“ Happiness is an attitude not a destination ! ”
I believe there are 2 types of happiness: there is Junk happiness and then there is Optimal happiness
Junk happiness is the type of happiness we were raised to know and seek. The happiness that comes as a result of something we really want to happen happening. When we were young, we used to think “I will be happy when I buy the toy I want” “I will be happy when that friend plays with me” “I will be happy when my parents let me go out alone for the first time” ……. Then, as we grew older, we think “I will be happy when I get married” “I will be happy when I finish university” “I will be happy when I make enough money to buy my first car” “I will be happy when I buy that ring” “I will be happy when I get that promotion” ….. and the list goes on and on
What is the problem with junk happiness? It is too short lived and never satisfying for long enough. We reach it, it is never filling enough and very soon we need more to keep us going again. Just like junk food !!
Studies now show that it is increasingly the very smallest of changes that you make in your day-to-day routine that lead to the biggest differences in the overall quality of your life. Happiness is no different!
Optimal happiness is very different. For one it can last you a lifetime! It is an attitude towards life. A decision about how you want to approach the things you face in life……and if you keep working at it, you will master the art of happiness and will truly live a life worth living!
You need to find your own secrets to happiness and practice them on a daily basis. To get you started, here are 9 secrets to optimal every-day happiness that always work:
1. Stop complaining
Every day, you will face situations you don’t like in life that you cannot control and others where you feel helpless and even angry. If you can do something about it, go ahead and do it! If not, then you need to learn to let it go and not give it energy or focus. Complaining is totally useless. It only increases your anger and resentment, spreads negativity and ultimately affects your happiness without actually giving you any solution to anything !
2. Before you get upset or worked up about something, ask yourself “How is it important?” and “Will this matter a week from now?”
Just by doing that, and picking your battles, your sense of peace and happiness will increase! Very simple yet very, very, very effective !
3. Set a positive intention every morning
Every morning, set a positive intention for the day. It could be to be kind rather than right in every situation you face. It could be to accept everything that happens and do the best you can. It could be to really “look” at a person you would normally not see such as a waiter or office boy or cleaner and smile at them and compliment them on something!
4. Sit still and look at nature
Spend 5 minutes a day in total silence and just stare at something from nature! Focus all your attention on its details. It could be a tree, a small plant, a bird, the sky…..anything that is there! Doing this every day brings inner peace and improves the quality of your life!
5. Be yourself! Let down your guard
Because of the roles and responsibilities we all have, we tend to be serious and guarded most of the day. Set an intention to spend 5 minutes every day where you let down all your guards, don’t act like a responsible person and just be yourself! For you, that could mean dancing, laughing out loud, making silly jokes, acting like a 10-year old, painting your face whatever 😊 Try it…..it is truly therapeutic
6. Acknowledge yourself
Stop taking yourself for granted. Maybe you haven’t made perfect progress, but who has? Acknowledge what you have done. Acknowledge that you are still trying. Notice the smallest milestones while they are happening. Celebrate them. Treat yourself. Life is happening right now. Rather than waiting to reach the finish line before you mark your progress, do it with every step you take
7. Do something that brings you joy
Your life is not easy, and that is o.k. Spend time every day doing something that brings you joy. It could be laughing with your children, having a cup of tea with your mom, talking on the phone to your best friend, reading a book or watching a tv series!
It doesn’t have to be long or complicated. It could be a brief walk or a few stretches or even going up and down the stairs 5 times. Move your body every day. It keeps you healthy, reduces stress and brings happiness!
9. Bond with your partner
If you are in a relationship, then give it time every day. It’s the only way to make the relationship work on the long term. We take our relationships forgranted then wonder why we are not happy. A relationship does not work on its own. We work at it every day. Spend time doing something you both enjoy every day apart from making ends meet and discussing what needs to get done! It could be as simple as sharing your stories over a cup of tea or watching a movie or even just smiling at each other ! If you need to, consider it an act of kindness that you will do for them every day
Reflect on these habits and identify which you already practice, which you intend to start adopting on a regular basis, and maybe add some of your own……
Try it for a month and experience the quality of your life as it improves slowly but surely!