One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves is, “Am I happy?”
Many people are able to immediately respond that they are. Unfortunately, many other people find they are not happy.
That leads to the second important question, which is, “How can I be happy?”
The answer to that question is not always what you think. It is an old adage, but it is still true: money does not buy happiness.
People so often still make the association though and are caught up in a terrible cycle of working ridiculously hard to try and make more (and more and more) money.
They just end up even more miserable.
What these people miss is the fact that very simple things often make us happy. Here are some things that you can do every day to make yourself happier.
- Get enough sleep: There are always going to be fun things to do that take away from our sleep time. Whether it is hitting the bars, binging your latest addiction on TV, or getting up early to take your son to a baseball game, we can find satisfaction. When these things begin to take away from your sleep time, we start to get miserable. It is hard to be happy when you cannot manage to stay away. It is all about balance here. Yes, you are always going to have things that will cut into your sleep time. But you need to find the balance and do the things that are important to you, while still sleeping enough.
- Pay attention to the little things that make you happy: If you spend your day complaining and moaning, you are automatically going to be cranky. But there are things that happen to us all day, every day that can demonstrate happiness. Pay attention to the little things that make you smile: a cool breeze on a hot day, the smell of coffee brewing, your favorite dog (or cat, or even alpaca) playing, or the smile on your child’s face. When you see these things, recognize that it makes you happy (even if it is just a tiny bit), and be thankful for it. You will find that they start to add up, and they can take your mind off the things that are stressing you out.
- Meditate: There are numerous methods of meditation from Mindfulness to Transcendental Meditation. There are also scores of free webpages and apps that can help you find the meditation that is right for you. Try them out. Figure out what works best for you. If you think you do not have time for meditation, start small. Shut your office door and try it for five minutes. Clearing the mind out makes you feel better. You also may find that you enjoy it so much that you realize you have plenty of time. There are also very likely health benefits. Some studies are showing that mediation is great for the heart and can even extend your lifetime.
- Get the bad stuff over with: If you have something that you are dreading doing, don’t put it off. Get it over with. If you wake up and know that you have to vacuum, but you HATE doing it, do it first thing. Then you are not worrying about it all day. Bite the bullet, and get it done. You will feel better for the rest of the day.
Happiness is something that we can control. Yes, there are plenty of things that we cannot control, and some people struggle to make ends meet every day.
But it is how we deal with the bad stuff that shows who we are.