Happiness is decision. We always have the power to choose it. And what better time than midlife?
When you’re happy, you naturally smile. Our facial expressions send messages that provide clues to our overall emotional state, our mental well-being and mood – whether you say anything or not.
Science says it takes more muscles to frown than smile. People look better and younger when they smile. What midlife women doesn’t want that?
This isn’t to say that in the face of tragedy, depression or a great sadness, we should just paint on a happy face. As I’ve written before we need to feel our feelings to work through them.
It does mean, however, that we always retain our power to choose. Consciously practicing some of these ideas may help us work through our darker emotions.
To create your own Happiness Practice, implement as many of these ideas as you can.
- Quit pursuing happiness. Happiness is not something you seek. Don’t think you’ll be happy “when” you get the job, lose weight, or win the lottery. Be happy first, and then amazing things will happen.
- Abandon limiting beliefs. Your beliefs are just thoughts. If you have negative ones that prevent your happiness, just change them. It’s that simple. You can unlearn any thought or belief that’s keeping you from being happy.
- Give. This is one of the simplest ways to be happy even if it’s just a kind word or compliment.
- Don’t be judgmental. You CANNOT be happy if you are judging other people, situations, or events.
- Learn how the law of attraction works. When you get the concept that you control your own reality it changes everything about the way you live. What an empowering thing it is to be a deliberate creator of your life.
- Know what triggers your happiness. One of the easiest ways to be happy is to know what can instantly shift a negative situation into a positive one. A walk on the beach, petting your dog, a beautiful song…. what’s your happiness trigger?
- Turn off the television. My favorite. I don’t listen to the news in the morning. I can’t start my day listening to doom and gloom. Make an effort to watch ONLY positive uplifting TV or movies.
- Meditate. In order to be happy, you have to release all worry, fear and resistance. Meditation is the easiest and quickest way to do this. Just minutes a day can make a profound difference. Or try yoga.
- Make gratitude a daily habit. Being grateful is one of the easiest ways to be happy. You can’t be unhappy when you are in a state of appreciation.
- Accept where you are now. You can’t make a positive change in your life if you are continuously resisting your current state. Stop struggling against where you are now and focus your attention on where you want to be.
- Stop making excuses. We can all find hundreds of reasons why we’re not happy. Don’t play the victim. Focus on what you want instead of why you don’t have it.
- Just say no. Do you feel like you have to be everything to everybody? Do you have so much on your plate because you just can’t say no? This is a recipe for stress and anxiety.
- Forget the peanut gallery. This may be the hardest of all the ways to be happy. We care way too much about what others think and all that does is limit us. Don’t worry about “them” because “they” don’t know what’s best for you.
- Laugh. We tend to forget to laugh and play as we get older. Make laughter and fun a priority. Out of the habit? Try a funny movie or laughter yoga.
- Focus on now. You can’t change the past so stop dwelling on it. Let it go. Move forward.
- Constant learning. Once you stop your desire to learn new things you become stagnant and age quickly. Learning fuels energy and enthusiasm and it keeps you feeling vibrant and younger.
- Find purpose. What gives your life meaning? What are the things that truly make you feel valued and happy?
- Put yourself first. Isn’t that selfish? NO! Think what you could bring to your family, friends, co-workers and community if you made being happy your number one priority. Everyone benefits from your happiness.
- Just do it. Be brave. Jump right in. Don’t wait until later, or tomorrow, or next week, or next year to do the things that bring you joy.
Midlife is a unique and transformational time. You can fight it – or you can thrive and enjoy it.
Create your life consciously and deliberately. DECIDE what you want and then focus on it. Forget about what you don’t want. If you focus on that, you’ll just get more of it.
Practice these ways to be happy. There’s ONLY ONE WAY to be happy and that’s to make being happy your number 1 priority.
Diane, The Midlife Woman’s Career Coach
Diane Howell Topkis is the author of the Career Clarity ebook series. Diane works with midlife women to gain the clarity and confidence to reinvent or re-energize their career into meaningful work for their next chapter. Please visit www.YourNextChapterNOW.com to receive your free workbook Find Your Career Passion.
In her non-work time, Diane wrote three Tasting Journals to take on her weekend and vacation tasting adventures – Wine Travels, Craft Spirits and Craft Beer. They are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.