What is happiness? People talk about it all the time, “I just want to be happy,” “you deserve to be happy.” It’s even in our Constitution, “pursuit of happiness.”
According to the dictionary, one definition of happiness is “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.”
Everyone wants to be happier. And you can be. Consider these easy ways for bringing more pleasure and contentment into your life more often.
Hangout with the Happy People
You know the old saying, “Birds of a feather…” So, if you’re feeling a little down, find happy, upbeat people to hang out with. Make friends with people who are confident and optimistic and who smile often. You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends.
Get out and mingle! Be social. Connect. Interact. Whether in-person or online, social connection boosts feelings of happiness. In fact, it’s essential to your health and happiness. Enjoy social connections frequently throughout your week. Avoid social isolation at all costs.
Enjoy Your Family
At the end of the day, is there anything more important than family? A healthy family understands and supports you and wants to see you be happy. Not all families are like this, of course. If your family situation isn’t ideal, is there anything you can do to make it better?
Address Whatever Is Making You Unhappy
How often do you feel unhappy? What area of your life are you unhappiest about? Maybe you’re pretty happy overall, except for one or two things that make you feel unhappy. For some people, finances, health, and relationships are a source of stress and unhappiness. Face whatever is making you unhappy and deal with it. Make changes. Seek help, whether from your doctor, therapist, or advisor. Take action. To the degree that you’re able to control the situation, start making changes. Doing something about it will inspire you and make you happier.
Choose a Hobby
Live your life. Stop “doing” life. There must be something you enjoy or would like to try. Choose a hobby. If you end up not liking it, try something else. It can be something you do alone or in a group, which would be a great way to make some new friends!
Exercise makes you feel happier because it releases endorphins. Another great thing about exercise is that you can do it with a friend. Just don’t let socializing get in the way of your workout. You’re there to sweat. It’s okay to socialize but stay focused on why you’re there.
Stress and overwhelm kill happiness. Exercise, friends, hobbies, and meditation are great ways to reduce stress. When you can’t get away, take a few moments to imagine your favorite place; picture yourself there. Hear the sounds, smell the fragrances. Breathe deeply and slowly as you immerse yourself in your favorite environment. Make this your happy place.
Here’s a sample action plan to add more pleasure and contentment to your life:
Find and attend at least one social event in the coming days. You might consider looking for recurring events if it’s something you enjoy.
Next, make a list of 3-5 hobbies that have always interested you; choose one to start with. Also, is there a hobby that involves a group of people so you can enjoy social connection?
Lastly, spend a few minutes in quiet reflection about your life. What’s one area that is making you the most unhappy, if any? What’s one thing you can do to reduce the unhappiness in that area? If you can’t think of something on your own or you can’t do it by yourself, consider seeking professional help.
Happiness isn’t something that you have to “wait” for. And remember, the source of your happiness shouldn’t be another person, situation, or event.
Create your own happiness by taking charge to unlock your best life.
Photo by Caique Silva on Unsplash