"Now and then it's good to pause in the pursuit of happiness and just be happy" Guillame Apollinaire (French Novelist)

So you want to be happy and you try to just let it happen but sometimes it seems too hard to do. What you need are a few simple steps that happy people follow.

1. Firstly, set the intention to be happy. Make it a priority. Intentions are like pledges you make to yourself. When you set the intention to be happy you have already told your mind that that’s what you’re doing. It will help you choose things that are in line with your intention. Keep reminding yourself of your intention. Maybe have it written and placed somewhere you can easily see it every day.

2. Do things that make you happy. Set aside some time EVERY DAY to do something fun, creative, nurturing, something soul-foodish to bring happiness closer to you.

3. Be curious about life. Approach a task with beginners mind. Be a child seeing something for the very first time. You’ll be amazed at how many things there are to be joyous about when you look.

4. Cultivate gratitude. Gratitude helps you focus on what you have that already brings you joy and trains your brain to look out for more of the things that make you happy. Try a gratitude journal. Even just 5 things each day that you’re grateful for. I like to start my morning with 5 gratitudes so my mood is set for the entire day.

5. Learn to love yourself. (More on this in a later blog). Loving yourself makes life seem brighter, happier, and more joyous and you’re more likely to want to share yourself with others. If you think loving yourself is too hard at this point in time, try for liking yourself. And if that’s too hard, try for accepting yourself.

6. Share yourself with others. Yep, being with other people, especially encouraging, supportive, and loving people lifts the bar on happiness. Try to spend more time with these types of people. If you don’t know any, join an online group. Try to find people who are inspiring or who have positive things to say – even if it’s on Twitter. When you start to feel more uplifted, more uplifting will start to enter your life.

7. Change your relationship to negative or critical thoughts. You don’t necessarily have to change the thoughts. They will change in time if you practice these steps. You can change your relationship to your negative and critical thoughts by realising that you don’t have to believe in them, you don’t have to listen to them and you can choose to just let them pass you by.

8. Cultivate happier thinking. Learn to savour experience. Relish the good times you’ve had. Daydream over the good times you’re going to have. See problems as gifts for you to learn from (more on this late too).

9. Practice extreme self-care. Look after your body. Make sure you get enough sleep. Eat well. Play lots. Nurture yourself. Allow others to nurture you. Say no to things that deplete you. If you have a nasty inner voice that says you don’t deserve it, stick your inner tongue out to it and self-care yourself anyway.

10. Get more in control of your life. Deal with what you can control now. Put the rest in the deal with/control it later box. This will also help you live more in the now.

11. Wow! A bonus step! It’s almost enough to make you happy. Live more in the present moment. When you’re more here than in the past or the future, you’re happier and calmer and more joyous and more spontaneous and more present.

Author's Bio: 

Michelle Hanisch is Life Coach and Psychologist. Her passion is helping people live a more creative, fulfilling, and happy life. Michelle can help you through any stage of your journey - whether you need to heal, grow or transform your life. You can find out more about Michelle at www.healgrowtransform.com.au.