Happiness is not tangible. It can’t be bought.

Happiness is a state of being, and it arises when our awareness is open, full and receptive. No one and nothing can make us happy or unhappy, as hard as it might be to accept – happiness is a choice.

Happiness is also transitory. No one is happy all the time, and you don’t need to be happy all the time. Moving in and out of states of happiness is normal.

Emotions are energy in motion: they come and go. There is often a strong view in society that our entire aim in life ought to be the pursuit of happiness – which is often measured by material abundance – although; this pursuit serves only to make us unhappy.

Unhappiness is also often fueled by our ego’s reaction when it doesn’t get its own way, or when our happiness is too dependent on external forces.

Cultivating happiness is both simple and difficult. It’s not esoteric, but it is very hard for us to practice on a daily basis. So for the benefit of those who could use a little help with how to get happy, I humbly offer these nine steps:

1. Embrace Silence  

You can’t begin to find anything in yourself in the midst of chaos and noise. Find some quiet and alone space, without anything that has a battery. If you instantly start to think of all the tasks you have to do, this is very normal. But also a sign that incorporating regular quiet time into your day is exactly what your mind needs.

2. Release Toxins

This means the stuff you put into your body as well as the stuff you emit, like anger, fear, negativity, and worry. Toxins cloud the invisible realm of the spirit and make it hard for happiness to come in.

3. Cultivate Self-Love

Spend some of your quiet time contemplating who you really are. Appreciate the person that exists irrespective of the body you have, your job, your cash flow (or lack thereof) and love what is alive and pondering inside of you.

4. See Everyone as a Teacher and Release Judgments

If you imagine that everyone you meet is there to teach you something about yourself – rather than judging them based on your initial preconceptions or qualities they exhibit that does not mirror yours – you’re on your way to happiness.

5. Express Gratitude

For every negative thought, think of one thing for which you’re grateful. Focus on the positive: it’s just as real and present. It’s a metaphysical law that what you focus on increases.

6. Practice Generosity

There is nothing that makes you happier faster than giving yourself to others. Try it.

7. Live in the Present

If you catch yourself thinking about the past or traveling to tomorrow, reel yourself back to right here, right now. You may have to do this a hundred times a day. I do it a thousand, but I still do it.

8. Simplify

The less stuff you have, the fewer obligations you have and the easier it is to live from a place of contentment.

9. Go with the Flow

It’s far easier to be happy when you are not running from, or fighting what is. The difficult things don’t get easier by running or fighting; they get easier when you accept them, feel them and remember that these, too, are part of life.

These nine principles without a doubt make me happy, what are some of yours? Please share them below.

Guide to Inspired Life