Psychology

Ten Ways to Create Genuine Happiness in Your Life

Written by Mike Oppland

Being always happy is not an easy thing to do. But there are some tips and trick that can help you create genuine happiness.

1. Separate you from your mind.

This is one of the biggest deterrents for people in their “quest” for happiness. You are not your mind. Have you ever heard the saying “my mind is playing tricks on me?” Your mind is great at playing tricks on you, and for some reason you tend to believe everything the mind tells you. It judges, victimizes, sabotages, and worries, and every story it produces is the truth for you. The belief in these so-called truths and stories results in a lot of pain and suffering and ultimately, unhappiness in your life. It is time to stop allowing the mind to take you for a ride. Every thought that pops in your head is not true. If it was true, you would know it. The mind has been cultivated through the compilation of false beliefs. These false beliefs were created by you, and you have the power to stop them. The mind will continue creating drama and stories. Will you continue interpreting these stories into truths which lead to emotional instability and unhappiness or will choose to not believe them?

ten_ways_to_find_genuine_happiness2. Be grateful.

Be grateful for anything and everything. Show gratitude in your life on a daily basis. Write down the things you are grateful for. Tell people thank you. Before you begin wanting more, remember to be grateful for what you already have. Don’t take anything you have in life for granted!

3. View every moment as a gift and enjoy it to the fullest.

Related to being grateful is enjoying every moment of life. It sounds cliché but every moment of your life is a unique gift. You are not guaranteed a certain amount of moments. You don’t know when your last moment will come, so cherish every moment. If you fail to enjoy one moment, then concentrate on enjoying the next and every moment after that. I promise, you will get more out of life if you view each moment in this way. You will have no choice but to exude happiness because who isn’t happy when they are receiving gifts?

4. Smile and laugh more even if it is for no reason at all.

It is amazing what a simple smile and a little laughter can do for your happiness. Some people might argue that faking a smile or faking laughter is silly. I argue that if you open yourself up to smiling and laughter it will become second-nature. Why would anyone fake smiling and laughing when there are so many reasons to smile and laugh? If you are smiling and laughing you are enjoying the moment. You are genuinely experiencing joy. Why not add more joy to your life?

5. Serve others.

This can encompass a wide range of good deeds but no matter how large or small the deed is, take the time to help your fellow man. I guarantee you will feel better about yourself, mankind, and the world. Serve others for the satisfaction of knowing you helped someone, not because you expect something in return. Conditional service to others will not cultivate genuine happiness in your life. Unconditional service with no strings attached is an enormous leap in creating the happiness you desire.

6. Manage your expectations of other people.

This is a tricky one. I don’t mean that you should never have expectations of other people. Parents expect their children to behave in a respectful manner. Bosses expect their employees to work hard for the company. These are very realistic and integral to raising upstanding children or running a successful company. It is the unrealistic expectations you create that cause a lot of unnecessary drama in your life. Not every person you encounter on the street is going to be as polite as you. Not everyone is going to drive cautiously. Not everyone is going to hold the door for you or say excuse me or please and thank you. Is getting upset over situations like this really worth it? Ask yourself this the next time you want to get upset at someone for not doing what you expect. Your agenda of expectations are not always going to manifest themselves. The sooner you learn that, the less emotional instability you will experience in life.

7. Accept what you can and cannot change.

Once you manage your expectations for others, accept other people for who they are. Accept situations that you might not like for what they are. This is especially important because you can’t change other people and you can’t always change circumstances that arise in life. Figure out what you can and can’t change. If you want to change something about yourself, go for it. Accept yourself for who you are but when change is necessary, take action. That is ok. That is how you grow. Realize that you don’t have the power or authority to change others even if you really want to. People have to change because they want to, not because you want them to. Also accept that people don’t have control over your happiness, only you do. If you want to be happy no one should be able to take that away from you.

8.  Don’t take what other people say personally.

I wish I would have learned this one earlier in life. It is easy to take what others say to you or about you personally. The next time this happens try to remember it is only their opinion. Just because they say something hurtful or mean doesn’t make it true. So why believe it? Save yourself the pain and suffering by refusing to believe mean-spirited opinions because you know they aren’t true. Some people live with a lot of emotional baggage so they feel the need to spread hate to others. You don’t take this personally because you know these people don’t know any better. You control your happiness not anyone else. Toxic words from someone else directed toward you aren’t going to alter your happy state of being.

9. Choose to love, not hate.

It sounds simple because it is. Learn to live with love. Love not only your family and friends but everyone you encounter. You don’t have to hug and interact with strangers the way you do your loved ones, but you can still be compassionate and loving towards them. If you can’t love people who are mean to you, at least try to accept them for who they are. As I stated previously, many people don’t know any better. Loving others means you are compassionate. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone but at least give people the benefit of the doubt. It cultivates happiness much easier than revenge or other acts of retaliation.

10. Live in the present and just be.

Don’t focus on the past which is already over. Don’t look too far into the future which is yet to come. Live in the present. The happiest people are those who don’t allow their minds to wander with the business of every day. This is because they can focus on the present. They accept where they are right now. They aren’t worried about what is next. They aren’t sulking about past occurrences. Meditate, pray, do whatever you have to do to stay in the present moment because it is the only thing you can control right now. Change the way you look at your life. Plan your day but stay in the present as much as possible. Instead of abdicating your power to the schedule you have to keep, live presently. Perform tasks as they arise but don’t allow your mind to start running through the lists and lists of things you must accomplish. Take a deep breath and realize where you are right now.

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About the author

Mike Oppland

Mike Oppland graduated from Calumet College in June 2006 with a B.A. in Business Management. After college he played professional basketball in Denmark, Finland, and Germany for three years before becoming a college basketball coach for two years at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. During this time he obtained his MBA from St. Leo University. He has spent the past four years playing pro basketball in Austria and Luxembourg. He currently plays professional basketball and coaches youth basketball in Luxembourg City.
He is co-founder and co-director of xpertcoaching.com along with his twin brother, Dan. Their goal is to spread their love of basketball as well as personal development with others.
He loves spending time with family and friends. He loves to travel and has been fortunate enough to see a lot of the world in his thirty years.