How Can I Be Happy When…?

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By Irene Conlan –

The world seems to be crashing down around you. You bought a house before your old one sold and now you’re stuck with making two mortgage payments. Gas is so expensive it’s taking most of you grocery money just to get to work and back. It seems that everywhere you go people are talking gloom and doom and the news is full, as usual, of murder and mayhem. Times are just tough all over – how can I be happy in the middle of all this?

Now, don’t get mad because what I’m about to say sounds so simplistic – it may sound stupid, actually. But hear me out.

Happiness lies within you not in the circumstances that impinge upon your daily life. Have you noticed that when you feel really good and good about yourself that most circumstances don’t bother you and you find solutions more easily?

According to Dan Baker, author of What Happy People Know, there are six tools for happiness and, I can guarantee you, that if you use them regularly, they will work:

  1. Appreciation: Look at your life on a regular basis and list, mentally or on paper, those things you appreciate. Abraham-Hicks calls this a “Rampage of Appreciation.” If you have to jog your memory, go down to the homeless shelter and, coming home, you’ll be much more aware of what you have in terms of abilities and in terms of “stuff.”
  2. Choice: Choice gives you freedom. And you have the right to choose what you do, where you live, what you eat, what you wear (At least this is true in the U.S.), etc. AND you have the choice of how you want to feel. You can choose to be happy regardless of what’s happening. I know that’s easier said than done and it is entirely possible. It makes you pro-active rather than reactive and takes you from being a victim to being in charge of your own life.
  3. Personal Power: Personal power helps you take responsibility for your own decisions and helps you put into action those steps you need to take to achieve and maintain your own happiness. Again, it makes you pro-active rather than re-active.
  4. Leading With Your Strengths: To lead with your strengths you have to know what they are. Do you know yours? Are you even aware of what your strengths are? I’m sure you know your weaknesses, but do you know your strengths. If not, maybe you should spend some time now considering this. What are your good at? What do you like?
  5. The Power of Language and Stories: What do you tell when you tell your story? Do “woe is me” or do you “Wow is me?” You will tend to live up to your story.
  6. Multidimensional Living: If you live a balanced life – Baker uses relationships, purpose (work), and health as the components – happiness has a place to grow and thrive.

These are tools just as a hammer and nails, a computer, a broom or mop are tools. To be effective they must be used. They will allow you to get creative during hard times, to find ways to get things done in a new way that works in these new times. They will help you set your “inner environment” so you can manage your “outer environment.”

I told you it was simplistic. You’ll have to try it to prove me right or wrong. I’d love to know what you discover.

Source: Dan Baker, P.H.D. and Cameron Stauth, What Happy People KnowH How the New Science of Happiness Can Change Your Life for the Better, St. Martin’s Press, N.Y, N.Y. PP. 37 – 38.

Irene Conlan

Irene Conlan has a master's degree in nursing, She taught nursing at Arizona State University, served as Director of Nursing Administration at St. Luke's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix and served as Assistant Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services for the Division of Health Care Facilities and Emergency Medical Services. Now retired, she is an avid blogger and manages http://www.theselfimprovementblog.com,http://www.theselfesteemblog.com and hosts the Self Improvement Radio Show on VoiceAmerica. Irene lives in Fountain Hills, AZ and has two sons and four grandsons.