Credits to my friend, Dahlia, for sending me this meaningful sms (text in boldfaced) tonigh

1. Decide to be Happy;
“All the happiness you ever find lies within you.” says an article which listed 10 ways happy people choose happiness. Opting to be happy is always intrinsic in nature. Although external circumstances create impact to our mood, the ability to condition one’s mind makes significant yield on how one should welcome every turn of events with appreciation and less worry.

Smiling at the peak of an awkward plight or at the middle of an unforeseen mishap is the least possible thing one can try doing. But the good news is that “mood is malleable and happiness is yours for the choosing.” It isn’t about ignoring the negativities around you as if they don’t exist. It is about harnessing the strength and will inside you that says “I have all the reasons to smile, after all!”

Life is good.

2. Apply the power of positive thinking;

Whenever troubled or feeling stressed, it has become my habit to repeatedly say “All is well!” Thanks to the movie, 3 Idiots, the 3-word mantra works!!!

Positive thinking proves to be beneficial to our health. Among its benefits as a result of effective stress management, according to this article, include:
>> Increased life span
>> Lower rates of depression
>> Lower levels of distress
>> Greater resistance to the common cold
>> Better psychological and physical well-being
>> Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
>> Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

To harness the art of positive thinking, I recommend that you try browsing this site for some practical and very beneficial instructions on how you can master and apply optimism.

Positive people are healthy people. They are happy ones!

3. Maintain emotional wellness;

Emotional Wellness, as defined by this article, “is the ability to understand ourselves and cope with the challenges life can bring. The ability to acknowledge and share feelings of anger, fear, sadness or stress; hope, love, joy and happiness in a productive manner contributes to our Emotional Wellness.”

Dr. Guy Winch in his article at Huffington Post, says that “while we apply ice packs to sprains, use Band-Aids for cuts, or gulp down chicken soup when we have a cold”, it is important that we do something for our emotional well being. Protecting our self-esteem, taking control of ourselves after a failure, distracting ourselves from brooding thoughts, finding meaning after a loss, and recovering self-worth after a rejection are among the positive habits he suggested to boost our emotional wellness.

4. Have an attitude of gratitude;

Author and researcher Dr. Robert Emmons has discovered what gives life meaning: Gratitude. In his book, Thanks: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, he shares on a scientific note that “regular grateful thinking can increase happiness by as much as 25 percent”. Amazing!

Well, there should not be much debate on this ground. The more grateful a person is, the happier he/she becomes.

Here are some suggestions from SparkPeople on how we can practice gratitude:
>> Keep a gratitude journal.
>> Take the time to share your feelings; express gratitude.
>> Practice gratitude with your family and friends.

5. Live in the present;

While it is rewarding to recall the lessons of the past and it’s good to positively look forward, it is important to provocatively deal with the here and now.

The same sun rises and sets at the horizons every day. But each day is unique as the other. No two Mondays are the same just as every weekday (and weekend) offers new opportunities for mending broken hearts or searching one’s soul.

The yesteryears and the years to come are significant as it shaped and promise to mold the person in every one of us. But it is the here and now that we do something… to achieve fulfillment – to be happy.

To make the best out of what the present can turn out, Reader’s Digest’s 10 Steps to Mindfulness suggests:
>> Do one thing at a time.
>> Do it slowly and deliberately.
>> Do less.
>> Put space between things.
>> Spend at least 5 minutes each day doing nothing.
>> Stop worrying about the future — focus on the present.
>> When you’re talking to someone, be present.
>> Eat slowly and savor your food.
>> Live slowly and savor your life.
>> Make cleaning and cooking become meditation.

6. Love what you do, do what you love;

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” says Confucius. I have to subscribe.

Working as a classroom teacher in a rural public high school is definitely a very demanding task. Everyday it seems like I’m in a battlefield…ignorance, mediocrity, passiveness and lack of teaching and learning resources (plus some bureaucratic nonsense and lapses) are my common enemies, a source of inconvenience and worry. But at the end of the day, as my co-teachers and I ride the motor boat on our way home, after a hard day’s work, we find ourselves smiling and even laughing at ourselves for what transpired in our classrooms. I’m glad I have become a teacher. I know my colleagues share the same feelings, too.

7. Approach life with humor and laughter;

Humor and laughter are both contagious. When they are shared, they bind people together and foster happiness and togetherness. Scientific studies reveal that laughter triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter provide a boost in the immune system and energy, ease pain, and protect people from the adverse effects of stress. [Note: This blog from Daily Health Post enumerates the healthy benefits we get from laughter (and of course having a good sense of humor)]

To develop a good sense of humor, please visit this article at WikiHow.

8. Observe a healthy spirituality. Do not forget to thank GOD for the many blessings.

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.
–Denis Waitley

To be happy therefore is to experience spiritual growth which can only be achieved by recognizing and appreciating the role of the Supreme Being in our lives.

Thanks for reading this post. Feel free to share your thoughts.

Happy trio. We had a wonderful time whenever we're together despite our own personal troubles. I love these ladies!!!

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