“You have a choice each and every single day. I choose to feel blessed. I choose to feel grateful. I choose to be excited. I choose to be thankful. I choose to be happy.” ~Amber Housley
What if I told you that you could dramatically and permanently increase your happiness within three days?
And what if I told you that it was much easier than you think, based on a simple and logical approach, completely free, and you already have everything you need to succeed? Would you be interested? I assume you would be, but you might be skeptical.
First, I am going to eliminate any skepticism, and then I will give you a straightforward and simple plan that you can implement for three days that will completely transform you, making you feel happier and leading you into a more grateful and abundant life. Sound good? Let’s begin.
The Source of Happiness
We’ve been taught that happiness is something to achieve, something that we go out and find.
We look for a relationship, job, status, or lifestyle that we believe will make us happy. However, this approach to happiness has one major flaw: we are basing our happiness on things that constantly change and are beyond our control.
By looking outside of ourselves for happiness, we are sure to have it forever slip through our grasp. Anything that might make us happy will not last, and this keeps us forever searching, always in pursuit. It has never worked and never will.
But there are those who are consistently happy. What’s their secret? They have turned their attention inward and have realized one of the most thrilling and exciting aspects of life: that happiness comes from within, and that we can consciously choose to feel happy by directing our thoughts.
Let’s try an exercise to illustrate this.
Take a moment, close your eyes, and put your hands over your heart. Physically feel it beating.
Be grateful for your heart and how it has guided you in your life. Ponder the fact that you didn’t have to earn your heart—it’s a gift. Think about how it’s always working for you, even while you’re sleeping. Really allow yourself to feel this. Take it in…
Did you do the exercise? If not, go back and do it! You deserve a shot at happiness!
Now, how does that feel? You have just redirected your mind to something positive. Positive thoughts lead to good feelings.
With a little practice we can redirect our minds to think positively and to feel good. By following the instructions for the three-day happiness adventure, you will come to understand how to do just that.
It’s All About How We Feel
Like anyone else, I have had my share of struggle and difficulty. I have had moments of deep sadness, regret, loss, and fear.
For years, I was involved in a relationship that tore me apart inside. I had pain and anger within me and I wanted to run from it, but I felt stuck and trapped.
Eventually, it became too much to bear and I broke free from this detrimental relationship, got rid of nearly everything I owned, and moved to the other side of the world, to China.
While in China, I went on a quest. I investigated Eastern mysticism, religions, and practices such as meditation, tai chi, and yoga. For years I searched, not knowing what I was searching for.
Eventually, a lightbulb went off and I realized what I was looking for. In the end, it’s all about how we feel.
We want a relationship, a job, a car, a higher status, to volunteer, or to fall in love because of how we think it will make us feel. And we want to avoid a breakup, a job loss, poverty, embarrassment, and the dentist because of the pain we think we will feel.
I realized that how we feel is ultimately the result of our thoughts and what we pay attention to. Therefore, happiness and joy rely primarily on our attitude and perspective.
I resolved to direct my mind. I was determined to focus only on that which I loved and was grateful for.
Within a couple days, my entire life transformed. I was astonished by the changes that took place so quickly. And I was completely amazed at my ability to direct my thoughts and attention, a skill that I had left dormant all my life.
Today, I wake up feeling terrific nearly every day. And many days I feel as if I am walking around in total amazement of the beauty around me, and in awe of the power within me. Yet, of course, I still face some difficulty and struggle, but much less than before. And that’s okay; some struggle is necessary.
From difficulty often come our greatest lessons: loss can teach us what is truly precious, discontent can motivate us to imagine and pursue a greater life, and mistakes show us how we can become better. If we never knew sadness, we would never fully appreciate our happiness.
Preparing For Your Happiness Adventure
So our goal here is not to become like a happiness drone, constantly in a state of blissful joy, sitting cross-legged in utter contentment forever.
Rather, the goal and the outcome of this three-day happiness adventure is to show you how to spend most of your time feeling good, feeling joyful and grateful.
There is also another empowering outcome from this three-day adventure: it will show you that you are ultimately in charge of your state of mind and how you feel.
In order to see results—truly exhilarating and mind-blowing results—you should give this your all.
You will not see major changes if you do this halfheartedly or give up quickly. But if you really go for it and persist, weaving these exercises into the fabric of your life over the next three days, you will emerge from your cocoon as a butterfly, full of beauty and ready to soar for the rest of your life.
Instructions for the Three-Day Happiness Adventure
The instructions are simple and nothing needs to be added to this. For the next three days, you are to:
1. Constantly point out what you love.
All day, as much as possible, look for what you love and say it out loud.
When something happens that you don’t like or if you find yourself thinking negatively, don’t fight it, don’t try to rid yourself of the negativity, simply look for something you love and point it out. You can say this to others or to yourself, but you should say it out loud as much as possible.
Say: I love the way you smile, I love the color of those flowers, I love the smell of this food, I love how you did that, I love how this texture feels, I love how that tastes, I love taking care of you, I love how kind she is, I love this song, I love that I have a roof over my head, I love that I can so easily get light by flipping a switch, I love that I can read, I love that I have hands to do so much with, I love that there is so much beauty in the world and so on.
2. Take eight minutes in the morning and eight minutes in the evening before going to bed to sit alone and undisturbed.
Remove all distractions, all books and electronics. Sit only with your mind and list off some things you are grateful for. Say everything out loud.
As you express your gratitude for each thing, person, and experience, take a moment to really feel how it feels to be grateful for that. Don’t rush through this. You can direct your thanks to a higher power, to your heart, or to nothing in particular; it doesn’t really matter.
3. Every time you go to the restroom, pause for a moment and think of two things, people or experiences you are grateful for.
Allow yourself to feel a sense of gratitude for these.
4. Don’t watch or read any news.
If you do this for three days, conscientiously and with persistence, you cannot fail to transform your perspective and your outlook. And, by doing so, your life will forever be more beautiful and joyful.
We know that happiness is a choice. Now it’s in your hands. A path to greater happiness has been laid out for you. Will you choose to follow it?
Happy silhouette via Shutterstock
About Richard Kronick
Richard Kronick is an author, teacher, coach, speaker and Huffington Post blogger. His mission is to give you practical tools and insights to unleash the massive hidden power within you to transform your life. Visit his blog (completedthoughts.com) to read more and get a free copy of the eBook, 20 Transformational Life Hacks. Or read more from him on the Huffington Post.