“If only we’d stop trying to be happy we’d have a pretty good time.” –Edith Wharton
The quest for happiness is one of the biggest mysteries that currently exists in our society. From self-help books and seminars to a never-ending list of commercials and advertisements, each claiming that their product is the answer to genuinely making us happy in our lives. At the same time, we have been told that money can’t buy happiness, so what, then, is the answer?
Can happiness be found in the bottom of a bottle of beer? In a particular makeup product? In the enjoyment of a specific food? Can we honestly achieve happiness, or are we wasting our time setting our New Years Resolution year after year in its pursuit?
Now we aren’t saying that everyone is ‘unhappy’ in their lives, happiness can be found in even the smallest of things if we open our hearts to it. The fact is that we have wasted so much time focusing on our attempts to chase happiness rather than embracing it in all its forms currently in our lives.
The following 20 tips will help you to step away from the constant pursuit and instead find and embrace happiness in your life today!
- Practice Meditation: Meditation is one of the greatest tools for genuine mindfulness in our lives, helping us to let go of the ‘shiny’ distractions that we encounter, focusing instead on the true beauty of the moment that we are currently living in. It will quiet your mind, expel negative energies and invite positivity into your life.
- Don’t Force Positivity: Life has its ebb and flow, resulting in a positive experience at sometimes, but also times of negativity. If you are feeling negative, don’t try to force yourself to turn those feelings around instantly. Allow yourself to feel the negativity and move past it to a genuine positivity.
- Let Go of Unrealistic Expectations: At some point in our lives we created the expectation that we will be happy 100% of the time, which is incredibly unrealistic. Instead, accept that it is normal and completely OK to not be ‘OK’ all the time. It is normal to have struggles, as well as periods of time that aren’t over the top joyous, they just ‘are.’
- Don’t Wait for Someday: If there is something that you want to do or experience, don’t wait for the stars to align and everything to be perfect or you may be waiting your whole life. There will never be a ‘perfect’ time in your life. Instead get out and do it today!
- Remove any Barriers to Your Happiness: If there are things in your life that are preventing you from feeling happy, it is time to cut them loose. This may include a toxic relationship, an unhealthy relationship with food or a job that you feel is draining you of any positive energy. Don’t entertain toxic influences in your life.
- Remove the word ‘Happy’ from your vocabulary: The true definition of the word ‘happy’ is vague and inconsistent, adding to the confusion that is felt in our quest for happiness. Instead start to focus on words and emotions that you can define and recognize such as: cheerfulness, hopefulness, laughter, contentment, peace of mind, blessedness, well-being and enjoyment.
- Be Content Being OK: When someone asks us how we are feeling, or how life is treating us, we feel a pressure to answer with something elaborate or ‘great.’ The truth is that there is nothing wrong with being OK in that moment, and we need to let go of the preconceived notion that it isn’t good enough.
- Focus on Baby Steps: If you believe that there is a large goal that will bring happiness in your life, break it down into smaller, manageable steps. You will feel a sense of accomplishment as you complete each step, allowing you to enjoy the joy along the journey.
- Establish Healthy Boundaries: The people in your life can be some of the greatest sources of joy, but they can also bring their own negativity and problems. If someone is always expecting you to give your time and energy, and not reciprocating, this can be a drain on your positivity. It is important to have healthy boundaries in place to protect your own emotional and mental well being.
- Push Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone: It is easy to fall into a routine, and having a regular routine doesn’t mean that its one that brings you joy. Pushing yourself to break out of your comfort zone will not only introduce you to something that you may find brings you a greater level of joy in your life, but will also flush your brain with endorphins creating a short term feeling of extreme pleasure.
- Live for Today: Don’t live your life focused on the difficulties of your past or the worries of tomorrow. You can’t change that which has already happened, and the future is currently out of your reach. Focus on enjoying the moment you are currently in!
- Prioritize Your Health: The physical well being of your body also has the ability to impact your mental and emotional health including balancing your hormones and encouraging serotonin production. Focusing on your fitness and nutrition habits will allow you to feel better overall.
- Serve Others: Rather than spending your life focused solely on your self and whether you have reached the level of happiness that you seek, shift your focus to the well being of those around you. You will distract yourself from questions about your own life, and the act of serving others is highly rewarding.
- Be Honest with Yourself: When you bottle emotions, they become toxic, draining the positive energy from your life. Instead, be honest with what you are feeling in the moment. This doesn’t mean running around telling everyone else, but be honest with yourself. Allow yourself whatever you are genuinely feeling in the moment: sadness, anger, joy.
- Meet New People: Humans are social creatures, and as such, there is a level of energy to be gained just by surrounding ourselves with others. New friendships allow us to feel valued and appreciated, boosting our feelings of self-worth. Make an effort to go out and meet people who share similar interests around you.
- Start Your Morning Right: The way in which you start your morning each day can make your break your overall energy of the day. Start yourself with positive, upbeat energy, inviting positivity into your day. Start with some spiritual time, such as a short meditation, and a healthy, complete breakfast.
- Discover Your Purpose: Take a moment to stop and meditate within yourself. Rather than constantly pursuing goal after goal blindly in search of something that will take away the struggles of life and bring happiness, find your purpose, the one thing that drives your passion and pursue that.
- Be a Lifelong Learner: Rather than expecting yourself to have the answers in life, acknowledge and accept that you are on this planet to learn through experience. Going along with this idea, failure is part of learning! There are times that you will try something and it won’t work out. Rather than feeling discouraged, learn from it and keep moving forward.
- Spend Time with Nature: The constant noise and fast pace of our society are enough to wear anyone out, leaving us drained and exhausted. Schedule time into your week during which you can unplug, step away from the ‘screens’ and lose yourself in the beauty of the natural environment around you. This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, even a short walk will allow you to recharge.
- Separate Your Achievements from Your Happiness: While it is ok to experience and elevated feeling of happiness after hitting a goal, basing our happiness solely on our accomplishments is going to leave us feeling down or unfilled for much of our lives. Build an overall feeling of self-worth that will carry through the remainder of your life.