This morning I was thinking how there are always new things we want, or believe we need to be happy.

Thеrе аrе сеrtаіn thіngѕ thаt I would really love to have, thіngѕ lіkе an amazing аnd beautiful hоuѕе in the mountains or close to the beach, or preferably at the beach with mountains behind. I wоuld аlѕо like to buy a nісе car fоr mуѕеlf.  I wоuld lіkе to travel more.  I would also lіkе to save up a lоt оf mоnеу, just to have some more financial security.  

Question is, am I really going to be so happy and content if I have this all? Well there is no denying that I certainly would be happy to get all of least in the beginning...when it is all still new. But what when the novelty wears off?

I remember one day when I was driving in my new car to my new job; I was so happy and so grateful for both! It had been so hard to get a suitable job, so having a job was pretty special for me. And then I was also able to afford a new car. Yes, it was a small car and it was almost completely financed, but it was there and I could enjoy it after having done for more than 2 years without any car at all.

Today I have a much bigger car and a better paying job, but it has become normal. I only feel happy and grateful about it when I remember the hard times.

Today I am looking at other things to make me happy. 

That is human nature I think. It looks like we are never content or satisfied with what we do have. And that is not right. I am sure that there are a lot of things that you and I can be happy about, grateful for and satisfied with, without it being the next big thing.

So, how can we be happy with what we do have, and how can we be happy with ourselves?

Thе fіrѕt thіng that уоu can dо іѕ to bе thаnkful.  You can be thankful for whаt you hаvе tоdау.  If you аlwауѕ keep соmрlаіnіng аbоut the thіngѕ thаt you dоn't have, you аrе nеvеr gоіng to be happy.  You will always feel that you are lacking. Instead of always wanting more, bigger and better, take a moment to be grateful for what you do have. You already have а hоuѕе tо lіvе in, right? Yоu have a comfortable рlасе tо ѕlеер at night? You have food on your plate? Let's be thankful for that.

I know I have many things to be happy about. I have a great house, I have a nice car, I have good food on my plate. My basic needs are fulfilled. But more than that, I am so grateful for the beautiful people in my life. I am thankful for my husband, both my daughters and my grand kids, my sister and her family, my husbands family, and a small group of friends I can count on. I am also able to travel, and that is something I really enjoy. I can go out and have money for a cup of coffee or a lunch.

That is a lot to be grateful and thankful for.

One of my favorite things I do to stay happy is in my mind mentioning all the people and things  that I am grateful for. I normally do this just before I go to sleep and/or just after I wake up. I really love doing this because it helps me to go to sleep with a positive thought, and/or setting a positive tone for the day to come. I know that it has made me a happier person.

Secondly, you can "Fake it until you make it". This has worked really well for myself in the past. By faking your happiness you change your mindset, because your feelings follow your actions. In the past I faked my happiness and that worked well, but more than that I faked my confidence. I acted really confident, while in reality I was shitting my pants. This happened especially when I had to talk in front of people. But after a while I didn't need to fake my confidence anymore, and I actually started enjoying to present something that I thought was meaningful and/or funny.

One of the things that also truly makes me happy is watching funny videos. I especially love to watch YouTube videos of baby animals. That always brings a smile to my face. And then, of course there are comedies or funny movies you can watch as well. Have a look at the happy lists that I have created. They may give you some additional ideas. I included lists with music that makes me happy, happy activities and hobbies and places that make me happy. (If you want to see them all, you can also download a PDF with all lists).

The other thing that can make you happy is looking in the mirror at yourself. Okay...I hear don't like looking at yourself because you believe that you are too ugly or too fat, maybe too thin, or maybe you don't like the color of your hair. I get it. I used to look at myself that way too. But what about you look at yourself in the mirror and you come up with ten things that you do like about your self. Say them out loud. For example, you can say: "I am really funny, I have beautiful eyes, I love the way I wink, I am really good at cooking, my friends love me, I am always there for other people. I am very creative", I love animals, etc".

Meditation is also a great tool for your happiness and overall well being, or even if it's just sitting down for 15 minutes and doing nothing at all, other then breathing in and out. This forces you to slow down, and new connections are made in your brain that will make your happier and healthier.

Some people also love to exercise, and exercise is making them happy. For me simply walking and getting in a certain rhythm is like meditation. Although I am moving physically, it relaxes my mind and makes me happier. The one activity I absolutely love and that always makes me happy without exception, is dancing. I love music and moving to the music. To me dancing and singing as well are pure expressions of my soul, they make me feel endlessly happy.

Here you go. As you can see there are certainly things that you can do to be a happier person and to be more content with your life and yourself. 

Please tell me about your own favorite strategies. I'd love to hear all about it!

With love,

Maxima Miller

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