“Happiness is by choice, not chance” – Jim Rohn
There is this general misconception in life that if we have two or three university degrees, work long hours, and earn a five or six figure salary, we will be happy.
Life is hard, challenging, demanding, and sometimes asks too much of us, but we do not have to enslave ourselves in order to be happy.
Let me be clear – there is nothing wrong with having an education and striving towards your goals by working long hours. We all have different ideals and dreams. But if you ask yourself today: “Am I happy? Genuinely happy?” and you hesitate to answer, then I have a simple solution for you.
You do not necessarily have to change your career or uproot your whole life in order to find the happiness that you deserve. There are simple things in life that can make us feel secure, loved, happy, excited and content.
Here is a list of a few things that you can do:
- Find time to do some exercise. Not because you need to lose weight, but to get some blood and endorphins flowing! You will feel healthier. Exercise does not necessarily mean spending hours in a gym – you can do something less strenuous, such as going for a 20-minute walk every day.
- Look in the mirror and find a physical quality that you like about yourself. Write it down and remind yourself of it every day.
- Think about 5 non-physical things that you like about yourself, and add it to your growing list.
- Think about 5 activities that you enjoy, such as playing with a dog or kitten, cooking food, swimming, or listening to music. Write them down and try to do at least one of them once a week.
- Write down 5 things that you would like to do, but have not yet gotten around to doing, such as taking cooking classes, travelling to certain destinations, studying a course, or learning a new language. Set yourself goals to do at least one of those things in the next year.
- Make time for yourself to relax and be comfortable. This may entail taking a bath, wearing your favourite pyjamas, curling up under a blanket, or having a massage. Do this at least twice a week.
- Make a list of your favourite sounds, smells and tastes. Sensory stimulation is one of the best ways to trigger happiness. It may be the sound of the rain, the smell of freshly mown grass, or the taste of a chocolate croissant. Take the time to experience these things again. Some are so simple, for nature provides us with these comforts.
- Make a list of 5 goals that you want to reach in the next ten years. Motivation is a great way to elicit happiness.
We have a right to be happy. We tend to forget that happiness is right at our fingertips. Eating more healthily, exercising, and doing things that we love are important steps in the direction of happiness.
Remember that we are responsible for ourselves, and therefore have the power to be joyful and content. Write your own story. Do what you love!
“Happiness is a direction, not a place.” – Sydney J. Harris