How to be happy everyday… Did you read that title correctly? Yes, you did!
In addition, I’ve recently started reading her bestseller, The Happiness Project. And I have her other major hits, Happier at Home, and Better Than Before sitting on my nightstand patiently waiting for me to read them. (No, this is not a sponsored post; I just really love her work!)
Needless to say, I have happiness on the mind.
I find myself constantly asking, “What does it mean to be happy?” “How can I easily boost my happiness?” “How can I be happy every day?”
And believe it or not, I’ve found simply embarking on his happiness journey has been a happiness boost in itself.
Now, I should note that my goal for this journey is not: “I will only feel happiness and nothing else.“ Not only is that unrealistic, but it’s also – I would argue – a bit unhealthy.
One of the wonderful things about being human is experiencing a wide array of emotions. And feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, grief, and jealousy, are all a part of this crazy thing called life. The problem arises when we get stuck in these feelings of negativity without a way out.
Fortunately, I’ve found that even during our toughest days, it is absolutely possible to find moments of happiness. Whether it’s listening to a favorite song, spending 10 minutes cuddling with your dog, going for a quick walk outside, or buying yourself a beautiful bouquet of flowers, there are seemingly endless ways to incorporate happiness and joy into our everyday lives.
And today I’m excited to share with you three core happiness strategies. Unlike the quick-fixes I just mentioned above, these strategies help establish a foundation of happiness within ourselves. Think of them as the foundation of a house; when they’re strong and unwavering, they provide a reliable base of happiness upon which we can build as we continue our journey.
So are you ready this? Let’s go!
How to be happy every day: three foundations
Happiness is not external
Over the past month, I’ve found that many people – myself included – erroneously search for happiness in the outside world. As Leo Babauta explains, for some reason we’re inclined to think that if we’re unhappy on the inside, we’ll find happiness in the external world.
Perhaps one of the most common examples, Babauta explains, is turning to food. Often times when we are unhappy, it’s tempting to turn to delicious food because we know eating gives us pleasure – even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Alternatively, many people turn to shopping as a means of external happiness; I can absolutely relate to this one. That instant release of endorphins each time we purchase something new is addicting, and it makes us want more.
Unfortunately, just like the food scenario above, that positive feeling quickly fades, and we feel ourselves searching for inner happiness once again.
So what can we do? How can we find internal happiness instead?
For starters, take some time for reflection. Look past the need for a perfect relationship, the dream job, or the model physique.
Then ask yourself: “What do I need to be happy? Is it more quiet time? Do I need more opportunities for creativity?”
If you don’t know what you need, perhaps take some time to journal, meditate, or practice yoga. By turning to quiet activities like this, you’re freeing up your mind, which in turn, helps you discover what you truly need.
Practice Letting Go
I’m not going to lie – this is one of the hardest things in the world for me. I’ve conveyed my control freak tendencies in previous posts, so perhaps it’s not surprising that I have a very difficult time accepting that some things are out of my control.
Nevertheless, letting go is incredibly important.
Why? Because – spoiler alert – things don’t always go as planned. And by learning to accept this fact, and simply “going with the flow,” we’ll have a much easier time enjoying the moment.
Sheila Viers at tinybuddah.com recommends three strategies for relinquishing control. The first includes stepping away from our stressors.
By making time to walk in nature, meditate, practice yoga, or read for pleasure, we allow ourselves to relax. As Viers explains, “taking time to enjoy life will inspire and rejuvenate your energy for your work.”
In other words, when things feel crazy, and we’re grasping for control, sometimes the best thing to do is let go and walk away. Find some time to yourself, clear your mind, and come back feeling fresh.
The second strategy Viers recommends is to stop comparing ourselves to others. Why? Because we waste our time thinking about everyone else, and we lose sight of our own goals. Obviously, this is not an ideal situation.
So when the “compare and despair” mentality comes up, try and remember that everyone else is out of your control; ignore the others focus on you.
Viers’s third strategy for letting go is to start listening to our bodies. As she explains, our bodies have “a vast amount of information that can help us with making decisions.” When we try and control everything, we’re ignoring our intuition. But when we relax, our intuition guides us.
Take Care Of Your Body
You’ve heard it before, and you’re going to hear it again; when we’re run down, sleep-deprived, and worn out, our performance suffers. And perhaps not surprisingly, so does our happiness.
On the other hand, when we’re eating right, well-rested, and getting regular exercise, our happiness also follows suit.
In short, listen to your body. If you take care of it, it will take care of you.
So as we embark on this journey, make sure to remember these core secrets to happiness. By relying on internal happiness, letting go of what we can’t control, and taking care of our body and mind, we’re creating space for happiness to fill our lives.
What is your secret on how to be happy? Do you have any long-term approaches to happiness? Do you have any quick-fix tricks? Have you read any of Gretchen Rubin’s work? Let me know below!