LIFESTYLE

How To Be Happy: 'Secrets of Happy People' Author Matt Avery Reveals All

23/06/2014 14:58 BST | Updated 09/07/2014 14:59 BST

Some people are just so darn chirpy - while the rest of us are grumbling about our workload they're skipping through the office (literally) with a smile on their face.

But the truth is, we all want to be one of the happy people.

Thanks to Matt Avery, the transition from grumpy to gleeful could be possible.

happiness

Here the life coach and author of 'Secrets of Happy People: 50 Techniques to Feel Good' reveals the 10 secrets guaranteed to improve your happiness:

1. Time to make yourself happier

Is you life panning out the way you expected it to? More importantly, is it working the way you want it to?

To find out, try making a pie chart, filling in the sections to represent where you spend your time; then make another to represent those things which make you happiest. Then compare the two. Any disparity will highlight those areas of your life which are not working well for you.

Your time, and your energy, are precious, so don’t just spend them - invest them, in things which maximise your happiness.

2. Learning to be happy

Since your happiness can largely be attributed to the experiences you have, and to the relationships you develop, maximising the potential of each is crucial to maximising your happiness.

Train yourself to become continually aware of every opportunity for happiness which presents itself, and learn to derive as much benefit as possible from each one.

Making the most of every experience, every day, ensures that you will make the most of your life, and coupled with continual and never ending self-improvement it becomes a very powerful tool in the quest for happiness.

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3. Accept imperfections

Needing everything to be perfect in order to make you happy is a quick route to being unhappy most of the time! But this shouldn’t mean lowering your standards; instead, you need to adjust where you set your sights.

By accepting that the occasional imperfection is inevitable, and by making your aims realistic, you will be able to achieve your goals much more of the time.

Remember that it is impossible to be completely happy all of the time, but perfectly possible to be completely happy most of the time, and mostly happy all of the time.

4. Just relax

In the quest for happiness, it is vital that you learn to control the nagging feeling that you are never going to be as happy as you can be unless you are trying hard to be happy all the time.

Instead, try taking a step back to look at the big picture. The chances are that most of your life is in pretty good shape, and knowing when, and how, to relax is a vital skill to master.

Remember, too, that relaxation only truly works when it is complete - so learn to relax completely.

5. Be grateful for setbacks

Strange as it may seem, setbacks can be a positive force in your life. They can offer occasions to grow in new and exciting ways, to try new things, and to review your situation and make any necessary changes to improve your happiness.

They also provide an unwitting, but insightful, opportunity to see who your real friends are, the result of which can be surprising. And when a setback does occur, it is important to recover from it quickly with, a positive attitude and a robust response, to give yourself the opportunity to come back even stronger than before, and to prove to yourself that you can do so.

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6. Stop worrying

Be careful not to waste your time and energy fretting over potential misfortunes which may never actually happen!

Plan carefully, put in place sufficient insurance to deal with foreseeable setbacks, and be ready to counter anything else as and when it occurs - and leave it at that.

Unnecessary worrying is a damaging waste of your resources, which should instead be devoted to the pursuit of happiness. Avoid ‘borrowing trouble’, try to get over any misfortune quickly, and then ensure that you recover as quickly and strongly as possible.

7. What makes you happy?

In the quest to maximise your happiness it is vital that you know what it is that makes you happy, how it works, and how you can find it - or create it - as often as possible. It is easy to assume that you must intrinsically know the answer, but this is a direct route to never being as happy as you could be, without realising why.

Interestingly, most people unwittingly measure their happiness in terms of their successes and failures, usually judged by their possessions and wealth - in spite of rating their relationships with their family and friends as the most important thing to them!

8. Avoiding negativity

In the quest for sustained and persistent happiness, it is crucial to avoid any negative influences which will not only diminish your happiness, but curb your ability to secure it in the first place. These can assume a variety of forms, and commonly include events, occasions, places, and people.

The last of these can often prove to be the most significant, but also the most difficult to avoid, and while changes in this area can involve challenging transitions, the boost to your happiness gained by eliminating their influence will make it very well worthwhile.

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9. Why do you live your life the way that you do?

In order to be truly happy it is important to have a deep-rooted belief in what you do, and the way that you live your life. If you don't, then it will be impossible to be fulfilled, and thus impossible to be completely happy.

Finding meaning and purpose in your life is fundamental to establishing a reason for doing everything that you do, and will form a strong guiding principle for the ways in which you live your life.

10. Avoid comparisons

Comparing yourself to others, and to their situations, is both fruitless and unnecessary. There will always be some people whose situations seem better than yours, and others whose seem worse, but their positions are irrelevant to your happiness.

Instead, try comparing yourself, and your situation, with how you would like them to be, then put in place a plan to make it happen; and when you get there, enjoy your achievement and relax, not because you lack ambition, but rather because you have achieved a state of genuine contentment, and happiness.