I’ve written quite a bot about happiness (here and here), and what it means to be truly happy. I often ask myself why happiness is such an important thing for me, and I can only respond with “why not?”. Isn’t happiness, or being happy the goal of just about every person on this planet? I’m not talking about watching a great movie that makes you smile, hence your happy, or being happy because you got an increase at your job. No, I’m talking about a happiness that stems from the centre of your being. A Happiness that is permanent, and will overcome the toughest of trails and heartaches. This is my life mission.
This type of happiness means different things to different people, but for me, this is what is means:
Happiness comes from achieving a worthy goal and further through the advancing of that goal
I’ve mentioned previously that one of my main sources for being happy is the art of being grateful. I cannot stress how important this is, see this post.
Here’s is a list, or a few steps that I aim to take daily that I know will increase the longevity of my own happiness. (I found this on my favourite motivational blog, ZenHabits)
- List 3 Good Things. Eva & I started a daily evening ritual, at about 7pm each day, where we take a moment to tell each other three good things about our day. We didn’t invent this, but it serves as at least one time in your day when you focus on what you’re grateful for. This can create a mental habit of gratitude that you can use other times in your day, when you’re focused on the things you don’t like or have — when you feel this, think about something you do have, that you love. Find a way to be grateful, and you’re happier.
- Help Someone. When we focus on ourselves, and the woeful state of our lives, we are self-centered. This shrinks the world to one little place with one little unhappy person. But what if we can expand that worldview, and expand our heart to include at least one other person? Maybe even a few others? Then we see that others are suffering too, even if that just means they’re stressed out. Then we can reach out, and do something to reduce their stress, put a smile on their face, make their lives easier. Help at least one person each day, and you’ll find your entire perspective shifted.
- Meditate. I’ve called this the Fundamental Habit, because it affects everything else. Meditate for just 2 minutes a day, and you’ll create a habit that will allow you to notice your thoughts throughout the rest of the day, that will help you to be more present (unhappiness comes from not being present), that will help you notice the source of anxiety and distraction. That’s a lot that can be accomplished in 2 minutes! Sit every morning when you wake, and just notice your body, and then your breath. Notice when your mind wanders, and gently return to your breath. You become the watcher of your mind, and you’ll learn some useful things, I promise.
- Exercise. Everyone knows you should exercise, so I’m not going to belabor this point. But it really does make you happier, both in the moment of exercise (I’m exerting myself, I’m alive!) and throughout the rest of the day. Exercise lightly, if you’re not in the habit yet, and just for a few minutes a day to start out. Who doesn’t have a few minutes a day? If you don’t, you need to loosen up your schedule a bit.
What do you think? This is definitely 3 things that I can work on. Especially the exercise.