The 3 Steps to Get — and Stay — Happy!

August 12, 2018 Published by
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I start my days smiling. And you can, too. Today, I am sharing three simple ways to walk on the sunny side of the street as I do.

I typically wake up happy. It comes naturally. I look forward to facing my day with positivity. My outlook is fueled by optimism. I see my cup as half full.

No, I am not a goody-two-shoes. I do, however, consider myself to be one of the lucky ones who have the ability to triumph over my adversities, with a little help from a friend. Who might she be? The ‘happy gene.’ I am thankful to my mother and my father for this happy gene of mine.

What Is The Happy Gene?

I am grateful for the happy gene because it provided me with a running start on living a charmed life. I understand that those of you who don’t have the gene have to work harder to attain happiness. Just remember, darlings, happiness is within your reach.

I learned about the happiness gene by doing some research.  To be more specific, I wanted to discover how much, if any, of my happiness, was inherited through my gene pool. I want to share with you my findings, dear readers, so you have a better understanding of yourself and those you love.

Dr. Elaine Fox of The Happiness Experiment showed positive and negative pictures to 100 participants in a study. She used computer-based therapy to measure which pictures the participants concentrated on.

Before they were shown the pictures, participants had samples of their blood taken to test their DNA in order to determine which version of the five HTTPR gene, which affects the levels of our ‘feel- good’ chemical serotonin, they carried.

Dr. Fox’s findings verified her theory that some of us are blessed to inherit ‘the happy gene.’

But what if you did not inherit the happy gene? What if you find yourself down more often than up? What might be the answer to seeing your cup as half full? As one of those fortunate to live on the sunny side of the street, I am eager to share my thoughts on how you, too, can live your life with joy and gratitude.

But first a disclaimer: Understand that a person with the happiness gene does not go through life in la-la land. They just have the emotional wherewithal to switch gears into what I identify as ‘positivity mode.’ When their lives are thrown curve balls, they have less trouble turning life’s problems from lemons into lemonade.

Here is what they do. Here is what you, too, can learn to do.

Rules to Live By

The first rule: Learn to control your attitude.

Your attitude determines your level of happiness. We can’t change what happens, but we do have control over our attitudes.

Here is an example. I broke my ankle, and the surgeon thought a cast would heal the clean break. I wore a cast and then a boot for eight weeks. The bone did not heal 100%, so I then had surgery. Therefore, I spent another eight weeks in a cast and boot. Only this time I had control over my attitude, so I went positive and I wore a pink cast. I had a smiley face painted in white over my shocking pink toenail polish. I used a walker instead of a scooter to keep my body physically fit.

The key: You can’t control life’s circumstances but you can control your reaction to them.

The second rule: Practice gratitude.

Gratitude is the art of being thankful. It can be honed just as any skill can be. In the wise words of William Penn, “The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.” Make this your mantra.

The third rule: Live in peace with unresolved problems.

Without understanding this final “rule” you can only live happily when everything is perfect and that is… never, dear readers!

When things go wrong, make them right by giving yourself time to be actively upset, frightened or sad. This plan allows you time to figure out how you can live in peace with the unresolved until you can put it to rest once and for all.

“There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.” ~Anthony de Mello

What’s Your Secret to Happiness?

What do you do when life’s challenges overtake you? I would love to hear from you, so please share your thoughts with me via TwitterFacebookPinterest, Instagram or in the comments section below.

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10 Comments

  • Pamela Graham says:

    This is so true Honey – life is never perfect but always so much to be thankful for if we look around. When life has been tough I’ve told myself many times that today is the first day of the rest of my life – start a new day with positivity and the only way is onwards and upwards. Your smile is heart-warming!

    Pamela http://www.style-yourself-confident.com

  • Linda says:

    When I’m unhappy I try to find a quiet place and meditate. That seems to help a lot.

  • Susan says:

    Dear Honey,
    I wasn’t born with the happiness gene. Your advice to take time and figure out how to live in peace with an unresolved problem was a new idea for me. Steeped in negative thinking has kept me from planning a positive way out. With some hard work, I believe this new idea will work. It truly is our beliefs that can stop us from moving forward.
    Great article!

    Best to you,
    Susan

  • Tammy says:

    Appreciated this chat. Need to read and re-read this.

  • JENI PUGH says:

    I enjoyed this article and have come away with some great advice. Thank you

  • Janne says:

    Oh Honey. You have had such a positive influence on my thoughts and how to live my life in a more positive way. And again you have given me food for thought about being happier and grateful for my wonderful life, which I do not always stop to appreciate how lucky I am to have. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have been keeping a journal since I found your blog and try to write about good things and what I am thankful for. Not the best writer but that is beside the point of the exercise. Have a beautiful day. Sending you much love.

    • Susan "Honey" Good says:

      I am so happy Janne that I am able to send you positive thoughts and that you are keeping a journal. Please share my blog with your friends and family. I would love them to become part of the Sisterhood because if they are all like you, they are very special. Sending love back. Warmly, Honey

  • Sue says:

    Thank you for this very timely article. I am having to deal with family issues out of my control which are affecting me and found your advice about living in peace with unresolved problems very helpful. I love reading your posts!

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