“I’d always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom were my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed. I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live – that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.”
I absolutely love this quote from Dan Millman. It exactly expresses my own sentiments, and reflects my life experience.
What do you think- does happiness come to us all naturally? Is it automatically bestowed upon us as we live our lives?
While it’s true that transient happiness does occur each and every day without any effort on our part (who isn’t happy when they find a $50 note in the pocket of a pair of old jeans they haven’t worn in a while?- incidently this happened to me over the weekend!) To achieve true happiness however, we need to work for it. And sometimes, we need to work hard.
I just read a great article by Jacob Sokol called “12 Things Happy People Do Differently”. I want to share these 12 happiness habits here with you so you can apply them in every part of your life!
- Express gratitude– be grateful for everything good thing in your life. How can we be happy if we aren’t thankful for what we have?
- Cultivate optimism– Always look for the bright side of any situation. When you think optimistically you will encounter endless opportunities!
- Avoid over-thinking and social comparison- Both thinking your “better” or “worse” than someone else is unhealthy. If you must compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an older version of yourself.
- Practice acts of kindness– This one has a double kick of happiness! You’ll feel better for selflessly helping someone, and the other person will feel better for receiving your kindness!
- Nurture social relationships– Happy people have deep, meaningful relationships. Identify which relationships make your life better and cherish them dearly.
- Develop strategies for coping– Everyone has bad days, but it’s how you deal with them that define you. Have the confidence to know you can overcome the moments, and better times will inevitably follow!
- Learn to forgive– Forgiveness is sometimes so hard to do, but it’s necessary for happiness. Don’t harbour feelings of hatred. Let past hurts go, and move on with your own life.
- Increase flow experiences– Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still. It’s when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you become one with the task and forget about everything around you. Meditation is a great flow experience, but it takes a lot of practice to master it!
- Savour life’s joys– Enjoy every moment of happiness! See someone with a great smile or an infectious laugh? Cherish it! Receive a nice email from an old friend? Think back on it fondly!
- Commit to your goals– having a clear goal, to which you are fully committed gives you purpose and clarity in life. An added bonus of this habit is when you achieve your goal, you will feel amazing!
- Practice spirituality– Recognising that life is bigger than you or me is a truly humbling experience. Spirituality enables us to connect to the source of all creation and embrace a connectedness with everything that exists.
- Take care of your body– This is crucial to happiness! If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected. Feed your body good, wholesome, natural foods and engage in exercise regularly (even if it’s just a walk with a friend!)