This week with a heavy heart and huge appreciation I bade farewell to a very dear friend. She had been the epitome of happy thinking and contented living. Her childlike joy was spread like confetti wherever she went.

We often giggled about how we make our own happiness. We discussed how we choose to be happy, taking the view that life is 10% what happens and 90% how we react to it.

It’s really empowering to recognize that circumstances, however daunting or overwhelming, do not create your life. You are the one in control of your attitude. Together we conjured up a list of 7 ways to cultivate happiness and lighten our days.

Historically we were both familiar with life feeling like an endurance test. We were constantly thinking about how dwelling on fearful thoughts stripped us of our clarity. Times when we imagined the worst, it felt like there was a large magnet drawing us ever closer to what we didn’t want.

However, as complementary health practitioners, we both bathed in the joys of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). This energy medicine supported the scientifically proven premise that when you choose to look on the brighter side of life, good things happen.

This attitude is a natural mood enhancer. Feel good chemicals like serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins flood into your bloodstream and literally make you feel like a different person. Your inner beliefs are a reflection of what you alone need to focus on.

So even when not feeling your best. Remember a positive attitude will lift your thoughts and amplify your energy. If you can’t think of a happy place, imagine your most fortunate place. Take a mental snapshot. Feel it. Focus attention on it and enjoy your body’s natural response.

Always, Always, Always Appreciate

Appreciation is a mindful concept. It’s about being able to see clearly and acknowledge what’s going on in your life right now. Gratitude on the other hand is about being thankful for what you have. Both Appreciation and Gratitude are instant ways of shifting your happiness vibe in an upward direction.

Create a “Bliss Builder” Folder

One way to raise your spirits is to keep photos or mementos of your most memorable moments in one folder. Keep expanding it and keep it handy for easy access. It’s a wonderful to lift you up on blue days and a great reminder too. It’s so easy not to remember how awesome some of your achievements or special moments have been.

Celebrate a Cheerful Attitude with a “Daily Delights” Diary

Make a diary of your Daily Delights from every day experiences. This is so much fun. Even if you just do this for one day, record the little things that delight you and make you smile.

Focus on the things that are more than you thought. Things like the sound of birdsong, children’s laughter or the feel of sunshine. Do it all day long. Read through the Daily Delights notes at the end of the day. How does it make you feel?

Generate Gladness

Be the cause of cheer. What can you do to lift your own heart and/or make someone smile today?

Laughter Ledger

Keep an account book. However, rather than credits and debits enter moments of mirth and merriment. Have you ever actually noticed what makes you smile and brings you moments of happiness?

Positive People

Surround yourself with positive people. It makes a massive difference to get constructive feedback. There’s nothing like having a community of cheerleaders to spur you on in moments of doubt. As Oprah says, “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.”

Peaceful Practice

Prepare for a more peaceful existence. Limit your access to the news and tabloids. Instead choose uplifting publications and recordings. Watch your mindset and wellbeing flourish.

I totally acknowledge that life is often a challenge. It is up to us to recognize and seize opportunities for daring adventures. Remember it’s your story, your book. Your life is your script. Every word you use and every action you take or don’t take, is what you make of it. You can say “I am leading my life” or “I am letting my life lead me.” Share in the Joy.

How do you find joy or happiness in your life and most importantly, how you share it with others? Please join the conversation below.

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