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5 Steps to Happiness December 17, 2008

Filed under: Life — sarah @ 12:47 pm

The best cure for loneliness is happiness. Such a small sentence makes the concept sound simple. On the contrary! Learning to be happy, especially after a life-changing event that has plunged you into the depths of loneliness may be one of the hardest things you have ever had to do. However, others have walked the same path and made it to a smile, which mean you can too. Here are 5 steps that should help you on that road to happiness:

1. Do not worry about the little things
2. Do not judge others
3. Think about the needs of others
4. Let go
5. Dwell on happy thoughts

One you have learned to master these 5 concepts, or at least put them into the practice of living, a smile will be at the ready.

Do not worry about the small things

As you already know, everyday life has plenty of challenges, even on a good day. Of course, you have to deal with everyday activities and events. However, do not let the small things throw you for a loop, bringing depression and loneliness descending like a black cloud.

For example, if you do not understand the conversation at a family gathering, do not let it bring you down. So what? Give yourself credit. You know plenty about other subjects. Besides, in the grand scheme of things, will it really make a big difference if you are knowledgeable in that area or not? Similarly, if something is not really going to adversely affect the outcome, or something else would work as well, do not worry about it.

Do not Judge Others

Some of the loneliest people are those that are quick to find fault with others. How can anyone find friends and happiness if they are always concentrating on the faults of others? Instead, do not forget other people are only human. Like you, no one is perfect. They may not always be understanding, might say the wrong thing unintentionally, or not always be around just when you think it is important. But, that does not mean they do not care, or would not be a good friend in a pinch.

Think about the needs of others

Part of the reason people sink into the depths of loneliness is because they are so self-absorbed in their own miseries. Of course, dwelling on unhappiness can only lead to further sadness. Instead, when people begin to concentrate on how they can help others and become a positive influence in their lives, the natural result is starting to feel good on a personal level. When other individuals’ happiness becomes more important than self, loneliness will naturally diminish and be slowly replaced by your own happiness.

“If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years” Bertrand Russell

Let go

How many people who have lost a loved one through death or divorce have spent countless hours asking the question: what if . . . .? Although natural, does it really do any good? No! Thus, after a period of morning, it is time to make the effort to let go.

No. It does not mean to forget the lost love or event that resulting in an overwhelming loneliness. However, it does mean to give it a proper place in life and start living for the present. Only when you can truly let go of the pain, leaving only memories, can you truly learn to smile again.

Dwell on Happy Thoughts

Finally, if you want to be happy, it only stands to reason that you will need to dwell on happy thoughts. Of course, it is not going to be easy. But, with practice, you can learn to keep the sad thoughts as bay, and learn to smile, even in the face of adversity.

Try this simple exercise: even on those days when a real smile seems a thousand miles away, put a smile on your face. Smile at everyone you meet throughout the day, even if it is a conscious effort. Chances are that by the end of the day, the smile will not be an effort. You may never know the positive affect a smile will have on others, but it will help you for sure.

Yes. I know none of these steps are trivial. In many cases, it will seem easier to sprout wings and fly. However, once anyone can learn to practice these five steps, happiness is within easy reach.

By Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland was an Accelerated Business Growth Coach but has now turned to a more personal line of coaching. After experiencing some major challenges himself, he felt more attuned to dealing with the problems and challenges most of us face in everyday life.

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