I write this blog on March 20th, the International Day of Happiness, so we can feel happy ourselves and spread that happiness as well.

“Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing outside of you will make you happy. You must choose to be happy, feel grateful and then share that with the world.”

Before I get started on HOW to be happy I want to mention WHY you should focus on being happy.

Happiness is correlated with longer lives, higher energy levels, and even more creativity. The more positive and happy we become the more our brains are productive, engaged, and motivated to make shift happen such as success.

For many years we have believed that if we are successful we will will be happy, but studies show the opposite. If we are happy, than we will become successful.

For the people don’t care about success, the other side is wanting world wide peace. Guess what? It starts with you. If you want peace in the world than it’s time to feel at peace with yourself and spread that peace with others. Happiness and peace are very close cousins. If you want to feel one, learn the other.

It All Starts With You

Here are a couple quick tricks to put a smile on your face:

1. Write down three things you are grateful for in detail

If you were to sit down and write down, in detail, three things that you are grateful for your brain literally changes and learns to scan your life for things that make you happy instead of angry. Imagine doing this daily? This is a simple technique that takes maybe 45 seconds of your day.

I, personally, have a gratitude list where I write three different things every day that I am grateful for. On days that I am not feeling so good? I go back and reread my gratitude entries and it reminds me to see the positive side of every situation.

2. For 2 minutes write down a detailed memory that you felt really happy in

If you need a quick pick-me-up and can either grab a pen and paper or you can close your eyes and imagine a detailed memory that had you jumping off the walls with joy.

Your brain does not know the difference between a memory and the here and now. If you start putting focus on a good memory, those emotions will start to come back and you will feel a smile on your face.

Having this type of memory also allows you to look back and see… What are the common factors that I do that tend to bring me happiness? Was I traveling? With a specific someone? What brings out your joy the most?

3. Do something you love

Seriously. That’s it. Pick something that you love to do and little by little you will feel at peace and come back to your normal state or even feel joyful.

My niece and I have a bowl where we wrote on popsicle sticks with a sharpie things that we loved to do. If we find ourselves feeling bored or sad we take out a popsicle stick and get to it! Some examples for us would be reading, singing our hearts out, working on a puzzle, or dancing like a maniac.

It Continues With Others

If infectious diseases can spread ridiculously fast than maybe a smile can too. Let’s start a positive ripple effect.

Here are a couple quick tricks to put a smile on someone else’s face:

4. Spend 2 minutes to praise someone.

You can call them, send them a text message, voice record it or even email it to them. The WAY that you praise them doesn’t matter. It’s the actual cause of praising that will have great effect on you and them.

As well as my daily gratitude journal I tend to send someone a “thank you for being you” letter, email, or text message to someone. Mind you, every day I switch it up and pick different people in my lives. Sometimes I do this to family members, friends, loved ones, or even strangers.

I noticed that when I praise someone for the day, they tend to either praise me back or praise someone else in their life. I also noticed that I have a stronger connection automatically with the person that I praised and our relationship has more depth and meaning to it compared to normal small talks with little to no meaning.

5. Listen to someone’s stories.

Instead of talking all about your day and going off in a rant about your problems, take time to listen. If someone asks about your day, tell them you would LOVE to hear about their day first. Keep putting the conversation back to them and they will feel loved, appreciated, and deeply cared for.

This will allow you to have an automatic closeness to a person and people love to talk about themselves so they will want to spend more time with you in the long run as well.

6. Ask deep penetrating questions so you can have a deeper connection with someone.

Similar to listening, asking someone questions allows them to talk. The more open-ended and penetrating questions you ask, the better. So instead of asking “What’s your favorite color” you can ask “What do you feel is your purpose in life?” or instead of asking “Do want you to do something together?” ask “What is that ONE thing that you LOVE to do? … Can we go together?”

The way that you communicate with someone can open their hearts and have them intrigued. Remember, it’s all a ripple effect. If you are like this with others, how do you think they are going to be like with you?

Be happy yourself… and then spread that happiness.