Many people spend their lives waiting to be happy.
We often think that ‘If I had a better job’ or ‘If I had that boyfriend’ or ‘If only I could lose weight’, then, I would be happy. We have the mindset that we must first struggle to attain something external in order to be happy. This isn’t true. The secret is that we can be happy right now. The key to happiness lies within. Being happy is a skill that can be learned and cultivated. It requires making changes in your life; changes to your way of thinking and acting. Here are eight habits which you can integrate into your life and be happier.
1. connect with friends
Having strong interpersonal relationships is one key to having a joyful life. People with one or more close friendships appear to be happier. Connection with others is vital to feeling loved and needed. Sharing problems and feelings regularly, increases meaning and wellbeing in our lives.
2. Get involved
Reaching out and caring for others less fortunate increases our mental well being. People who volunteer have fewer depressive symptoms and higher life satisfaction. If you have an hour or two a week, why not drop into your local community club and get involved.
3. Get active
Being active and regular exercise has both physical and mental well being benefits. Exercise improves mood straight away by the release of feel good chemicals. It helps with freeing oneself from negative thoughts, builds social connection and improves life satisfaction.
4. Find your purpose.
Even if your full time job isn’t your dream work, make sure to make time for doing what it is you love. What is the one activity that makes you feel exhilarated; that you lose yourself in and experience complete joy and satisfaction. Make sure you plan this into your daily life.
5. Be grateful
Gratitude is a personality strength where you have the ability to be aware of the good things you have in life and not take them for granted. People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions, and are better able to reach their goals. Make a list today of five things you are grateful for.
6. let go of control
Accept what cannot be changed and let go of the need to control things outside of your control. Put your focus and energy on the things that you can change and applying the principles here is a great place to start.
Begin today by taking responsibility for your happiness. Work on developing these principles in your life. Happiness is a habit, cultivate it!
Don’t take yourself too seriously. At times of hardship, such as loss or illness, it’s easy to lose your humour and even easier to get involved with the negative aspects of what is happening. Remembering not to take yourself too seriously brings a lightness and acceptance to the weight of circumstance around you.
8. don’t label yourself
Don’t identify with suffering, loss, or illness as being who you are. Many people identify themselves as a cancer survivor/widow/depressive, or whatever it may be, but had not asked who they were without that label or identity. When you don’t identify with the negative issues, then who you really are has a chance to shine.
It’s OK to be you, just as you are, warts and all. You may think you’re imperfect, a mess, falling apart, hopeless, or unable to cope. But true perfection is really accepting your imperfections. It is accepting yourself.