How to Be Happy

A Black and White Life Doesn’t Lead to Happiness

A lot of people paint themselves into a corner because they view everything as black or white, good or bad, right or wrong. When you see things this way you only have two options instead of many. Your world becomes a black and white TV instead of a color one and you limit your ability to find multifaceted, nuanced, fulfilling happiness.

It’s much easier to be happy when you open yourself up to multiple choices. There are many different solutions to the challenges that arise in life. Why not take the time to brainstorm and develop more than two? The more options you have, the happier and more well-rounded you’ll be.

It may seem confusing or overwhelming to have more than two choices, but the human brain is amazing at being able to select among many options. Give yourself a chance to explore all the amazing ideas available to you. Happiness is about increasing your opportunities by being open to all kinds of emotions, thoughts, and experiences.



Signs You’re Happy

Some of the signs of being happy are:

  • A sense of balance and well-being.
  • Various areas of your life are in balance.
  • No major conflicts or ongoing negativity.
  • You treat yourself and others well.
  • You give of yourself to others.
  • You’re open to learning new things.
  • You’re not scared of a lot of people or things.
  • You welcome change.
  • You realize you can’t be happy all the time.
  • Joy plays a big part in your life.
  • You look for ways to be positive on the outside and inside.
  • You’re living a meaningful life.
  • You do things that make the world a better place.

If you do these things you know how great it feels. If you don’t, no problem, just work on one until it becomes second nature and then move on to the next. There’s always an opportunity to increase your happiness.

How to Be Happy: Celebrate Your Accomplishments

As you continue your journey to be happy you might fall into the pattern of only focusing on what’s not going well. Whenever you feel that way, take a moment to redirect your thoughts to something positive. Think about the great things you’ve accomplished and pat yourself on the back for the things you have done rather than those you haven’t. Try not to dwell on what’s not working and refocus on what has worked.

It’s Hard to Be Happy When You Ignore the Evidence

It’s hard to be happy when you ignore the evidence about how your life really is. There are many well-meaning people who genuinely believe they are a certain way even when faced with mountains of evidence to the contrary. For example: They say they’re balanced but their lives are in chaos; they assure everyone they’ve got it together but they’re secretly nervous and anxious; they insist they’re kind and caring but they do all kinds of things that hurt others.

When you ignore the facts and evidence that describe who you are and how you live your life, you miss valuable opportunities to improve yourself and be much happier. When you acknowledge how your thoughts and behaviors affect your life you’re immediately able to move in a much more positive direction.

Take some time to think about the areas of your life where the evidence shows you might benefit from a change of direction. Try something different and examine the results. You’ll know you’re on the right path when you no longer have to ignore the evidence.



How to Be Happy: Keep Your Eyes Open

People get trapped in all kinds of difficult situations because they make decisions based on their emotions rather than observable evidence. For example: You stay in a relationship where the person treats you poorly because your emotions tell you that things will get better rather than going on what you actually observe in the relationship. To be truly happy in life, it’s important to pay attention to how people behave, not just what they say or how they make you feel. What will you do to keep your eyes open?