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The persons who become the happiest and grow the most are those who also make truth and their own personal growth primary values. In short, we may be born with a happiness "set point," as Lykken calls it, but we are not stuck there. Happiness also depends on how we manage our emotions and our relationships with others.

Jon Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis , teaches positive psychology. He actually assigns his students to make themselves happier during the semester.

10 Simple Steps to a Happier You

They may learn to identify negative thoughts so they can challenge them. For example, when someone crosses you, in your mind you build a case against that person, but that's very damaging to relationships. So they may learn to shut up their inner lawyer and stop building these cases against people. Once you've decided to be happier, you can choose strategies for achieving happiness.

Psychologists who study happiness tend to agree on ones like these. In his book, Authentic Happiness , University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman encourages readers to perform a daily "gratitude exercise.

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This shifts people away from bitterness and despair, he says, and promotes happiness. Holding a grudge and nursing grievances can affect physical as well as mental health , according to a rapidly growing body of research. One way to curtail these kinds of feelings is to foster forgiveness. This reduces the power of bad events to create bitterness and resentment, say Michael McCullough and Robert Emmons, happiness researchers who edited The Psychology of Happiness. First, recall the hurt. Then empathize and try to understand the act from the perpetrator's point of view.

Be altruistic by recalling a time in your life when you were forgiven. Commit to putting your forgiveness into words. You can do this either in a letter to the person you're forgiving or in your journal.

The 12 Steps to Happiness That You Create (Infographic)

Finally, try to hold on to the forgiveness. Don't dwell on your anger, hurt, and desire for vengeance. The alternative to forgiveness is mulling over a transgression. This is a form of chronic stress, says Worthington. As Jon Haidt puts it, improve your mental hygiene.

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In The Happiness Hypothesis , Haidt compares the mind to a man riding an elephant. The elephant represents the powerful thoughts and feelings -- mostly unconscious -- that drive your behavior. The man, although much weaker, can exert control over the elephant, just as you can exert control over negative thoughts and feelings.


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It just takes work. For example, you can practice meditation , rhythmic breathing, yoga , or relaxation techniques to quell anxiety and promote serenity.

12 Steps to Happiness Case Stories

You can learn to recognize and challenge thoughts you have about being inadequate and helpless. Research shows that once income climbs above the poverty level, more money brings very little extra happiness. Yet, "we keep assuming that because things aren't bringing us happiness, they're the wrong things, rather than recognizing that the pursuit itself is futile," writes Daniel Gilbert in his book, Stumbling on Happiness. There are few better antidotes to unhappiness than close friendships with people who care about you, says David G.

How we manage them and keep our direction, that is what is most important. What you need to remember at all times is this, 'There is someone who loves me very dearly, and is taking care of me at all times. He cannot be without me and He is capable of removing any lack that I have'.


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When you are content; when you are happy, you want to share it. The nature of joy is to share with others. Joy has the tendency to spread, and whenever a person is genuinely happy and joyful from within, they want to just share it with the whole world. Tweets by SriSri. National Website Menu.

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Select a Retreat Center. Find a Center. Search This Website. The 10 Steps To Happiness. How to be Happy in Life: Here are the steps to follow to stay happy in life. If you sit and make a note of all your responsibilities and all your needs, and if you find that your needs are more than your responsibilities, then life will lead to misery. But if you take more responsibility and have fewer needs, then you will be happy.

This is the secret. Once a wise man drew a line on a board and told his student to make the line shorter without touching or erasing it. How would you do it? You have to shorten a line without touching it. Never mind if you are unhappy for a little while, so what? If you think I should never be unhappy, then that becomes a cause of unhappiness.

Dedicate your life to some larger goal or to the service of others around you, then you will find that only happiness flows through your life. Most Popular Wisdom Category. Dispassion is what you invoke in yourself. Love strengthens the soul, hatred and sorrow weakens the soul. While we live we should be happy and allow others to be happy. It is up to us to bring out the best in others.