10 Keys to Happiness

It's creeping towards the end of the year, which is often a time we reflect on our year, and we hope for looking to the next.  I've written before about happiness, from my 7 day happiness challenge, to interviewing a professor of happiness, to how to keep moving forward when times are tough, and how to turn a crappy work day around.

In my 20s I worked hard to become an optimistic person. I actively chose to force my brain to change its default setting from seek the worst to seek the best. I was bored of being a Debbie Downer, and a brain filled of moaning doesn't allow for the easiest access of happiness.

After a while, it stopped feeling like an effort, and just became the new way I see the world. I have become more forgiving, less driven by needing to be right and more enthusiastic about finding the small joys in daily life.

I was reading the latest Psychologies Magazine, and it included a list of the 10 keys of happiness:

1. Giving

2. Relating

3. Exercising

4. Appreciating

5. Trying Out

6. Direction

7. Resilience

8. Emotion

9. Acceptance

10. Find Meaning

I think the list is a good place to start if you want to make some proactive choices to finding more happiness. Can you give more to others (time not just money)? Do you regularly connect with people who make you feel good about yourself? Do you take care of your body; with nutrition and exercise? Do you appreciate what you have already? Do you keep your mind active by learning new things? Do you have a goal to work towards? Are you able to bounce back when life tries to knock you down? Do you squash negative thoughts and fill your mind with positive replacements? Are you happy with who you are? Are you part of something bigger than yourself?

How happy was 2015 for you? How will you make 2016 even more kickarse?