Beliefnet

There are many things we can’t control in our lives. We can’t pick our families, our co-workers, or have the option of deleting traumatic events. Although all these factors play a role in our daily lives and influences our peace and happiness—we do have control on how happy we can be in life. Yes, we can consider this a mission this year.

 You can label it whatever your heart desires. It can be called “Mission Happiness,” or “My Operation of Happiness.” Regardless, author and Happiness expert Kristie Ling is fast becoming my hero during this journey when she wrote that happiness can be mastered and is like riding a bike. In Operation Happiness, Ling explores that we can make the decisions to not take it personally or external circumstances to rob your joy. For example ask yourself what are you thinking about? Is it positive or is it negative? You can catch yourself, and replace those nasty thoughts, which by the way control your emotions and take back the reins.

“The way we start each day essentially determines what kind of day we’ll have,” Ling offered. Here’s what you can do:

1. This train of thinking also will pay dividends down the road for your health. Emotional health plays an important role in our health. When we are stressed the hormone cortisol is released and overtime can create havoc on the heart leading to high blood pressure, stroke, or high blood pressure. We can’t control how long we live, but making better decisions that lead to happiness can only help.

2. Keep a toolbox ready when for a mental boost. This can be reviewing past achievements. Keeping affirmations like scriptures, pick-me-ups, or something you love to do. This can be yoga, observing nature, running, or painting.

3. Resist the temptation to NOT take things personal. I remember when starting out in my career my boss did not like my decision on a project. They emailed me regarding what was my thinking process in a very unprofessional matter. It was very hurtful, but many experienced this periodically as well. When people mistreat you it comes from their internal garbage. Don’t accept or make it your responsibly. Send goodness, as Ling writes and be on your way.

4. Make a list of what is weighing you down. Is it your friends? If so, seek people who are positive and be that positive person who attracts people of the like. Start today.

5. During hard times look at what is good in your life. Gratitude lifts your inner man and can allow you to be joyful and less aggressive. Try making a gratitude journal, pray or meditate. WebMD reported that gratitude is good for the heart and immune system. “Optimism also has a positive health impact on people with compromised health. In separate studies, patients confronting AIDS, as well as those preparing to undergo surgery, had better health outcomes when they maintained attitudes of optimism.”

6. Live in the moment today. “Don't postpone joy waiting for a day when your life is less busy or less stressful. That day may never come,” wrote the Mayo Clinic. “Look for opportunities to savor the small pleasures of everyday life. Focus on the positives in the present moment, instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.”

7. Learn to let go. We can’t make people make better choices or treat us better, or make them want to be in a relationship. Learn to let them or it go and move on so you can heal. Shake it off.

No matter what, you can do something positive today. It just takes a small step, like taking a break from social media, world news, and from negative thought patterns. With some practice you can create happiness habits that will last a lifetime.

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