In honor of March being National Happiness Month, we wanted to write a post about why happiness is simple to achieve, yet so elusive for us all, and some tips to actually help you find what makes you happy.
Though happiness can’t be bought, we sure do try! Not in a bad way, there are things we love doing which involves purchasing items for. If you love cycling, you can’t cycle without a bike, right? You can try, but you’d probably look like something out of a Monty Python sketch! Happiness is such a business that the pharmaceutical companies are thriving from the multibillion dollar sales from their anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications. But why is happiness so hard to find? Well, it depends on how you define happiness.
What does defining happiness mean? Is happiness merely the side effect of having a great day? Is it the absence of negativity or negative people in your life? Is it buying that new special thing you’ve had your eye on for a while? What is happiness to you? The thing with happiness is that you can be happy overall, but still have a bad day, deal with a horrible co-worker or boss, or even get read-ended on your way to the store to buy that special item you’ve been saving up for.
For thousands of years, people have tried to define happiness. In ancient Greece, they thought happiness is meeting your potential. Benedictine monks think happiness is tied directly with gratitude – being thankful for you have and not reflecting on what you lack. Michael J. Fox thinks happiness is acceptance for what is. So, depending on how you view happiness can define how you go about achieving happiness.
There are some common tips floating around on the internet about how to find happiness. The top five tips are:
· Embrace challenges
o Don’t be negative about them. Look at every challenge as an opportunity to grow.
o Failure happens. When you fail, you are creating opportunities to learn from your mistakes and keep from repeating them.
· Don’t be so serious!
o Do you have a hard time letting go? Realize that life is meant to be lived, not obsessed over.
· Be thankful
o Gratitude for the people in your life, for the things you currently, have, and for the characteristics that make you, You really do bring true happiness. When you let go of worrying over your flaws and your lack of possessions, you are able to let go of negative perceptions that are holding you back.
· Live in the now, not in the past, nor in the future.
o The past is long gone, so worrying over what has already happened. Equally obsessing over the future is not going to help your mental state either. Accepting that the only thing you can control is what you are doing at this very moment is liberating. Remember, the only constant in life is change. Celebrate that every second you live is an opportunity to be happy and to grow.
· Choose to be healthy
o This isn’t a diatribe about why you should start exercising, Just a reminder that getting enough sleep, laugh more, and exercise more are all ways to be healthy mentally, emotionally, and physically. Exercise releases endorphins – your happy hormones – that elevate your mood and make your day seem a little brighter not matter what is going on around you. It also helps you deal with stress better.
One thing to mention is making your Happy Bucket List. Sounds corny, but hear us out. Think about the little things you can do every day that make you happy and write these down. Then think about the big things that make you happy and write those down. Start with the little things and make them a part of your routine before moving on to big things on your list to accomplish. Happiness is a very personal endeavor, but knowing you are not the only one out there trying to achieve it makes the journey just a little bit less lonely.