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October 24, 2007

8 Ways To Be Happy

By Alicia Socorro

Do you know someone who is always in a good mood? Does it get on your nerves? Yeah, me too. But being happy is important for many reasons, but, above and beyond all else, it’s important if you want to have a better quality of life. Don’t you want to be happy?

If you’re consistently complaining or on edge, how comfortable do you really feel in your own skin? How comfortable can others possibly feel around you if everything is negative or upsets you?

It’s time to get a grip on your emotions and turn anger and frustration into happiness. Of course, you won’t become Mary Poppins come tomorrow morning, but you may start looking at your life in a new, more positive fashion. And although it may take some time, you can be happy, and love life.

How to be happy tip #1
Make time for you

How often do you sit alone in a quiet room and think? If you’re like most women, there’s a good chance that it’s not often at all.

It’s important to spend time by yourself without zoning out to the television. Most of us arrive home, turn on the TV, have dinner, talk to family and friends, and go to bed without having even reflected on ourselves. Is that any way to be happy?

And you don’t have to meditate to be effective; read a book you’ve been eyeing, lie down and close your eyes for five minutes, or soak in a hot bath for 20 minutes. You don’t need to be alone for hours on end, but making yourself a priority for a little while each day will help you become more satisfied with your life, not to mention be happy about what you do have going for you.

How to be happy tip #2
Smile at everyone

I live in a metropolitan area where smiling at strangers makes you certifiable, but I do it anyway, and more and more, I notice that people feel good about it and most return the small favor.

If you smile, you will instantly feel better and make those around you feel better, thus filling your surroundings with a positive vibe.

Whether it’s people you see every day during your commute or someone you’ve never seen before at Starbuck’s, smile your pretty little face off and spread the goodness. If you want to be happy, perhaps you should start acting happy.

How to be happy tip #3
Eat right

Believe it or not, too much sugar, greasy foods and hydrogenated fats can leave you feeling depressed. If you don’t get any raw food in your diet and consistently eat fast food, it may have a serious impact on your moods.

Adding Omega 3 to your diet via fish, flaxseed or even a supplement, may help to ward off depression, according to a study conducted by Dr. Joseph Hibbeln of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

As well, fresh fruit like bananas and strawberries also provide necessary vitamins to keep your serotonin levels up and allowing you to be happy.

And you’ll be happy to know that chocolate is on that list, however, I strongly recommend you consume (70% or higher) dark chocolate rather than milk or white chocolate (it’s healthier) and even then, consume it in moderation.

How to be happy tip #4
On so many levels, being active is so good for you. It will help you reshape your body, thus making you feel better about yourself and resulting in, you guessed it, happiness. When you feel confident about your body, you will be happy, no doubt.

But there’s more; exercising releases serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and endorphins, natural chemicals in the body that boost mood. If you’ve never heard of “runner’s high,” the theory is based on the fact that after rigorous exercise, runners feel this euphoric sensation come over them.

So commit yourself to a 30-minute walk every single day (at the very least), and you will begin to feel and look better, and be happy.

How to be happy tip #5
Get orgasmic
If you’ve never experienced orgasm, it’s no wonder you’ve been moody… just kidding. But orgasm results in the body’s release of oxytocin, a chemical that causes the release of endorphins, ultimately helping you to be happy. Although some would argue that getting laid in general would pretty much take care of that whole happiness issue.

Regular orgasm is good for the body and for your mood, just keep in mind that you need to play it safe and use protection if you are not in a monogamous relationship and do not want to spend half the month wondering if you’re pregnant. That would not help you to be happy.

How to be happy tip #6
Get a pet
If you are not an animal person or think that animals in the home are disgusting, then don’t get a pet. But if you’ve been debating whether or not to get a toy dog or a kitty cat, you may inadvertently be doing yourself a favor.

Animals are innocent and are never intentionally malicious towards their owners. They love you unconditionally, and nothing will help you to be happy like coming home to a pet who adores you.

Even if you’ve had the worst day of your life, spending a few minutes petting your animal will help to calm you down and realize that things aren’t really that bad.

How to be happy tip #7
Remind yourself how lucky you are
If you lost a major account at work or you and your boyfriend had a huge fight and you’re wondering if this is the end of the road for you as a couple, take a minute and think about your situation.

Sometimes we tend to be a little melodramatic and quickly conclude that our lives are so terrible, but upon further reflection, we realize that we’re actually quite lucky to be living where we do, to have our health, and to be loved by so many people.

Although you might want to wallow in self-pity sometimes (and that’s okay), bring yourself back to reality and remind yourself that things could always be worse. If you want to be happy, you need to focus on all the good things in your life.

How to be happy tip #8
Calm down

We spend our lives rushing through every day. We rush to work, we rush to eat lunch and get back to work, we rush home, and we rush through traffic.

Take a minute, look away from the computer, count to 10, then inhale to a 4-count, letting your stomach protrude, and exhale. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

There, don’t you feel calmer? Whenever you feel like your brain is overwhelmed with thoughts or that there just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything, stop for one minute, breathe deep, and get back to what you were doing. You may realize that you’re freaking out for nothing. If you want to be happy, you need to put things in perspective.

All women can be happy

You can’t expect a man or money or anything else to help you be happy. You create and destroy your own happiness because what it all comes down to is your mindset.

Now is your mind set on being pissed off all day, or would you rather be more pleasant and feel good about yourself? The choice is ultimately up to you.

Remember: No one can make you angry or upset, you have control over your feelings. And you can choose to be happy.

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