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Ten ways to get your happy on

How to cultivate inner happiness? There are ways, says one author and parenting coach. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

Now more than ever, it’s important to understand that everyone experiences ups and down-- that we all have moments of unhappiness and distress. Working to constantly promote your inner happiness boosts gratitude, fortitude, productivity and emotional resilience, say experts.

So how can we work to promote our inner happiness?

Author and parenting skills coach Deborah Ann Davis offers tips in her recent book, How To Get Your Happy On.  Here's ten ways:

Tip #1: Take care of your body
Eat healthily, stay active every day, and drink water. Every pro-choice we make for our bodies has an automatic mini power boost associated with it. 

Tip #2: Count your blessings
List three good things about you, your day, your surroundings, your family, your job, etc. Take note of the good in the people and things around you. Be thankful for every detail. 

Tip #3: Do something for someone else 
Any kindness is important, even something as seemingly insignificant as smiling at a person or even simply saying hello.

Tip #4: Volunteer and/or donate
Find something that you enjoy (a passion or hobby) and turn it into something you can do to benefit others, such as delivering meals to those in need, volunteering at an animal shelter or donating to your local hospital, seniors centre, school or homeless shelter. 

Tip #5: Stay in the Moment
Instead of worrying about the future, or obsessing over something in the past, focus on what you can do today, what you can enjoy today, or what you can listen to today. Center yourself. Meditate. Do a hobby or a puzzle. Spend time with your family. Whatever it be, focus on that moment.

Tip #6: Learn something new
Look into taking a class, or joining a seminar, in something you are interested to learn about (online or safely in person). Make a list of five things you would like to learn and begin looking into the ones you would like to pursue. 

Tip #7: Get in touch with someone
Reconnect with an old friend, call a relative, snuggle up with a loved one and watch a movie, compliment a colleague, joke with the bank teller waiting on you, make a date with your best friend, get a drink with someone special. Pick anybody and make the most of your time with them!

Tip #8: Have a goal or treat to look forward to
Set a goal and make it your mission to achieve it. Once you accomplish it, reward yourself. Or, simply treat yourself! Schedule your treat so you have something to look forward to. Build anticipation and, when the time comes, relish in it, guilt-free. 

Tip #9: Be part of something bigger
Join a club, cause, campaign, organization, etc. Being part of an organization or support system works to promote a sense of community and purpose.

Tip #10: Explore your inner self
This is high-quality me-time in its purest form. You can do this on your own, or with some sort of counselor. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few questions you can use until your momentum take over. 

“Do any of the ten tips that resonate with you immediately. Do them in any order as many times as you can. Repeat the ones you enjoy and experiment with others,” said Davis. “By fortifying yourself this way, you’ll be better prepared to cope with the problems you and your supporters are tackling, and do it from a position of increasing strength and power.”