Five Steps to Finding Happiness

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Author, speaker and lifestyle expert Angelica Philadonos provides five simple methods to reduce stress and increase happiness in your life.

Be thankful for everything. Often times we don’t realize exactly how much we have to be grateful for until we no longer have it.

In today’s society, Happiness remains as elusive as ever. Happiness is not found within another person or an object. Happiness being found within others or material objects is a lie that society and the advertising media has projected directly and intentionally into our brains and our collective conscience. Happiness takes work and time to achieve, but if you diligently follow these five steps, you can find happiness in your life.

Step 1: Stop using negative words. Pay attention to what you say and how you think. Even the smallest negative thought makes an impact, it seeps in and permeates everything about you. Energy has power, more so than we tend to give it credit. Negative thoughts and energy can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, and can be felt be other people and even animals around us and they react to it.

In addition to our own thoughts, we also have to be careful about who we expose ourselves to. Have you ever noticed how drained you feel after hanging around someone who is very negative? How about how good you feel when you expose yourself to someone who is positive? As the good old saying goes, “Misery loves company.” It is important to make it a point to surround yourself with positive thoughts, energy, and people. This will help you to become a more positive person which in turn will result in you becoming a happier person.

Step 2: Meditate daily. At first it may seem like you are too busy to meditate every day, so take a half an hour and make a recording of your own voice telling yourself repeatedly how calm and happy you are. Every night as you fall asleep, listen to the recording and allow the positive words to enter your subconscious. After a few weeks you will become more relaxed, so take things a step further and make time to meditate for 20 minutes every day in addition to listening to the recording at night. You won't believe the difference this makes.

Step 3: Learn to love yourself and be your own best friend! We live in a society that tells us that we are never good enough unless we have reached impossible artificial and oppressive expectations that the media places on us. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard very beautiful women talk about how they want to get breast implants, something tucked, shaved off, tightened, or so on. They see the beautiful women on the magazine covers and they fight to achieve the same look. The problem is, not even these models look like that! They are airbrushed and photo-shopped into an unattainable perfection.

Learn to love your personality and love who you are. There is no one on the planet like you. You are literally as unique as they come. Be yourself and love that woman/man that you are. Don’t change for anyone because then you are denying yourself the beautiful opportunity to be you. Love your smile lines and your crow’s feet- they tell the world a story of how you smiled and laughed! Love the wrinkles on your forehead- they tell the world about all of the times you were deep in thought. Love the scars on your skin- each scar tells a different and unique story about different things that you have gone through. Celebrate what society calls “imperfections” and know that you are perfect and beautiful exactly the way that you are!

Step 4: Slow down and find beauty in the little things in life. Often times we go through life like it is a marathon. Instead of living mindfully and enjoying the beauty around us, we race from one place to the next trying to get everything done as quickly as possible. By the time that we are finished we are so physically and mentally exhausted that the only thing that we want to do is mindlessly staring at a box with moving images that we call a television. SLOW DOWN! If we spend our life racing from one thing to the next then we are not enjoying the quality of our existence. Life is too short to run through it. What do you want to remember on your death bed? Do you want to remember all the stress that you put yourself trying to get from point a to point b, or do you want to remember that you took the time to truly see beauty and enjoy everything around you as you took the journey through life? I personally have realized that even when I am having a very busy day, just taking 10 seconds, stopping in my tracks and looking up at the clouds in the sky or smelling a flower increases the quality of my day. So try it! Start with enjoying something beautiful 10 seconds, once a day, then increase it to twice, then three times a day. Soon you will realize that even if you have a busy life of chaos, these moments that you take to slow down and admire beauty will open your eyes to a whole new world. I now see beauty everywhere I look. Find the beauty in the world around you and you will realize that you will begin to find the beauty in your own life.

Step 5: Be thankful for everything. Often times we don’t realize exactly how much we have to be grateful for until we no longer have it. Do you have food on your table? Be thankful because many people do not and are starving to death. Do you have drinkable water? Be thankful because many people wish that they had what you have. Do you have clothes on your back? That is amazing! So many humans don’t even have that. What about love? Do you have anyone in your life that loves you including pets? That is a beautiful thing to be thankful for because so many people truly have no one. As long as we are alive, no matter how hard life gets, there is always something to be thankful for, even if only for the breath in your lungs and the beating of your heart. No matter how dark our lives become, there is always a reminder that beauty is around us. The Earth reminds us that there is still something to be thankful for by giving a physical display of beauty. When you step outside, what do you see? A blue sky? Fluffy clouds? Flowers? The Earth is showing you a piece of heaven. That is something to be thankful for. So if someone gives you a gift and it’s not exactly what you wanted, be thankful that they cared enough to think about you. If someone doesn’t have a card available and writes you a sweet note on the mirror or on a scrap piece of paper, be thankful. Because they cared enough about you to show you the action of love. If you get bad news and you don’t understand why this is happening to you or a loved one, be thankful because hardships are lessons and help us become more developed individuals. I have been known to say- even when I am crying, “Everything happens for a reason.” After all of the hardships I have been though, I firmly believe that to be true. Life is an incredible adventure. Some moments are a bit harder than other times, but be thankful for everything and you will realize exactly how blessed you are.

Angelika Philadonos is an author and advocate. Her blog and her book Secret World may be found at http://www.AngelPhiladonos.org.

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Hart Williams
Philadonos LLC
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