Do you ever think that “you’ll feel happier once…” you get to a certain destination, your business meets a certain goal, your house has that specific update you’ve wanted, your partner fixes something you’ve been annoyed with for a long time, you live in a new city, etc.? That way of thinking may ultimately be creating a barrier for you to feel happy right now, in this moment. Keep in mind the following tips to cultivate happiness in your life:
- Know that happiness is always within you – as cliché and new-agey as that sounds, it is true. Happiness can be cultivated from within at any point, any place, under any circumstance. Happiness is a point-of-view, a perspective and something you can choose to feel anytime (this is much easier said than done, but it is an ongoing practice). The more frequently you decide to be happy, the faster and easier it will be to get to your happy place; or even better, reside there permanently.
- Get into nature – how many times per day, even per week are you outside? Spending time in nature does not have to be hours of planning and dedication, hiking on a grand mountainside; it can be taking 5 minutes during your morning cup of coffee to step onto your porch and listen to the birds. There is no hard and fast way you should enjoy nature, but think about the ways that you can carve out even a few minutes of your day to appreciate a sunrise, smell the ocean air, feel the breeze in your hair, look at the dew drop on a house plant, gaze at your garden, smile into the sun…the list could go on forever!
- Reduce your intimacy with technology – we are in a culture of technology and social media. Not only do many people have to interact daily with it because of their jobs, but much of people’s personal lives are spent on the phone, computer, tablet, TV, etc. This is increasing the time we spend with blue screens (look up research on this for side effects) and therefore decreasing the available time we: spend in nature, spend face-to-face with others, engage in meaningful activities, cultivate healthy self-habits, just to name a few. Often, people don’t even realize how much time they spend looking at a screen or how it impacts their mind and body. While technology and social media have brought about many amazing and positive things to our world, it is imperative to find a balance. Technology and social media can inhibit our ability to remember #1 – happiness is always within you. Try to remember that when your happiness meter fluctuates after seeing someone else post a picture that looks perfect and flawless, of a perfect and flawless location and a perfect and flawless couple. Things are usually not what they seem.
- Practice gratitude – at least once a day, think/write/say at least 3 things that you are grateful for. Gratitude engenders love, compassion, patience, authenticity and many other positive qualities in life.
- Spend 10 minutes each day doing something you love – when you carve out time for yourself, you promote self-love and value. Ten minutes is a range of time that most people can part with to do something that makes them feel good (especially if you practice #3). The more you build your self-love, the more it will resonate within you and to those surrounding you.