Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Don't Worry, Be Happy

If ____ I will be happy. Go ahead, take a minute and fill in the blank. Typical responses are: If I fall in love, If I have a different job, If I have a different house, If I have more money, If I have better health, and the list goes on and on.

What do YOU have to get in order to be happy? Unfortunately, anything you can get to make you happy, you can un-get. There is nothing you have to do, be, or get in order to be happy. Think of what you wanted 10 years ago. Chances are, you’ve done it, been there, or now have it, and you may still be unhappy.

Choosing to be happy is a habit. It is as simple as that.

There are motivational gurus who speak about it, best-selling authors who write about it, and hundreds of books that explore it, and all point in the same direction. Our thoughts are so powerful, they create our reality. Choosing to be happy may sound like a simple task, but if it is not a conscious choice, it can prove more difficult than one would think.

So where do you start? Try these 7 techniques to make happy a habit:

#1  Make a Choice

The hardest step to achieving happiness is the first one. It either sounds like it’s too common sense to have to work on it, or it feels like a waste of time, but if you make a conscious decision to work toward happiness, you’ll have a much easier time being successful.

#2 Make a Mental Picture

Because we are so visual in nature, making a mental picture is a powerful first step. When you have the feelings associated with happiness, what do you see? Now draw it and tape it to your computer, your refrigerator, and your bathroom mirror. Every time you catch yourself having an “unhappy” thought, think of your picture. Block any other thoughts out of your brain, and focus on the picture.

#3 Get a Replacement Thought

If you want to change a habit, you have to have something to replace it with. My friend has been diagnosed with three brain tumors. She is in her early forty’s, and at this point, there is no cure. When I start going down the “unhappy path”, I think of her tremendous strength and remind myself how precious our time here really is.

#4 Change Your Expectations

If your expectation is that you will be happy all of the time, you will be sorely disappointed. How do you know when you’re eating amazing food? Because you have had bad food to compare it to. In order to experience happiness, it’s necessary to have some not so happy times. Our life is kind of like autopilot. We know our destination, but we rarely fly in a straight line to get there.

#5 A Little Goes a Long Way

Every single day, regardless of how crappy you might feel, find something to be happy about.  Even if you only feel happy about 1 thing each day, that’s 365 happy things a year!  It goes back to the slight edge concept.  It’s the little things done consistently that make the biggest impact.

#6 Let Go

My husband, the eternal optimist, has to continually remind me about this one. When we allow people or situations to determine our happiness, we relinquish all control and become a victim. We have expectations about how a situation should go or how someone should act, and then we end up disappointed, frustrated and unhappy when things don’t go as we had expected. Sometimes you just have to let go and know that the future will happen whether you are happy about it or not.

#7 LIVE!

I was watching a show on T.V., and the narrator said, “Everybody dies, but not everybody lives.” For such a simple statement, it sure says a lot. Feeling truly alive and experiencing happiness is just like becoming healthy. It’s tough at first, but if you stick with it, it becomes a lifestyle.  Live your life as if it were your last.

So next time you see this statement: If ________ I will be happy.

Just shorten the sentence:


As we embrace the new world of work, mental health and employee well-being must be a priority in the workplace. With 1 out of every 4 adults and children struggling with a mental health issue, these are no longer "nice to have" conversations. In order to attract, retain, and develop great talent, mental health must be a focal point for organizations and leaders.

Whether you are an individual contributor or people leader, it is more important than ever to create a psychologically safe environment for mental health conversations to take place. Creating a safe space for people to talk openly about mental health is not only the right thing to do, it is also the number one predictor of high-performing teams.

While these conversations can be tricky, there are several things you can do. 👇 #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthatwork #leadership #leaders #empathy #vulnerability #highperformingteams #futureofwork

Mindfully listen 🎧

Every time your mind wanders, go back to the song. This repairs grey matter density damaged by stress and grows your brain’s capacity to manage attention, maintain focus, and regulate emotions. As an added bonus, listening to music releases dopamine, a mood-enhancing happy hormone. #mindfulmonday #mindfulness #resilience #listen #attentionmanagement #focus #braintraining #music #favoritesong

We tend to prioritize physical health (going to the gym, eating right, getting enough sleep), but mental health is just as – if not more – important.

Don’t forget to put your mental health on your priority list. Just like any other routine, these small shifts will become habits the more often you practice them. #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #habits #resilience #fridaymood #protectyourpeace

When you are lying in bed at night replaying your day, are you thinking about the things that went right or the things that didn’t? Thanks to our negativity bias, the chances are pretty high that you naturally default to the negative. This habit is sabotaging your mental health.

New blog on #rumination is at the link in my bio!

Life is finite, and so is our energy. What small things can you integrate into your routine to build up your energy reserves? #mindfulmonday ...


Anne Grady is a Speaker, Author, and #TruthBomb Dropper.

Anne shares practical strategies that can be applied both personally and professionally to improve relationships, navigate change, and triumph over adversity. And she’ll make you laugh while she does it. Anne is a two time TEDx speaker, and her work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fast Company and Inc. magazines, CNN, ESPN, and FOX Business. She is the best selling author of 52 Strategies for Life, Love & Work and Strong Enough: Choosing Courage, Resilience and Triumph.

Read Up on Resilience!

Anne’s Books Available on!


  1. Great piece and very true. From another aspect think of it this way – You create your tomorrow today. What I/we do today determines our tomorrow. I.e. if I tell my wife that she looks fat in that dress, chances our my tomorrow won’t be very bright. If I tell my co-worker what a great job he or she did today, chances are my tomorrow will be brighter. Our actions today determine our outcome tomorrow.

  2. Hi Christian,

    What a great way to look at it! Thanks for sharing. And you’re right…saying your wife looks fat never equals a good tomorrow 🙂

  3. the best part is “living every day” like it is your last. My wife, Nina, taught me that especially the last few years of her life. I am teaching my daughters this as we speak. Well at least trying to since they are now all grown up. You can’t buy happy, You have to “create it”.

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