A lot of people are under the false impression that happiness is some magical, mystical place that you arrive at one day and the rest of your life will be amazing. This myth is pervasive and is perpetuated by media marketing companies but it could not be further from the truth.
The truth is that happiness is a choice. And it’s a choice that you must make every day. I don’t think that it becomes easier the longer you make this choice but it does become a habit. Just like you brush your teeth everyday, you begin to surround yourself with positive, uplifting people, messages and things every.single.day.
Here are some things that I do one a consistent basis to be happy.
- Inspirational reading. I use the book Find Your Happy: 365 Days of motivation for a happy peaceful and fulfilling life by Shannon Kaiser. I love this one but there are plenty more. Try a daily devotional if that’s your thing. It takes less than a minute to read my mantra for the day and it always makes me happier.
- I am constantly listening to motivational and inspirational podcasts. I usually listen to them when I am getting ready in the morning or doing chores like cleaning or meal prepping. 2 of my favorites are The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes and Pursuing Health by Julie Foucher
- Decorate your space. I am definitely not a natural born interior designer. My house is messy more often than it’s not but I do have a few things in my home that I absolutely love that bring me happiness every time I look at them. One is a coffee mug that I got from my grandmother. It’s not particularly beautiful or special but just knowing that it came from her warms my heart every time I see it. The second is a little Buddha statue that I got from Home Goods for $25. It sits on top of my dresser and it makes me happy whenever I look at it. If you cant afford to decorate your home like perfect Pinterest photo at least have a few things, maybe a picture or coffee mug, that warm your heart and make your happy every time you look at them.
- Be grateful. Happy people are grateful and grateful people are happy. You can have a gratitude journal (find one on Amazon) or create your own style of gratitude practice. I do this by taking time to appreciate everyday things around me. For example there are these two trees right outside my condo that sort of lean into each other and look like a heart. I am obsessed with these trees and a few days a week when I’m getting back from walking my dog I take a second to look at them and just feel deep appreciation for my life. It may sound weird but those trees are like my gratitude anchor. Find your own in your life.
- Give back. Nothing will make you more appreciative for your life than seeing the conditions that some of our fellow humans (or animals) live in on a daily basis. Being exposed to poverty on a regular basis has changed my life more than I can ever say and I have become a more compassionate, patient and grateful human because of it. I volunteer weekly but you could do monthly or even bi-monthly. You can ask me about volunteer opportunities in Phoenix or go to volunteermatch.org to find something you might be interested in.
These are all things I do either daily or almost daily to cultivate happiness in my life. They require very little effort because I have made them habits. It’s amazing how the more you chose happiness the more it just becomes who you are. Start small. You can do it.