. Step 1. Trust in the process of life. Know that everything is working out for your highest good. I learned this many years ago from reading Louise Hay's book, "You Can Heal Your Life" and it works. Pay attention to how you feel when you think and say these words to yourself. Affirm that all is well. Step 2. Focus on what is right. This is similar to looking at the glass half full instead of half empty. If you focus on lack or things that are wrong then that is what you will continue to attract. This is because whatever you focus on expands. So begin to notice everything that you like, everything that is working in your life, everything that works RIGHT NOW. Step 3. Appreciate all that you have. Appreciation feels good and raises your vibration. And when you feel good you attract good things into your life. This in turn will increase your happiness level. Appreciate everything no matter how small. Appreciate your bed, clothes, a roof over your head, your body and so on. The more you appreciate the more you will have to appreciate. Step 4. Connect with the love within your own heart. I learned this from Mary A Hall. We all have access to love. The love in your heart is your access to the Spirit within you, your Source. If you have difficulty feeling love then think of someone or something that you love. For example, this could be a spouse, a child, a friend or a pet. Feel that love in your heart. Practice feeling this love and cultivate the feeling. Do it daily especially just before going to bed and upon waking up. The more you feel love in your heart the easier it will be for you to feel connected to your inner self, and spirit. Step 5. Practice forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean to condone bad behavior. It is method of releasing yourself from hurt from the past. If something someone did or said caused you pain, then you need to apply forgiveness. You may need to work through anger or hurt first but when the time is right, it is best to forgive the person, the situation and yourself. Forgiveness sets you free so that you are not forever chained to the pain. Freedom opens the way to happiness. Step 6. Be kind and patient with yourself. Do you tend to be hard on yourself? Many people have this tendency. However, this will not bring you happiness. And, it really is counterproductive. Encouragement and praise reap far better results than judgment and criticism. You wouldn't treat your best friend the way you probably treat yourself would you? Start noticing any negative self-talk now. Acknowledge yourself for the awareness and find a way to think kinder thoughts. Step 7. Keep a journal and record your progress. Date your entries and jot down notes. It doesn't have to be anything fancy it just needs to be a record of any steps you have taken and any results you have seen. This will help you to see the changes which otherwise could be overlooked. Practice these seven steps until they become habits and notice how much happier you will feel. The happier you feel the more your life will improve. Soon life will seem easier. Others will respond in a more positive way. You will then have activated a momentum of positive change that will continue to bring you happiness - true happiness on many levels.

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