T here are hundreds if not thousands of quotes about happiness but no matter how many words of wisdom our ancestors coined to help us understand the concept, so many people still find joy ever so fleeting. No matter what your situation or status you can take deliberate steps towards happiness:

1. Choose healthy lifestyle
Most people are only unhappy because their lifestyle choices led them down a path of poor health. If you want to be happier, consider quitting smoking, limit your intake of alcohol and improve your diet. Healthy eating doesn’t mean having bland meals day after day but rather deliberately choosing foods that won’t clog your arteries, increase your blood pressure or weaken your immunity. Healthy lifestyle easily reduces stress associated with myriad health problems which in turn gives you a chance to enjoy life’s offerings.

2. Find a hobby
The pursuit of happiness is often all about discovering the things you love. It could be a sport you enjoy, visiting art galleries or simply engaging with little children. Once you find it, a hobby will certainly fill the empty moments during which unhappy thoughts are likely to creep in. It is all about finding something that you love to while away the time and ease your troubles all away.

3. Accept others as they are
The reason why most people never find true happiness is because they spend most of their time judging others. You need to quit being judgmental about other people’s culture, beliefs, jobs, opinions or choices if you are going to be happy about your own life. Truly happy people shed their prejudices and simply accept others as they are. Once you let down your guard it will be easy to enjoy other people’s company, learn from them and live life to the fullest.

4. Find purpose in pain
Physical pain or grief due to loss cause unmentionable sadness among people, most of whom are unable to find their way out. Constantly dwelling on problems leads to depression which often spirals into suicidal thoughts. It might not seem like it at the moment but all your pain and suffering could be an opportunity for better. Losing a loved one for example might be the perfect chance for you to realize the importance of living life to the full and openly appreciating those around you when they are with you. If you are in constant physical pain why not try researching some remedies online? Your search could easily lead to the discovery of useful information that will help you and even another person going through the same. According to experts finding purpose in pain is the shortest route to happiness as it means overcoming the seemingly impossible.

5. Meditate
Meditation is the act of taking time to clear your mind and reflect on important issues. It centers you and allows you to focus on positive aspects of your life as well as how to improve whatever isn’t going so well. Meditation has been used since time immemorial not only in the quest for happiness but also as a way of improving one’s general well-being.

6. Plan
There is a popular saying that people who fail to plan; plan to fail. Needless to say, failure from poor planning makes people frustrated and often unhappy. It is easy to blame others for our failures but instead of playing the blame game, you could try planning things in advance to avoid frustrations. Make a schedule of events and make advance arrangements to keep from feeling overwhelmed when things don’t go as you would like them. If something messes up your perfectly laid out plan’s don’t sweat it but take some time to breathe and decide how to make up for lost time.

7. Define what makes you happy
Many people assume that happiness is about financial or professional achievements but contrary to common thought it is much more than that. True joy is about contentment with your situation whether you have much money or not. There are filthy rich folks out there who crave happiness while paupers seem unrealistically happy despite the apparent lack of material possesions. Happiness is a personal choice defined by your wishes and desires but not standards set by other people.

8. Choose your company wisely
If you indeed want to be happy, surround yourself with positive people. If those around you are constantly whining about their problems, the negativity will be transferred to you. As an individual you have a choice about who you associate with and no matter how hard it may be, you need to shed all your negative friends and try establishing relationships with happy people.

9. Have some time to yourself
Sometimes we get so caught up in meeting deadlines or making money that we forget to focus on ourselves. Experts recommend taking sometime to pamper yourself, take a relaxing bath, go for a massage or simply do nothing for some time. These activities will help you rejuvenate your mind and deliberately focus on life’s great offerings.

10. You deserve happiness
Finally, it is imperative must understand that you deserve to be happy. Some people who don’t think they should be happy often sabotage their efforts towards it. Do yourself a favor by reminding yourself each day that you deserve all the happiness in the world so you can take necessary steps towards this ultimate goal.

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