Happiness is elusive.  Sometimes you feel happy for no reason at all.  You wake up and all is well with your world.

Sometimes you feel unhappy for almost no reason.  Any minor thing can set you off.  You see the dark side of almost everything.

This is all very natural.  Everything cycles including your mood.  The first step to happiness is to understand that there will be times when you feel anything but cheerful.  Happens to everyone.  But there are definite things you can do to be in a pleasant state of mind most of the time, and to minimize the dark periods.

Step One

First step is to understand that you are responsible for your state of mind most of the time.  Naturally you will grieve after a major loss, like the death of a loved one.  How long you grieve, and how much it affects your life, is largely up to you.  There are books you can read, therapists to help you, healing groups to attend, and a strong desire to start functioning normally again.  Grief can debilitate you for a few months while you recover.  It can also become permanent.  It’s up to you.  Here’s a lot of information on dealing with grief; https://soundcloud.com/truefortunes/loss

 Happiness is not a goal in itself.  It’s not possible to tell yourself that you are going to do this and then that and then happiness will come to you.  That’s not the way it works.  But you can make changes in your environment that will help greatly.

The first suggestion is to find a way to be of service to other people.  Empathy, kindness and happiness go together.  Increase any one of these and you will feel better very quickly.  There are many ways to be of service.  Charity, public service, hospital volunteering, meals on wheels, volunteer counseling, suicide hot line to name a few.  Being of service has many side effects, all of them beneficial.  Increased meaningful contact with other people expands your entire life.  Worth serious consideration.

Step Two

The second suggestion is to examine your life.  Ask yourself what makes you happy, and then ask yourself what makes you unhappy.  Then deliberately do more of the first and less of the second.  Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  Turns out to be surprisingly difficult.  It could involve dissolving a bad intimate relationship, changing jobs and even professions, moving to a different place, all kinds of major upheavals.  Or it could really be simple, just a few minor changes.  You will find that thinking about what makes you happy and what doesn’t can in itself initiate major change.

Step Three

insightA third suggestion is to learn to meditate.  You don’t have to sit in the lotus position and you don’t have to contemplate your navel.  Meditation is a way to blank your mind and let it find new ways of thinking and feeling all on its own.  This is usually quite difficult for the initiate, but becomes easy and most enjoyable with age.  I meditate whenever possible.  There are many books, tapes and videos on this subject.  Give it a try.

Like these suggestions?  Many more on www.truefortunes.com.

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