As human beings a great deal of what we do both personally and professionally is in search for the ultimate goal of finding happiness, where happiness is something that you gain after several steps. The issue here is that many of us are so focused on finding happiness we forget that it is simply a state of being, it is an absolute choice rather than a result contingent on a set of events or achievements you hope will take place.

There are several things we do in our lives that seem counterproductive to our happiness, and we can never really explain why, whether it’s our work, an event we didn’t really want to be at, or sitting around not doing much when we should have been out exploring the world, and exploring ourselves. We give ourselves excuses and hope things will change, while hope is a good thing, it is nothing compared to action, reshaping your mentality, and starting to take control of the life you choose to live.

There are a few simple steps I take everyday to help me live happier and I thought I would share them as they have had a huge impact on how I view the world, and my place in it.

1. Do Things That Make You Happy

This may seem pretty self-explanatory but you’ll be amazed at the amount of people that look back on their day only to realize they didn’t do much of what makes them happy. People usually do what they think is best, which is not necessarily aligned with what makes them truly happy.

One piece of advice, flip that around, as when you do what makes you happy, the best just seems to happen, you become a beacon of energy and joy for everyone around you whether at work, with friends, or with your loved ones. So if you have been thinking about a career that will make you happy, start, if you have a hobby that makes you happy, do it more often, if there are certain people that make you happier, see them more often. If it makes you happy, just do it.

2. Smile

Smiles are awesome, to think one simple movement on your face can change your attitude to whatever it is you are going through. Times get hard, but believe me taking a moment to smile and remember the good things in your life can work wonders. When you smile you center your happiness, you create a shift in thinking to the positive, you feel better. Keep shining.

3. Stop

In the fast paced, multi-tasking world we have come to find that taking a moment to stop is probably the most refreshing, but hardest, thing you can do during the day. Take some time to stop every single thing that’s going on, put your phone on silent, close your eyes, and just stop. Be at peace with the silence, clear your mind, and linger in the world of sweet nothingness for just a few moments, be free.

4. Exercise

Happiness is all a state of mind, and it has been proven time and time again that healthy body and healthy mind are interdependent. You just feel so good after exercise, just do it more often, don’t make it an option of trying to fit it in to your calendar, block it off, and work whatever else you have at the same time around it. Your body is your temple, and with that comes great responsibility, your body has a right over you, and it deserves nothing less that your full attention.

5. Do Your Best, and worry less

I have found that the best way to defeat worry is to do your best. Throughout time you will notice that the worry from an event will usually come with regret of what one could have done to prevent it. However, if you put all your effort and do your best you can rest easy knowing that there is nothing more you could have done, and if it doesn’t work out it just wasn’t mean to be. You learn and you move on, better things await.

6. Help people

Time and time again we are told that the happiest people on this earth are those that dedicate their lives to the happiness of others. Think of helping people as an emotional reflection of yourself, as the joy and comfort you give to others through your actions will come back to you, and in many times more powerfully.

Hold the door open for someone, volunteer for a cause, or just give someone a hand that looks like they could use one. By always keeping an open mind to helping people, you keep an open heart for the happiness that will follow.

We were born into this world to endless smiles and happiness surrounding us, so we owe it ourselves and to others to project and surround ourselves with feelings of happiness. These simple steps have made me a better person, and in turn a better husband and father. That doesn’t mean things are perfect, hard times still come around, but these steps help me remember what is important, how to move on, and how to keep smiling. I pray you all follow your steps to being happy, happy in everything you do, everything you see, and everyone you touch.