Happiness is a relative term. What defines it, is often different for various individuals. It could be peace, wealth, or something as simple as the first cup of coffee in the morning.
Overall happiness is more than short term contentment. It’s about adding up all the positives in life and being thankful and content with what life has brought us. Things will go wrong, life won’t be fair and our plans are destined to be paved with roads we never planned to travel. How we react to all events, the good and the bad, is how we can essentially measure our level of happiness.
So, here we are in February of 2018. By now you may have forgotten about those resolutions you set shortly after we rung in the new year. You may not have gotten the promotion or big opportunity you were hoping for. You may be facing health issues, lack of money, loss of a loved one or the like. As I previously mentioned, though we cannot control that of which is around us, we can control how we react to it. We learn how to take life’s lemons and make lemonade. :)
Here are 5 quick thoughts on how to achieve a happier outlook on life, regardless of your situation.
1.) De-clutter. Studies have shown that excessive anything can have a negative effect on your life. For example, recent studies have shown increases in anxiety and depression associated with excessive use of social media. Therefore, set limits or remove the key anxiety/depression sources altogether. Same with your environment and schedule. Prioritize who and what is most important and remove what is not worth your time or takes up your space. You will find as you de-clutter, the anxiety and stress will minimize.
2.) Give. Have you ever thought, “Why do I have so much time/stuff/money?” Oftentimes it seems as if it is our destiny to give back something. If you have time, use it to volunteer and possibly change a person’s life with your actions or words of encouragement. If you have stuff, donate it to the local shelter or find someone who could use something that you are not. If you have an abundance of money, find a great organization to donate, to help others in need. Everyone has something to contribute and giving can feel good.
3.) Encourage. Everyone can use a kind word or smile. The world is full of negativity and deception. Read or watch anything on the news or on the internet. The world is telling us we need to go faster, be smarter, be thinner, be richer and be better than the next guy. This will only cause more stress and heartache for you. In the end, we all pass away and there’s no avoiding it. Take a moment to encourage others and in the same way you will be encouraged to cherish every moment you’re living.
4.) Be different. Try something different. Whether it’s food, a different route to work/school/home or even learning about a new culture. Trying something different will open your eyes to new opportunities you never dreamed of. You will grow your character and be more adventurous in your time to come.
5.) Live. Laugh. Love. February is often known for Valentine’s Day. While love is the air during that time, we need to remind ourselves to live well, laugh often and love like there is no tomorrow. It is a reminder that the little things in life are truly worth caring about. Whether it is a simple smile, a kind gesture or taking a moment to take it all in, we have purpose in this life for a greater tomorrow.
Happiness cannot truly be sustained by material things in this life. True happiness cannot be found in pizza, money, vacations and the like. These are short lived and fade away soon after. The pizza is ate, the money is spent and vacation is over. And even if you had unlimited vacation and money, would you still be happy?
True happiness comes from the heart of a person who avoids the negativity, is thankful, giving, and truly content with what they have each and everyday. Happiness is about keeping it simple and not getting caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle.
We have a choice, everyday, to decided whether or not we will strive for true happiness. It begins with a positive attitude and the decisions on who and what we will let guide our paths.
The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Labadie Toyota. This blog was written as a word of encouragement and enjoyment.