Are you happy? If your answer is a spontaneous “yes” then you are doing great. If you pause then you need to think about your life. What is happiness? Happiness is a state of mind where you experience positive emotions and feelings of contentment with in your soul.

The secret to true happiness is building a strong inner self which is not threatened by the distractions of the external world. Happiness can be divided into relative and absolute happiness. Relative happiness concerns the outer world whereas absolute happiness is found within your self, where you try to compare the past to the present, and the present to the future. Inner happiness leads to constant advancement where you push your limits and try to excel. This article will guide through several factors which increase your happiness quotient.  

Whether you agree or not religion and happiness are connected. A growing body of psychological science states that religious people are happier, healthier and recover better after traumas than non religious ones. Religious people believe in a supernatural power and the very belief that someone powerful is able to guide you through all walks of life gives them an inner confidence to face the tough challenges of the world. Religion increases the self esteem of the people because they feel unconditionally loved and cared for. Religion helps them to believe that they have a purpose in life and their efforts are not wasted.

It’s a very simple formula good health + happiness = longevity. If you take care of yourself properly by eating proper diet, exercising regularly and being one with nature then automatically your health improves, you are free from depression and moodiness and you feel a general sense of wellbeing and contentment. Happiness is contagious and a ripple effect is created where you pass on your happiness to those around you.  

A recent research study found out that happy people tend to live longer and experience better health than their unhappy peers. The researchers found out that happy people feel positive about life. They are not stressed and depressed and this increases their life span whereas pessimism, anxiety, depression and a lack of enjoyment of daily activities are associated with higher rate of disease and short life span.

Friends and family play an important part in your wellbeing and that includes happiness. But as I have already said earlier this happiness is relative form of happiness. Committed relationships increase your level of happiness and the more the commitment the happier you are. A committed relationship brings about more security and in turn more peace of mind.  

Friendships do increase your level of happiness. Good friends are there for you in times of need, to lift you up out of self doubt and pity, to cheer you up and above all give a sympathetic listening ear to your tales of woes. Friends do take part in sharing your joys and celebrate with you your moments of crowning glory. A pat on the shoulder, a firm grip of hand meaning “you can do it” pulls you up from deepest pits and sets you on your path to success.  

Forgiving is very difficult. But forgiveness did wonders for me and I hope it would for you too. Harboring painful memories does more harm to our emotional well being and robs us off our happiness. It brings more problems in relationships and the hurt feeling remains inside you until you decide to forgive the person. Then your heart becomes as light as a cloud and slowly happiness begins to creep inside your soul. The feelings of hurt start to evaporate and within days you forget those persons who caused you much harm.  

A new chapter begins in your life which leads you to steps of happiness and your goals, views and horizons broaden and you become a new person altogether. As I was doing a little research for this article I read about this woman who found it hard to forgive a person who did much harm to her then you know what she did wrote a letter to the person she hated and burned it. This simple action gave her a great feeling of relief. She found that all the hate in her heart just floated into the universe and strangely she felt light and happy yes happy.

Let it go

Just think and see what is more important to you some petty issues which you are fighting for or your happiness and peace of mind. Some things in life are not worth fighting for just let it go and this gives you much peace of mind. There may be some irritating habits of those close around you, or some matters concerning your work place or whatever it may be for reasons best known to you, stop fighting for it and just let it go. You know what in a matter of time you will forget all about it and be involved in some more promising activity and above all you would have gained your happiness. This state of mind allows you to make more mature decisions and the outcome will be more than you expected.     

Happiness is directly related to charity. When you help a person in need no matter how much money is concerned it gives a warm glow to your heart. It may not be money but small acts of kindness such as volunteering for some social cause, visiting old people who are alone, helping orphaned kids and you can keep on adding to this list. A study about key to happiness found that those people who spent money on others were happier than those who spent the money on themselves.  

Optimism helps you to see things in a positive light and it greatly increases your happiness. Research has found both optimists and pessimists have gone through equal number of unfortunate events in their lives. The optimists view these as challenges and devise ways and means to move forward and make positive life action plans. The pessimists brood over what happened to them doing nothing sinking in self pity and depression. The good news is that even though you are not a born optimist you can become one by taking control of your feelings. Think positive, surround yourself with positive people, be happy and optimistic and spread this good news and cheer.

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