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How to Be Happy: 10 Secrets to Living Life on the Sunny Side

Learn how to be happy – in 10 actions you can take right away. Develop – and keep – a positive attitude, no matter what life tosses in your direction.

Do you consider yourself to be a positive person?  A glass-half-full type? A roll-with-the-punches, don’t-sweat-the-small-stuff, life is good kind of woman? 

Or do you feel you need to work on being a more positive person who looks on the bright side of life?

Your perspective on life affects not only your emotions of the moment, but it can affect your physical and mental health, too.

Your general outlook can impact your health dramatically:

  • raise or lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and stress levels.
  • It can make you feel like it’s difficult to get anything accomplished,
  • make you sick more easily, and
  • challenge your strength when facing adversity.

Those are some very real, practical reasons to make you want to learn how to be happy.

Read about Emotional Self-Care for Women Over 50

Smiling woman has become a more positive person

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The good news is that anyone can infuse positivity into their lives.

The power of positive thinking may sound cliché, but it is a real thing!  Fortunately, we can teach ourselves to think with greater positivity.

If you want to be a more positive person, choose to become one. 

Your life perspective is not locked in stone. 

You can learn how to be happy.

Work these 10 actions into your everyday life, and watch how your perspective changes to a more positive outlook.

“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.”

Wade Boggs

How to Be Happy in Ten Action Steps

Action Step #1. Practice Gratitude

Each night before going to bed, think of (or better yet, write down) 1-3 things you’re grateful for from that day. You can jot these down in a notebook or a positivity journal.

These things may be small: a hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning. 

Or they may be something bigger: praise from the boss for an excellent project you completed.  

It really does not matter what you are grateful for, it matters that you pay attention and find things in your life to appreciate on a daily basis.

Make it a habit to seek out opportunities to be grateful, and you’ll soon spot them all around you.

Action Step #2. Turn Failures into Lessons

Acknowledging that no one is perfect puts things into perspective.

You (like everyone else) are going to make lots of mistakes in your life. 

You’ll probably make some mistakes every day. 

Instead of focusing on your mistakes and feeling like a failure, consider each mistake to be a learning opportunity. 

Take the time to break down what went wrong.  Not so you can berate yourself, but so that you can learn from it.

You cannot succeed without failing sometimes. It’s part of the framework, so make learn to make failure work for you.

Learn to see failures as chances to grow and improve, and they won’t be so overwhelming and terrifying in the future.  Embrace them – growth is a good thing!

desktop with coffee, pen, bright papers, and memo that reads "look on the bright side" to learn how to be happy

Action Step #3. Find Positive Friends

Surrounding yourself with people who are grounded and upbeat helps you maintain a positive outlook.

Negativity is contagious.

Positivity is contagious, too. 

Choose your friends wisely.

Action Step #4. Seek Humor

Laughter signals the brain to release serotonin, the “feel good” hormone. 

Make it a point to find things to laugh about on a daily basis, such as watching a sitcom, or playing a silly game with friends, or watching children at play in the park.

Allow your natural laughter to improve your mood.  Learn to seek opportunities to laugh.

Action Step #5. Assess What You’d Like to Change

What is it about your life that makes you feel negative? Are you unhappy with your relationship, your job, your finances?

Seek clarity on the cause of your mindset.

This isn’t always the easiest thing to do at first. You may resist introspection. Once you understand what isn’t working for you – it becomes your responsibility to make changes, and that can be frightening.

You may find that this analysis requires several attempts over time, but it will get results and you’ll feel empowered.

Many things can be affecting the level of negativity in your life. Once you put your finger on it, you can consciously change it for the better.

woman gazing out window thinking about how to be happy

Action Step #6. Start Each Day with a Positive Affirmation

The goal of affirmations is to change the way you think about yourself.

Begin your day on a positive note by recognizing that good things can and will happen throughout your day.

Find several affirmations that feel meaningful to you, and start your day by speaking them into the mirror or writing them in a journal. Repeat them until you believe them to be true.

Action Step #7. Recognize and Stop Your Negative Thoughts

Observe your thought patterns. Take notes each time you find yourself focusing on the negative. Become aware of your negative self-talk or when you find yourself being overly critical or judgmental. Then, rephrase those thoughts into positive or supportive terms.

Learning to recognize and then stop negative thoughts can be difficult at first. Keep at it.

Action Step #8. Find Something You Love to Do

Hobbies are something we don’t hear of too much these days since we’re all so busy. But taking the time to engage in something you’re good at and actually enjoy fills you with a sense of joy and fulfillment.

Pick up the old hobbies that you used to do, or find new ones that you’ve never tried. It will boost your happiness, your creativity, and your learning skills.

Hobbies can teach you how to be happy.

Action Step #9. Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Eat right, exercise regularly, and get a night of good sleep and you’ll see a definite boost in your mood.

The increased strength and energy you’ll feel will boost your confidence and help you see things in a brighter, more positive light.

woman cooking a healthy meal to help her learn how to be happy

Action Step #10. Understand that Practice Makes Perfect

Reinforcing positive living requires practice.

The more consistently you practice these steps, the more positive you will become.

Then, one day in the midst of a crisis, you’ll find that the first thing that comes to your mind is not what has gone wrong, but how you can change your attitude in order to best cope with the situation.

Read More:

The 8 Pillars of Self-Care: How You Can Build a Better Life

85 Emotional Self-care Activities That Will Make You Feel Amazing

Final Thoughts on How to Be Happy: 10 Secrets to Living Life on the Sunny Side

No one ever said life was easy.

There will be times when any one of us gets overwhelmed with what life throws our way. But it’s up to us to decide how we’ll come out the other end.

There are choices to be made. 

We can learn how to be happy.

Although we cannot always control our circumstances, we can learn to develop a positive attitude regardless of what life brings our way.

When life brings you lemons, do you bite the fruit or do you make lemonade?

woman in white smiling in front of ocean, she has become a more positive person

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