Happiness- you can’t beg for it or buy it or even barter for it. You can however create it and better yet sustain it. If you want to be happier long-term make creating and sustaining happiness a priority and apply the following happiness sustaining principals.

Choose it
The old adage, "people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be" is true. Choose to live a life of happiness. When you are not ask yourself why and begin to irradiate your happiness block.

Be present now
At any moment all we have is that moment. Putting our attention on the past and the future makes it impossible for us to fully experience this moment right now. One way to remind yourself to be present is to take a deep breath any time you notice you are worrying about the future or experiencing regret about the past. Yesterday is your history, the future is a mystery. This moment is life’s true present to you.

Make your relationships matter
Your deepest, richest, most profound happiness in life will come from your relationships: the people you love, the people your meet who touch you and the people who’s lives you reach out to touch. The place where we often make mistakes is we focus on the results we want rather than the relationships that enrich our life. Put your relationships first and the results you are pursuing second and happiness will rarely elude you.

Acknowledge others often
Adding acknowledgement to a relationship recipe always makes it better. When we express our appreciation to others we are telling them that they matter to us and we are grateful for their contribution to our lives. Every one can take in much more acknowledgement than they are receiving now. Acknowledge someone you love for sharing their feelings with you, tell your long time friends how much they mean to you and acknowledge your partner for all the little things. When you acknowledge others you are also acknowledging to yourself how good your life is, that sustains your happiness.

Practice approval
Part of what makes us unhappy is we do things we do not want to be doing. Going to a baby shower for someone your barely know, driving two hours to get there and the whole time wishing you were somewhere else. If you are doing things because of a sense of obligation or societal, family, or community pressure you will be unhappy.

Decide that you are going to approve of whatever you do. If you do something you have to approve of you doing it. From now on instead of asking yourself "should I do this?" Ask yourself- "Do I approve of me doing this?" Whatever you do make sure it is OK with you.

Communicate your truth harmlessly
Fundamental to your happiness is being truthful about who you are, what you want, how you feel and every aspect of your life. What is important to recognize is that we have to develop the ability to say what we want to say without blaming, shaming or making anybody else wrong. When you are concerned with being right or placing blame, you are making someone else wrong and that creates distance rather than intimacy in your relationships.

Take responsibility for your thoughts and feelings and communicate in a way that makes other people feel that they to can speak their truth. This way all your relationships will be more authentic and therefore fulfilling.

Ask for what you want
Do not wait for people to make you sweet offers, do not fall into the trap of assuming people should know what you want. Ask for what you want every time you want something and you will get more of what you want more of the time.

Release judgement
You deserve to live the life you want to live. That and fulfilling relationships is what brings true happiness. Allow other people the ability to live the life they choose without your judgement and criticism. You can only control your life, putting your attention on how other people ought to live their lives will cause you nothing but disappointment and frustration.

Don’t worry about what other people think
One way to stop judging others is to stop thinking about what other people think of you. Trying to live up to other people’s expectations is hard, never ending work. This is your life. You are the only one who has to approve of how you live it.

Happiness is less elusive than you might think. It is also contagious. One way to be happy is to be with happy people. Share this information with your happy friends and you can all support each other in enjoying long-term happiness.

Author's Bio: 

Caterina Rando, MA, MCC, is a success speaker, life coach and author of "Learn to Power Think." She helps people invigorate their lives and create the results they want with ease. To find out about her programs, book and other resources, visit www.caterinar.com. Caterina can be reached at 800-966-3603 or by email at cpr@caterinar.com.