Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be – Abraham Lincoln
You and I crave happiness same way most people do. It seems we all want to be happy, except for a sadistic few. But what is happiness?
Here’s one definition – happiness is simply the ability to not want more; to find gratitude and satisfaction in the moment that you have right now. In other words, your happiness and mine hinges on living in the moment instead of yearning for some future indicator of success.
Here’s five simple ways to live in the moment every day in order to achieve the happily ever after life:
Create balance and overcome burnout
You will always be exhausted and miserable if you are always overworked and overwhelmed. It would be hard, really hard to happy at all. Have set work hours – and stick to them. Set work hours for yourself and do everything in your power to stick to them. Otherwise, before you know it, you’ll be working until midnight every night.
Also make time for a holiday and book in breaks, at least quarterly. Even a long weekend every quarter is better than nothing.
Make positive memories
Happiness is a skill and it is learnable. Just like other skills, it relies on the brain. Happiness requires the brain to quickly and efficiently identify positive information. Unfortunately, the brain is actually quite lazy. The brain’s goal is to use as little energy as possible and still keep functioning. The good news is that the brain is changeable throughout our entire lives. The more you practice happiness activities, the easier it is for your brain to generate happiness. And, over time, you have to exert less and less effort to increase happiness.
Communicate kindly at all times. When we are kind to others, we feel better about ourselves. We can do nice things for others, be empathetic, or we can just treat each other with respect. Kindness refers to your ability to be friendly, generous, and considerate. When you are kind to others you open up the opportunity to build strong relationships while increasing personal well-being and the well-being of others.
Don’t be picky, appreciate everything. Gratitude doesn’t have to be saved for the “big” things in life. The habit of being grateful starts with appreciating every good thing in life and recognizing that there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for. Make it an habit to write thank you notes every week. If you can’t find anything else to thank someone for, then just write them a note to thank them for being in your life. Any time they spend with you is a gift because they could choose to spend it with someone else.
Speak up and be yourself
When we let people walk all over us, we’re unhappy. But when we advocate for our own needs assertively and express ourselves, we feel more in control of our lives. Learning how to express yourself can help you overcome interpersonal challenges, which can make you unhappy. When you are assertive, other people know your boundaries. You ensure that the people in your life know when they have crossed the line and the consequences for doing so. This skill helps you build healthier relationships that are based on mutual respect, trust, and honesty.
Spend smarter for more happiness
Buy experiences rather than material things. However, it is okay to buy things if they will lead to pleasurable experience. So if buying a Sport Utility Van allows you to explore the rugged hinterlands that you’ve never seen before or to visit friends who are hard to reach, then that purchase could make you happier. How we choose to spend our money impacts what we can do and how we live in ways that impact how happy we are. When we choose a less fancy house or car — things that don’t bring us much happiness — we have more money to spend on adventures or on gifts for friends: things that actually do make us happier.
Learning to feel better about yourself
To be happier, you’ll have to focus on the skills that are most closely linked to happiness which are positive self-views. This entails learning to feel better about yourself by imagining your best possible self, noting your positive qualities, or identifying your strengths and building on it. All of this will go a long way to increase your happiness.