Ways to be happy…

Make Happiness your own…

March 20th was the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness.  For several weeks I have been reading articles in various publications about ways to be happy.    I’ve recapped below some of the things that are most attainable for any of us…

Happy people get busy doing things that make them happy. They want fun experiences, not stuff They do good things for others, anonymously or directly Happy people don’t sit around.  They strive for something personally meaningful, whether it’s learning a new language, retraining in their careers or raising good kids. Find a happy person, and you will find a project.

1. Practice kindness. Do something nice for someone else, whether it’s someone you know or a stranger.

2. Keep a gratitude journal. Keep this daily about things that you are truly thankful for or something that has really pleased you.

3. Get spiritual. Research shows people who participate in their local church, synagogue, temple or other preferred spiritual community are happier. Not religious? There are ethical societies and movements that get people thinking beyond themselves.

4. Buy experiences, not stuff. A vacation with loved ones or buying tickets to a show or concert will make you happier than buying another gadget. These experiences help you feel closer to others, so instead of buying the jersey of your favorite baseball player buy a pair of tickets to a game that will allow you to spend time with a friend or a loved one.

5. Buy things that create experiences. Buy items that allow you to have experiences in your areas of interest, such as sports, games or music.

6. Slow down on social media usage. People who spend a significant amount of time on Facebook and other social media sites usually have lower self-esteem, less connection to others, and fewer positive emotions than those who spend less time.  Social media also evokes social comparison, often leaving us feeling worse about ourselves.

7. Stop checking your email. People who constantly check their email are more stressed than people who check their email just three times daily, according to a recent study. It’s hard to resist the temptation but sticking to a schedule can reduce your stress significantly.

8. Focus on time, not money. Although people typically focus on money, it’s been found that focusing on time often helps people realize that time is a precious resource. This knowledge helps people be more deliberate in how they spend it. It can lead to greater fulfillment and make them happier, like connecting with the people in their lives.

Everyone is different in terms of what makes them happy.  So however you achieve it, make happiness your own!

By Anne Capps
Executive Vice President – American Receivable

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