Real Reasons to Be Cheerful by top life coach Carole Ann Rice

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Let's face it - a Happy Hour is a joyous concept. The thought of cut price spirits consumed by the tanker to lift your spirits seems like a done deal. The promise of 60 minutes of liquid glee is worth a shot - or indeed 20. But just one hour? That's short measures, isn't it? Not that I'm advocating around the clock booze ups, but I mean… just one hour to be happy?

What about 24/7 joy?

Happiness is the new black. Everyone wants it.  It's in vogue and it's a need, a desire and a drug in itself that can bankrupt our finances and even our souls in its pursuit. But here's a wild and wonderful thought: what if the natural human default position was happiness? It's right here, right now, this very second, grinning away beneath the obsessive dissatisfied chatter that runs like ticker tape through our minds. We can't always see its inner glow and goodness because it is clouded with anxiety, sadness, busyness, stress, loneliness, sickness, fatigue, fear and sheer ennui; psychic dust sheets that keep our joy shrouded in shadows which block out its light.

Happiness is …. (you complete the sentence).

For me it's love, freedom, family harmony, the deep friendships and connection with others I have built, sunshine, sea, the music of Sinatra, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen (list too long actually), delicious food and wine with loved ones, cold days and cashmere scarves, firelight and candles, no time limits, feeling fit and looking good, having enough, shared humour, great literature, nature, perfume, book and bath, being understood and loved for it, choosing rather than “having to”, dancing, solitude, creating something awesome that becomes a success, making a difference, being generous, standing in the garden and blowing bubbles at my cats. I'm still adding.

It helps to know what does make you happy.  We can all do our what we don't-like lists as pain is easy to notice and label, but know what lights you up and you can plug into its source. Now here's another radical thought: what if happiness wasn't over there but right here right now, your birthright and as easy to access as breath?

You don't have to have a reason to be happy as this can cause misery if the source is taken away.  Be happy for no reason. Be happy because when you are, you energise the world, dreams start to fall into alignment and people want to stick to you like Velcro.  Your happiness is your gift to the world.

Happiness is ever present. It never turns its face away from us, but we turn away from it.

Try these Joy Drops today for instant karma:

  • Dare to be happy today regardless of what's on your plate.
  • Seek the silver linings.  They are always there.
  • Smile more. Smile at strangers.
  • Give compliments freely.
  • Find awe and magnificence in everyday things.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Do something kind or generous for someone else.
  • Breathe in and delight that you are alive.
  • Daydream.
  • Goof off.
  • Saunter, don't rush.
  • Relish your food (groan if need be).

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