It doesn't matter how many times you have heard the saying "Money doesn't buy happiness" how many of us still go ahead as if it is the answer to all of our dreams? Everything around us, in the media and almost everywhere you go, shouts out this message until we become convinced that only when we have all the things that money can buy will we be happy.

However happiness is not actually guaranteed by any of that. It doesn't matter how much you earn or how big your bank account is, how grand the home ... there is no guarantee that they will make you happy. And the sad thing is that we could waste decades pursuing wealth and luxury items before we realize this.

So where do we find happiness? True happiness needn't cost you anything. Hundreds of thousands of people have been surveyed about their lifestyles and how happy they are and this has brought some interesting findings.

Here they are, your keys to Happiness:

The first key to being happy is to have good relationships. We have a human need to be close, to be intimate, to unite with other human beings. So having good, supportive friendships, a strong marriage or close and loving relationships with our family members will make us much more likely to be happy. How can we make this happen? Make sure you set aside precious time to be with the people you love. Let them know you love them and how much they mean to you and strengthen your relationships by spending more time listening to what they have to say. Set it as a priority for yourself, knowing that this time is well spent for your well-being and happinesss as well as that of the family.

Positive thinking, optimism and self-esteem are also among some of the best indicators of people who lead happy lives. Happy people generally feel empowered, in control of their lives and have a positive outlook. Happiness is much more to do with what is on the inside than what's on the outside. This can get much better with practice. It is a matter of becoming aware of and activating what is already there but which may have been covered up with negative stuff. Make positive thinking a habit. In fact, it would be a good idea to make this one of the first habits you develop. Get into the habit of squashing all negative thoughts which are really just resistance to the happiness within. Replace them with positive ones. Choose a thought that feels better than it or deliberately distract yourself by turning your attention to something else, something funny or uplifting - even if only for a moment. A moment is all it takes. "I can't" shuts the door. Think "I can" or "I choose".This opens it.

Another key to happiness is to be in a state of flow. When we release our resistance, we are back in the state of allowing and happiness can then flow freely. Abundance and feelings of joy arise out of being in a state of flow. Often people in this state become so immersed in what they are doing that they lose track of time. It becomes an 'eternal now'. Happiness comes as a result of being in the flow so look for work and play that feels good to you, that lets you be in this natural state of flow. People find greatest enjoyment when they're absorbed in what they're doing, or are at one with it. Find work that you're passionate about. Seriously — this is an extremely important step. Find hobbies that you're passionate about. Turn off the TV — this is the opposite of flow — and get outside and do something that truly engages you.

Our universe is full of abundance but the trouble is, we have been brought up to believe that our world is a world of scarcity. Gratitude is a major key to happiness and the more you focus on what you are grateful for the more you will be given. You will never feel truly happy if you continue chasing after what is on the outside. You have everything within you right now to make your life truly abundant and joyful. Stop waiting for something to turn up to make you happy. Be happy NOW!

Author's Bio: 

Joy Idries is an internationally recognized expert in the field of Personal Transformation, Healing and Spiritual Growth.Take the first step towards finding true happiness by understanding the power of meditation at Her "Steps To abundant Living" program taster is also available at The whole program is a complet guide to using the Law of Attraction and ground-breaking Energy healing and Imagery techniques for transforming Pain into Power and vibrant, happy well-being.