Happiness — it’s one of the most common life goals shared by people from every corner of the globe. While this highly sought-after feeling may be shared, few people are confident about how exactly to achieve it.
You may catch yourself feeling a pang of jealousy when viewing an ad for diamonds, or feel you haven’t reached your maximum level of worth at work. Shrouding ourselves in the feeling maybe we’d be happier if we could just achieve or earn more keeps our minds fixated on the superficial aspects of happiness.
How exactly do you find a sense of peace and satisfaction at the current stage of your life? Below, we’ll outline simple ways in which you can find happiness — beginning with the small steps that you can take today.
1. End Unhealthy Habits
Sometimes, it’s an unhealthy habit that may keep you from enjoying the optimal level of happiness in your life.
If your unhappiness stems from a lack of energy, search for ways to combat fatigue, such as cutting unhealthy foods out of your diet. If you find yourself frustrated instead by a lack of free time, make an effort to reduce procrastination.
Some tips for breaking a bad habit that’ll make it easier for you to achieve your happiness goals include identifying triggers, developing substitutes, changing larger patterns, and rewarding yourself.
2. Cut the Comparisons
You log onto Facebook and see that your coworker just bought the newest model Subaru. You were okay with your 2009 Ford — until now.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing our worth to that of others. When you receive constant social media updates that show pictures of your friends on their getaway vacation, it’s difficult not to feel a sense of discontent with your own life.
While comparisons are natural, it’s best to shy away from the idea that others’ happiness takes away from your own. Remember that on social networks, you only see the positive aspects of your friends’ lives. What you don’t see is the struggle and hardships they experience, too.
Whenever you hear that a co-worker recently got a raise, or that one of your friend’s just got engaged, congratulate them and remember to stay focused on creating the best life path for yourself.
3. Surround Yourself with People, Not Things
Happiness is rarely found in a room full of material possessions. While you may feel great when you purchase a new gadget or outfit, you’re much more likely to maintain feelings of satisfaction from social interactions than shopping.
Research studies show that surrounding yourself with others and engaging in more social interactions can increase your mood and safeguard you against emotional dips.
Plus, what are the odds that a material object can put a smile on your face or make you laugh the way that your closest loved ones do? Make an effort to detox from a love of possessions and engage in social interactions to experience more joy in your everyday life.
4. Remember What Makes You Thankful
Remember to take the time to express gratitude every once in a while. When you wake up with the attitude that you have the opportunity to do something, rather than that you have to do something, you’re in a better position to appreciate your life.
If you’re struggling to think of reasons to be thankful, consider making a list. When you write down a list of what makes you grateful, you’ll develop a better sense of control over your life.
Happiness is Within Your Control
In the end, happiness isn’t a rare feeling that only a select few can achieve. You can be happy with what you have and who you are right now. Your mental health is important, so it’s powerful to train your brain to realize that happiness should be a current reality, not a future goal.
Healthy self-care doesn’t have a timeline or a limit, which means you can find a sense of happiness in yourself at all times — including this very second.
Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.
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