The holy secret? Pope Francis gives tips to get happy

Pope France gave his top 10 tips on how to be happy, which include turning off the TV and not trying to convert people to your religion

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Are you a self-help book addict? Well, it could be time to toss the tomes as Catholicism’s Pope Francis has revealed his secrets to being happy in an interview with Argentine weekly Viva.

His top 10 tips include turning off the TV and not trying to convert people to your religion.

In Viva, the pope spoke frankly about his personal experiences and following a humble lifestyle devoid of consumer culture.

The pope advised families to switch off the TV during meals because, according to him, it prevents communication between family members.

He also said people could be happier if they stop trying to influence or change others’ way of thinking – especially trying to change others’ beliefs. In his interview, he added that a religion’s followers should grow by attraction, not preaching.

1. “Live and let live” is a popular Italian saying that roughly translates to “Move forward and let others do the same.” The pope advised everyone to follow this principle.

2. “Be giving of yourself to others.” We all need to be open and generous towards others, he advised, because “if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric.”

3. “Proceed calmly” in your daily lifestyle. The pope used an image from an Argentine novel by Ricardo Guiraldes in which the main character reflects on how he lived his life.

4. A healthy sense of leisure is an important aspect of happiness. The pope said “consumerism has bought us anxiety” and advised parents to make more time for their children.

5. Sundays should be holidays. The pope said this day should only be for families to spend time together.

6. Find new ways to create dignified jobs for the youth. In his interview he said “We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities, they will get into drugs.”

7. Respect and take care of nature. The pope said our current environmental issue is one of the “biggest challenges we have.” He added, “I think a question that we’re not asking ourselves is: ‘Isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?’“

8. Stop being pessimistic. He said when people have the need to talk about others it indicates low self-esteem. He clarified his statement with an example: “I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down.” The faster you let go of negativity the happier you become, he added.

9. Don’t proselytize and respect others views. The pope criticized religious proselytism.

10. Work for peace. The pope said we are living in a time of many wars and the call for peace must be “shouted.” He said peace is often misinterpreted as being quiet, “but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive,” he added.

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