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    Some people treat happiness as their main goal. When you ask them what they want in life they say, ‘to be happy’. But happiness can be elusive. It creeps up on us when we least expect it, when we find ourselves smiling at a beautiful sunset, a table laid for a family meal, succeeding in a challenge, watching our friends laugh at a terrible joke.

    Happiness is rarely about expensive gifts or acquisitions. So when planning for a positive, fulfilling life it’s important to start by prioritising your happiness. Let’s look at what this entails.

    Practice daily gratitude. This doesn’t mean settling for second best or sitting back on your laurels, but is about being grateful for what you have and finding a balanced, grounded approach to life. Appreciation of others, valuing the lessons learned from challenges and setbacks, the relationships in your life

    Happiness comes from being inspired, so ensure you have things that motivate you to improve, to be better, reach a higher level. This may be learning new skills, expanding your area of expertise, focusing on a new direction

    Leaving our familiar comfort zone can be scary and exhilarating, yet often results in us feeling happy and proud of ourselves afterwards. Even trying new food, another route to work, having a go at something we’re apprehensive about can prompt a positive shift in our thinking and a happier sense of self.

    Mix with people who like, support and encourage you; they’re your fans and ambassadors. People who like you treat you with respect, may challenge you on occasion, but they’re in your court and you’re in theirs. Nurturing ‘your’ people allows you to be vulnerable, wrong sometimes and able to discuss any problem areas in an accepting, non-judgmental arena.

    Deal with your demons. Happiness is about being at peace with ourselves, forgiving any failures, past mistakes or errors of judgement. If you’re struggling therapy could be a good way to heal and recover from negative patterns and ways of thinking. Be gentle with yourself and move on from unhelpful self-talk. It can make all the difference to your happiness levels.

    Look after yourself. Eat well, exercise, commit to regular sleep. Practise these tips, prioritise your health and happiness will follow.

    Article By: Susan Leigh 

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