Everyone talks about happiness like it’s something elusive, but in reality it’s quite easy to achieve. Jump ahead of the crowd and start now to live happily ever after by following these 15 tips.

1. Be thankful.

Be thankful for all that you have; don’t waste time wishing for things you can’t have. There’s a time for everything.

2. Define happiness.

Happiness means different things to different people. Start a list, or write in a journal to define what happiness means for you. This way you know exactly what to work for.

3. Be realistic.

Do you think being a millionaire and living in a mansion will make you happy? Sure it will, but is it realistic? Maybe you should focus on setting achievable goals first. After you reach a certain level of achievement, you can reassess and set your sights higher.

4. Be open to happiness.

People often complain that they work hard for happiness, but still seem to be unhappy. More than likely, these people aren’t actually open to happiness. You have to let go of the past and anything negative in your life before you can really be ready to be happy.

5. Love yourself.

You are who you are. Own it and accept it. Love yourself when you look cute and have a great day at work. Or you might be having a bad day, which means you need to love yourself more than ever. Love yourself every day, in the past, present, and future.

6. Live for yourself.

You’re an adult, and you don’t need the approval of anyone else. Don’t take a job just because the status would impress your friends. Don’t date someone because you think your parents would like him or her. Make your own choices for your own life, and happiness will come to you. Believe it or not, your friends and family will be happy right along with you!

7. Don’t depend on others.

Don’t think that you need your partner to take care of things around the house, or a co-worker to help you with a certain project to get it done. You have the power to do it all yourself. Trust yourself, give yourself that responsibility, and you’ll be happier because you’re self-sufficient. This also means you won’t depend on other people to make you happy – you’ll have that power in the palm of your hands.

8. Keep working for it.

Never let yourself get content in your life. Once you think you’ve got it all, you’ll slack off and might lose what you have. Keep working, keep pushing yourself to achieve more and do better in life. If your life seems perfect, then look around you and help others. This will affect your personal happiness more than you realize.

9. Stop doing things that don’t make you happy.

If you hate going to work every morning, start looking for a new job. If one friend’s negativity brings you down every time you hang out, talk to them about it, or gradually stop spending time with them. Life is short, and you deserve to be happy; don’t waste time being unhappy just because you might feel obligated to do so.

10. Let go of jealousy and insecurity.

Let go of all negativity! Don’t be jealous of people who you might think look more attractive than you, or have better lives than you. Everyone has problems, you just don’t know what they’re going through. Being jealous over what you can’t have or be will only make you insecure in your own life.

11. Don’t dwell in the past.

Stop letting that time you flubbed a public speech haunt you. Don’t think about what you could have done differently to make that boyfriend or girlfriend stay. The past is the past, and you can’t change it by thinking about it all the time. In fact, dwelling about it will only prolong the negative effect it has on your emotional well-being.

12. Don’t worry about the future.

You can’t change the past and you can’t worry about the future! You never know what the future holds, but there’s no use in worrying about it. Do your best in the present – be emotionally happy, physically healthy, and work hard to make the best future you can.

13. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

You only live once. Make life fun! Work hard to get what you need, but make sure you balance it out with fun time as well.

14. Always find the bright side.

It might seem hard sometimes, but always look for the bright side of any situation. With practice, you’ll be able to find happiness on even the bleakest of days. Before long, you’ll be doing it without trying!

15. Write your own happy ending.

It’s your life – make it turn out how you want! How hard you work and how much fun you have is going to affect how you feel as you get older. Don’t worry about hitting certain levels of achievement – focus on being as happy as you can along the way!

In the real world, people are not nearly as idealistic, idealized, or just plain ideal as they are in the pages of your favorite novel or on the silver screen. 7 Reasons Why You Need To Let Go of A Toxic Relationship

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