The ultimate goal in most of our lives is simply to be happy. While we might think that we want to be richer, move to a nicer neighborhood, see the world, excel in our careers or start a family, it’s not so much the processes themselves that we crave as the promise of happiness and fulfillment they seem to extend. The motivation to become happier is at the root of most human endeavors. Even though ‘being happy’ doesn’t have a precise definition, still we strive to realize our personal visions of what it means to us.
For some people, they mean the transcendental joy of a defining moment – but for others, happiness is a quieter pursuit. It’s a feeling of wellbeing and contentment that is sustainable from day to day. The good news is, it’s easy to teach ourselves to lead happier lives. Some studies have found common factors shared by the people who claim to be the happiest. And it’s not untold riches or helming blue-chip companies that have got them there – it’s simple changes to their daily routine that all of us can put in place today. Here’s how you can introduce a feeling of content into each and every day:
Become An Early Bird
The old truism runs that some of us are naturally early birds, and some are night owls. But it’s a fact that those who rise early, generally report being happier in themselves. Why? Well, they begin their day on a pleasanter note, feeling re-energized and tick off all their most arduous tasks well before noon. In fact, they may be beginning to wind down while night owls are still struggling through their second cup of coffee. The ability to focus and be creative has been shown to peak between 8-10am – so don’t snooze away what could be the most productive time in your day. It is possible to retrain your body clock by gradually shifting onto a regular sleep-wake cycle, and the benefits are many. What could you achieve before lunchtime?
Prioritise Your Health
Good health is the bedrock of a happy life, and if you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to suffer an extended period of ill health, you’ll appreciate this. Happy people allow for the simple things in life that are the foundations of leading a healthy life – enough quality sleep at night, making the right food choices, staying hydrated, and making time for exercise. If one of these areas is out of step, you could risk compromising your wellbeing. Don’t put off routine medical checks and find a dentist you can trust, like Ideal Dentistry, who will schedule regular check-ups. If you have niggling concerns like a bad back, make that chiropractor’s appointment you’ve been putting off. Walk instead of driving or fit in a quick run, eat a rainbow of superfoods each day, sip on lemon water as you go and ban all blue-light emitting gadgets and distractions for the bedroom. You’ll be surprised at how big an impact these little adjustments can have. You’ll never get a second body, so prioritise caring for the one you have.
Learn to Forgive Others
It’s a sad fact of life that others are going to do you wrong sometimes. Either through malicious intent, neglect or plain selfishness, dealing with little cruelties is something we need to get accustomed too. But holding a grudge can be so injurious to our mental health. For one, it takes an awful lot of energy to hate –energy that could be far better spent elsewhere. Vengeful thoughts don’t redress the balance, and they only affect you, not the person you’re directing them at. Learning to let go of anger and disappointment is an essential life skill. The ability to forgive means that you’ll move through life easier – and sleep better at night.
Find Your Curiosity
As children, we all have a valuable and innate curiosity fired by the world around us. We ask questions of the world, use our imaginations and seek out new knowledge. Who said that had to stop in adulthood? When we get weighed down in the minutiae of adult life, it’s easy to lose sight of this big picture – but that’s exactly how we find ourselves uninspired, unmotivated and stuck in a rut. Make a conscious effort to engage your interest in the world again. Whether it’s choosing a new hobby to get passionate about at Discover a Hobby, or making some time for the causes that you know get you fired up and finding a volunteering opportunity, you can get a new challenge and zest for life by switching on your curiosity about the world again.
Balance Connections and Alone Time
Maintaining a state of happiness is all about balance, and we do this in a number of different ways. One of the most important is strengthening our bonds with friends and family. We don’t need quantity when it comes to relationships in our lives – we need quality. So focus on nurturing a handful of great connections in life, and hold them dear. Feeling heard and understood is vital to our mental state, and the reciprocal bonds of supporting and being supported that we establish are our most precious possessions. Those who lack a strong support network can often find themselves prone to loneliness and depression, while they lack the vital perspective of others on their problems. It’s never too late to make new friends, or make more of an effort with your family, so invest some time. On the other side of the coin, some alone time is also really valuable. Learn to step back occasionally and become comfortable with silence and stepping away from the social media drain from time to time. You’ll find it easier to recharge your spirit and gain a little peace – it really can do wonders for your mood!
Becoming happier doesn’t have to involve huge changes in your life – a few simple, practical steps along the way can add up to the quiet daily satisfaction that embodies a contented life – and you can start today!