How do we achieve happiness? I think this is a question we all struggle with, consciously or unconsciously because of course, we all want to be happy. But happiness isn’t a state you reach and then stay in forever. Many times, life throw us events that make us unhappy–the death of a loved one, friction between friends and family, a breakup or any number of things that cause us distress. These events, we can usually accept and move through and find closure. Life goes on, and your mood improves, the stress caused by such events reduces.
But at other times, we seem to be always looking for that something over the horizon that will make us happy. Once I graduate and have a job, I’ll be a happy. Once I find that special someone, I’ll be happy. Once I make x amount of dollars per year, I’ll be happy. Happiness isn’t attained by material items or life events such as love and marriage however. Happiness is something we have to find within ourselves.
So how do we achieve happiness?
Live Your Most Authentic Life to Achieve Happiness
If life has taught me anything, is that you need to live your most authentic life. No one can tell you what that is. Only you know. Teachers, parents, mentors do not have the answer to what your authentic life. Living your most authentic life is being aware of yourself–your values and beliefs and living according those values and beliefs, not by the ideas and beliefs of others. Essentially, be yourself, not who you think you should be or who others tell you to be.
For instance, living my authentic life has meant not trying to imitate the lifestyle of my family. I don’t have the same values in some areas as they do, I have different tastes in other areas, and I now refuse to be drawn in into their influence. Not because they don’t mean well, but because what they believe doesn’t align with who I am. It took me a long time to learn to live authentically, but now I am much more calm and happier than I was in the past.
Related Article: Aromatherapy for Self Care and it’s Calming Affects
Another way to achieve happiness is to express gratitude. We can do this in a journal, and we can do this by saying thank you. We thank God/the Universe/the Divine for the small things–a butterfly in flight, a sunset, the beauty of newly fallen snow. We can express gratitude for the blessings in our lives such as having a support system of friends and family, having good health, living in a free country. We can also express gratitude for things others have done for us such as calling us out on bad behaviour, being a shoulder to cry on, standing up for you. The reason expressing gratitude is so powerful is because it allows you to focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have.
Achieve Happiness by Celebrating Yourself
This might sound conceited, but stop and think about it. You have greatness in you. You achieve things every day–a delicious dinner, a sale, an artistic project you were working on. So celebrate those little accomplishment–put a sticker in a planner or just acknowledge quietly to yourself that hey, I did this great thing today. You don’t have to wait for a birthday or life event to celebrate. Embracing your greatness and acknowledging is a great way to demonstrate some self love and will go a long way towards building confidence and self esteem. And those with confidence and self esteem can pursue their dreams and ambitions with greater success.
Becoming more emotionally intelligent or aware is important towards acheiving happiness. You can’t really achieve happiness if you can’t relate to others or fit into society. Acknowledge that everyone has different perspectives, experiences and feelings and try to understand their point of view. This will actually lead you towards understanding yourself better, and that in turn will lead to happiness. Plus, it’s a great way to live. Showing empathy and kindness is sure to impact others positively as well as yourself, leaving the world a better place for all.
De-Clutter to Achieve Happiness
Now, this one might sound a little out there in comparison to the other ways to achieve happiness, but de-cluttering your space is a sure fire way to achieve happiness as you are removing things that serve no purpose in your life and therefore, detract from your happiness by being a visual and spatial annoyance. Freeing up that space frees your mind and allows for a greater sense of ease as your home will be more organized. Accomplishments occur more naturally and easily in organized, orderly spaces. And having order and structure do bring happiness into our lives.
Related Article: How to Create a Healthy Home
I realize that some of these might sound like big steps. As in, life changing in some way. But ask yourself, is it hard to express gratitude? It is hard to show empathy? Is it hard to remove clutter and junk from your life and home? If your answer is no, or not really, then you have realized that all of these things are easy to accomplish now. Buy a gratitude journal. Write it in every day. Or use an app instead. Step away from judgement in a situation and try and consider what others are feeling. Start one room at a time and remove unwanted and unneeded items. The more you express gratitude, celebrate yourself, show empathy, the greater the happiness you’ll experience. You don’t have to wait for that day when you find the perfect job, or the perfect home or the perfect life partner. You can achieve that happiness now.
I wish you all luck. It’s a journey, like so much of life is, but this is a journey you are on for life, and likely, the most incredible journey of all.
Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter to access the freebie resource library.