Dr. Willie T. Ong

Is there a person alive who doesn’t want to be happy? There isn’t one. But how often do we think of ways to be happy? If you’re feeling sad because of some family or financial problem, don’t despair.

Here are 20 strategies to be happy.

Decide to be happy.

Make a plan. Think of ways and things that bring you happiness. Set happy goals not just for yourself but include others too. Then, think of what to do next.

Use your talents.

Identify your strengths. Can you sing, dance, draw, paint, write, or speak? Find and cultivate these strengths of yours. Focus on them and they will bring you confidence and satisfaction. Do what you were meant to do in this world.


Play with your kids. Have fun with friends. Take time to relax and play. There’s nothing wrong with having fun and liking your work. Go through your normal day in an easy and light manner.

Be curious.

Try to see happiness around you. Watch the sunrise, feel the cool breeze, listen to the birds chirping and see people smiling. Nature is full of happiness.

Count your blessings.

Be grateful and happy with what you have. Accept the blessings that you have and think positively on the things you do not have. Maybe you weren’t meant to get it anyway and that something better is in store. Look at the bright side always.

Like yourself.

Everybody commits a mistake at some point in their lives. It’s part of our learning process, whether it’s because of our youth or ignorance. Try to make amends on the mistakes you’ve made and then let it go. A wise man said that it’s the things we didn’t do that we later regret, and not the things and mistakes that we did.

Pamper yourself.

After a long work day, treat yourself to a warm refreshing bath. Enjoy your favorite magazine. Tinker around your hobbies. And when you feel like a kid, bring out the child in you.

Enjoy close relationships.

A unique study shows that talking to a supportive friend is as effective as taking a tablet of pain reliever. There is something heavenly in true and caring friends. Invest your time in building close relationships. They are as good as money in the bank.

Find positive people.

Surround yourself with positive and happy people. Find good mentors. They can be the keys to your success. Some believe the other person’s good influence and good karma will also bring you luck. Happy people also tend to be more supportive of others, too.

Volunteer to help someone in need.

If you want to receive P2,000 worth of happiness, donate P2,000 to your favorite charity. Studies show that the more people give to others, the happier they become.

Think happy thoughts.

Positive thinking proponent, Norman Vincent Peale, says that if a negative thought should enter your mind, you should immediately block this with a positive one. If a fearful thought gets in your mind, tell yourself that you can do it, and that you are alright. Think positive.

See and hear happy news.

Read inspiring books. Watch happy movies. Look for good news in the papers and magazines. Fill your minds with positive and constructive news.


If you watched Patch Adams, you know that the doctor’s secret cure for his patients is by simply making them laugh. Wearing a clown make-up, Dr. Adams brings joy to cancer-stricken kids. A study by Dr. Lee Berk shows that watching an hour of comedy movie releases 27% more good endorphins in the body. Endorphins help reduce pain and stress, and boost the immune system.

Follow your instincts.

In the best-selling book Blink, author Malcolm Gladwell says our mind can make a wise decision based on a gut feel or intuition. Most of the time, this turns out correctly. In business decisions and relationships, it pays to listen to this inner voice of wisdom.

Be healthy.

Being healthy is a prerequisite to being happy. Get a check-up and see your doctor. Avoid alcohol and cigarettes.

Eat healthy and exercise.

Go for something green or orange. Green leafy vegetables and orange-colored tomatoes, carrots and citrus fruits are high in anti-oxidants. Exercise moderately and stay active for your age.

Find the right amount of stress.

Studies show that too much stress from work can lead to anxiety, restlessness, and anger. However, too little stress can also lead to boredom. The secret is in finding the right amount of work that can make you productive and happy.


Ensure that you get adequate sleep and rest, like around 7-8 hours. If you have insomnia, just lying in bed and thinking happy and restful thoughts can relax your body, too.

Be in love.

Gerontology professor Dr. David Demko believes that being in love can prolong one’s life by as much as 7 years. Married people or those with close relationships are generally happier compared to single people living alone. If you don’t have a partner, then having a close friend, a pet or a hobby can be a substitute.


Studies show that people who have a strong sense of spirituality are 40% happier than those who don’t have. People who hope for a brighter future and sense a meaning and purpose in their lives are happier and more fulfilled individuals.

Try to have faith in yourself.

Have faith too in the goodness of others. And finally, have faith in God. If you’re not happy today, don’t worry, because slowly things will get better. It always does. You have all the resources you need to be happy.

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