Monday, September 24, 2012

Becoming Rich in Happiness Not $

By Ellen Diana

The quest for happiness is common in modern society but the path to attain it is elusive. This is because we often look to the externals in our lives – what we own, how we live, what we do – to determine our level of happiness. When we are challenged economically or financially, happiness seems unattainable which is disappointing and leads to feelings of anger, anxiety, or sadness.

Focusing on the external elements in your life will generate transient periods of happiness but focusing on your internal state of mind will build lasting happiness. This is because happiness is an internal state of being which is not dependent on your external environment.  For example, you’ll notice unhappy people who are competent, successful, and wealthy, while others who lead unexceptional lives can appear quite content.

To begin to develop your inner core of happiness, try these 10 suggestions:

1.       Work on being the best YOU that is possible without comparing yourself to others.

2.       Keep problems in perspective and avoid catastrophizing. Let go of small worries and distractions.

3.       Smile whenever possible.

4.       Judge people and situations with kindness and compassion. Practice forgiveness.

5.       Meditate daily by taking 15 minutes to notice your surroundings with your senses: sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.

6.       Nurture yourself in small ways every day: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Activities like eating a food you enjoy, reading a book, talking to a friend, or taking a walk in nature build simple life satisfaction.

7.       Accept the way things are, even while you may be planning on making some changes.

8.       Recognize that everyone in the world is more like you than not – everyone is drawn to pleasure and is trying to avoid pain.

9.       Perform whatever you do with enjoyment and motivation – don’t focus on being the best – avoid comparisons.

10.   Relax…..and slow down.


Developing your internal core of happiness takes time so be patient as you try these suggestions. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that they yield widespread benefits in your life. Your happiness is under your control!


Ellen Diana is a psychologist, author of the Lucky Dreamer Tip Series, and co-author of the Charge up Your Life series of self-help books. She has 30 years’ experience working with children, adults, couples, and families in schools and in private practice in Scottsdale, Arizona. Helping women to evolve into their best selves through personal growth and self-awareness is a passion of hers. Ellen raised three successful children as a single parent and so has special interests in mentoring other women in transition and helping parents to raise resilient children. Contact Ellen at or through her website

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