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by Dr. Denise Chranowski, Co-founder 8WW.

So I’m a happiness expert. I’ve declared it. You’ve heard, “better one who knows then ten who are trying.” Well I know. I’m happy. I haven’t always been happy. I know the difference. Here are the top 5 things I do to be happy.

I wake up early. My father developed this discipline in my brothers and I that became a habit. He would stand at the bottom of our stairs and toot his hand bugle and yell ‘reveille’ at an ungodly hour even during the summer.

I spend or prefer to say invest my earlier morning hour from 5am to 6:15am. I invest it reading, praying, journaling, giving thanks, and meditating. I do a combination of all these things each morning. Here’s the new prayer I’ve memorized. “If left to my own devices my perceptions would be skewed. I surrender to you God everything I think and feel. Please take my past and plan my future and send your spirit to redeem my mind that I may be set free. May I be your vessel and SERVE the world. May I become what you might have me be, so that I may do what you would have me do and I will dear God, I will.” (written by Marianne Williamson)

I have purpose. My purpose is as follows: To inspire, educate and show people within my area of influence how to release their health potential. “When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds,” a favorite quote of mine by Patanjali some really old Yogi that lived 150 BC.

I exercise, eat right, get adjusted, get massaged, and treat my house i.e. my body well so that it may sustain me. This I know. I am given one body. It is where I will live all the days on earth. The more I treat it well, the better it treats me. The better it treats me, the less I think about it. The less I think about it, the less selfish I become. The less selfish I become, the more selfless I become. The more selfless I become, the more I am able to fulfill my purpose of helping others get healthy. The more I’m able to fulfill my purpose the happier I am (refer to point 3.)

I surround myself with happy things and I unsurround myself with unhappy things. Yes I know unsurround is not a word, but it seems appropriate here. I unsurround myself with TV. I unsurround myself with news. I unsurround myself with nay-sayers or glass half empty people. I surround myself with nature. I surround myself with music I love. I surround myself with my beautiful home. I surround myself with a work family that bring joys to my life. I surround myself with family & friends who love life and love me!