habit of happiness

One Easily Overlooked Habit of Happy People

“The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles” – William Penn

I’m sure you must have come across people you instantly label happy-go-lucky? The stereotype isn’t all hypothetical, and such kinds of people aren’t hard to find either. People who never seem to be bowed down by worries or are not constantly cussing at everything from the rain to snow! So does that mean they have absolutely nothing to worry about? Where’s the secret pot of gold?

Let’s start with the idea of happiness- such a simple term but so wrongly used. Everyone knows that happiness is a state of mind, right? Wrong! Happiness is a state of a positive mind. Negative people can easily find faults in any happy situation, and positive people do exactly the opposite.

When you have a positive outlook in life, happiness will find a way. Since happiness isn’t dependant on a particular trigger, it is more of a personal choice. But even the most optimistic of us can find themselves in a rut where everything seems to be going against them.

I know of a gentleman who was going through a bitter divorce and had lost his job. To top it all, he nearly became broke and owed a few thousands in debt. I met him expecting to offer consolation, thinking he would (as expected in such a situation) cry, fret, carp, or worse turn to substance abuse. But instead, this guy was ready with a plan of action.

The first thing he tells me? ‘Isn’t it a beautiful day?’

Not only did he have his life from that time onward rationally planned out, he had already started implementing on the list. To say I was taken aback was an understatement, and I probably gave off the feeling for he, half-jokingly, asked me whether I was expecting to see him bawling his eyes out.

‘It’s all about adapting to the situation with a positive light buddy. I can’t change what’s already happen to me but I can change what will happen to me. I might not have a job or money to my name and my marriage is all but over but I do have a lot to be grateful for, each one of us do actually.”

And isn’t that true, look around yourselves in this very instant- don’t YOU have a lot to be grateful for?

“The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles” – William Penn

Why should you count your blessings?

When you list down all the things that you feel privileged to possess and often take granted for, you will appreciate what you have. Whether it is good health, food on the table, good friends, a loving family, a paying job, or even a small reason to smile, we are not even aware of our blessing until we see someone craving for what we take for granted.

Focusing on appreciation will make it expand further and change your vibe to positive, which in turn have a profound influence on your mental and eventually on your physical health.

One of the best solutions to immediately de-stress is to count your blessings when you feel the world caving in. You can feel the instantaneous shift in your entire being.

How to count your blessings?

The most effective way is to write it down in a journal or better still put it on a paper and tap it somewhere where you can see this daily-preferably on your work desk or mirror.

It is important that you write it down instead of mentally ticking off your blessings because when you look at it staring back you from the paper, you sort of connect with it.

When it comes to writing down your blessings- are you going to limit it to your convertible in the garage or the Louboutins in the shoe rack? Actually, no you should try to keep the materialistic ‘blessings’ to a minimum and focus on more qualitative aspects.

Since our blessings are in abundance, we often tend to overlook basic blessings such as good health or even clean water for that matter of fact. Take some time out and try to figure what is it that you have and others don’t? Trust me your list will come out fairly longer.

 Practice the Art of Gratitude

Lastly, it is important to wake up each morning thinking of your blessings and feeling grateful for each of them. You can also show your gratitude for people who feature on your blessings list or because of whom there is a blessing on your list, a small act of gratitude will be enough to light up their day and yours too!

“A good memory is one that can remember the day’s blessings and forget the day’s troubles”. So don’t forget to keep adding to the list!

Personally, one blessing that I am utterly grateful for is having finally been able to get over my anxiety issues. What are some blessings that you feel extremely grateful for, do share in the comments below!

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Hi! My name is Mulyadi Kurnia.  I have started blogging since June 2011. Starting out as stress and anxiety management blog, the content of this blog has expanded to include other topics in the health and wellness sector; I have also created a free e-book “5 Key Tips to be a Happier You”, downloadable now at the blog Stop Stress and Anxiety

  • Fauna Flaure
  • http://www.itsfinallydone.com/ It’s Finally Done!

    I agree with this article in principle, however I think it’s very important to approach this stuff in a very respectful way that doesn’t produce cognitive dissonance. So many people try to force positivity on themselves instead of cultivating it gently. In any case, framing this in terms of gratitude is much more constructive than “close your eyes and repeat positive affirmations to yourself,” or stuff like that, so I like the spirit in which the article was written.

    • http://www.stopstressandanxiety.com/ Mulyadi Kurnia

      thanks for your comment. Yes, I completely agree with you that we can’t force things out, such as forcing ourselves to be happy while we are in negative state of mind. The mindset of gratitude and appreciation has to be done in a gentle manner, gradually bringing the person back to balanced if not positive state of mind.

  • http://www.theredcabbage.com/ Jonathan Wilson

    It’s easy to overlook the gratitude part of the equation. By looking at the stuff, circumstances, and people around us long enough, we get used to it and we can lose a sense of its value. Gratitude is an excellent opponent to unhappiness.

    • http://www.stopstressandanxiety.com/ Mulyadi Kurnia

      Yes, I agree. Many times, only at the lost of things that we normally take for granted (such as clean air, clean water) that we start to realise how grateful we are for these stuffs.

  • http://monthhacker.wordpress.com/ Month Hacker

    So true! But doesn’t it leave you complacent at times?

    • http://www.stopstressandanxiety.com/ Mulyadi Kurnia

      that’s the challenge I think. Not to feel complacent for the seemingly ordinary stuffs that one is currently experiencing. I think we need to remind ourselves that our current wonderful situations are not always going to be there forever. Things might just change.

  • Paul Matarelli

    I learned of a great morning ritual from @noahkagan called GEBY – Gratitude, Exercise, Breakfast, and You (“you” meaning something just for you today)

    • http://www.stopstressandanxiety.com/ Mulyadi Kurnia

      appreciate your sharing of information.

  • Aleksandra

    I like the definition of good memory. This article came at the right time for me, thanks for sharing it. Let’s see…one thing I am very grateful for are my friends. I am so lucky to be surrounded with positive people that I can talk to, share my heart with, who listen to me, inspire me, give me counsel and make me part of their lives. I am also very grateful for a privilege to raise five children, all of them healthy, bright, lively, gifted, amazing. And I am also very thankful that there is peace in the country where I live in.

    • http://www.stopstressandanxiety.com/ Mulyadi Kurnia

      Thanks for sharing things that you are grateful for :)

  • http://simple-easy-life.com/ Bharti

    Nicely written ariticle. It is very important to count one’s blessings and have an attitude of gratitude :)
    However, it requires a lot of practice. I hope to achieve these two things sometime :)

    • http://www.stopstressandanxiety.com/ Mulyadi Kurnia

      Appreciate your sharing.

  • pickles64

    What I am most grateful for is learning to forgive myself for being human and for now being able to appreciate and enjoy the company of other beings – rather than living with a constant of critique of myself, my choices, as well as those of the rest of this world. I am free, able to laugh at my absurdity and appreciate all of life

    • http://www.stopstressandanxiety.com/ Mulyadi Kurnia

      thanks for the comment. Being able to forgive one self, no matter how difficult the task is, will certainly lead to a happier self.

  • Moe

    True :)

  • http://www.suzieqsolutions.com/ Suzanne Jones

    “You cannot experience joy without first feeling gratitude” Brene Brown.
    The more I am grateful the more joy that comes into my life. Gratitude is a must and as you say, not always for accumulated material things.

    • http://www.stopstressandanxiety.com/ Mulyadi Kurnia

      Hi Suzanne

      appreciate your comments.