Happiness is something most human beings chase after. Who doesn’t want days of endless smiles and carefree joy? It’s sold to us in the media and discussed in medical and social communities, and the ultimate, basic goals of our lives include happiness as one big pillar.
But for many people, happiness as we see it is viewed as something that is unattainable or only for those born lucky. It’s easy, with disappointments, failure and bad luck a routine part of most lives, to be discouraged when it comes to the subject of happiness. Luckily, you can experience that feeling by just making some painless changes in your life, no matter what your situation is. Try the following five tips for a shot of happiness that lasts today!
1. Start With A Clear Definition
Happiness is a universal goal, but the idea of it varies from person to person. One person’s happiness may be simply finding a life partner, while another person’s includes career success. If you don’t know what happiness means to you, it’s pretty hard to actively contribute to attaining it.
Think about what makes you the most happy to get a better idea of how to bring yourself more joy. For instance, if you really used to love long phone conversations but are now mostly texting, try calling a friend or family member for a talk occasionally to bring a little light into your day. Keep revising your happiness definition as you go! People change, and what used to work for you may need to be updated or replaced entirely.
2. Remember It’s A Choice
You can choose to be happy regardless of what life throws at you, but in trying times, that can be easy to forget. And some people believe that happiness is something you have no control over no matter what the state of your life.
In reality, people who actively chose to be happy are more likely to experience it, as noted by Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, a Professor of Psychology at University of California-Riverside, in an ABC News report . The professor had subjects engage in things that are known practices of happy people, such as acts of kindness, and observed that people were happier after they did them.
Simply put, try to do more of the little things that make you happy, and stop dwelling on the negatives. This will take time and effort, as it’s easy to slip back into familiar habits, but stick with it to improve your life overall. When you notice yourself sliding back into old behavior, double up your efforts to change. This will become easier over time, as your new ways of doing things cement themselves as routine. If you need to, keep a list of some habits you’ve recognized that take away from your happiness so you’re able to notice them more quickly.
3. Treat Happiness As A Skill
Happiness needs to be worked on just like your level of focus, motivation and temper. As such, start treating it as a skill you need to develop rather than just a goal. Doing this will double your focus and commitment to being a happier person, making the work it takes that much easier.
4. Experience Some Unhappiness
It probably seems a bit silly to welcome unhappiness in your life, but that is a necessary step on the journey of joy. You can’t fully experience love without knowing hate, and the same is true when it comes to happiness and unhappiness.
While you don’t want to dwell on bad things, learn to accept them as they come and allow yourself to feel the associated emotions, like grief, anger and sadness. Don’t try to force yourself out of these feelings, as they should fade when they’re ready to. Acknowledge and experience unhappiness for what it is so you can return a better and stronger person.
5. Start Today
Don’t put off working on happiness in the future. If you keep putting it off, you may never get around to it. And the longer you wait, the more distant and unattainable it may seem as a goal. Even if you’re under difficult circumstances, start working on your happiness right away. Little things, like talking to a close friend or doing something nice for someone else, can go a long way over time. By committing to happiness now, you can begin to take the steps needed to bring some more joy into your life on a deeper and more permanent level.