It seems so simple yet so many of us struggle to find it-and it IS the struggle in itself that is handicapping us from finding it. Happiness isn’t something that you must seek, but simply something that you have and you must learn to open yourself up to. It is simplicity, it is doing things with your heart, it is freedom.
The pursuit of happiness implies that we are pursuing one thing, to finish our pursuit once we’ve attained it. Happiness is not a pursuit at all. It’s a journey you ever travelling on, an adventure really.
I’m fascinated by happiness. The biological aspect-that ranges from our micro biomes to genetics to our experiences lingering in our brain. The social aspect-that humans are designed as such a superior species due to our ability to communicate. The environmental aspect… I could go on about different components forever.
So, in simple terms – what is happiness and how do we find it?
I recently began studying positive psychology. It started with one book and escalated into more-and an insane interest in what makes us feel content-really. I read ‘The Power Of Now‘ by Eckhart Tolle-which ignited by search for a deeper sense of self. Then read ‘The Happiness Advantage‘ by Shawn Achor, which led to ‘The Happiness Equation‘ by Neil Pastiche. I then read ‘The life changing magic of tidying up‘ by Marie Kondo, and next purchased a Happiness Planner. After that was ‘Nutrition Essentials for Mental Health‘ by Leslie Korn. The list goes on, but I’ll leave it there as I believe these are the most powerful books I read that touched on the subject of what we can do for greater happiness and improved mental health.
Before I REALLY dive into this subject I should be transparent with you and tell you why I am intact so interested. I’m aware we’ve all had highs and lows, and I’m not alone in this. I’ve had extreme lows, I’ve had days when picking myself up off of the floor was impossible. Days when mental health hotlines were called and hospital visits were made. Thus, my lust for happiness was born because I’ve been in places in which I thought I would never hold it again.
some things I’ve learned…
- We are not our thoughts. We tend to associate our thought with who we are-and in doing so we forget something key to our happiness. We can change our thoughts, every day is a new day to create a new ecosystem in your mind. Positive thought breeds more positive thought, negative thought does the same.
- We don’t need to do or accomplish anything to have happiness. We all already have it inside of us.
- Never retire – a life without purpose is not much of a life at all. Instead choose a career you are passionate about and don’t be afraid to change careers if that passion runs out.
- Only keep things that spark joy in your life.
- Plan to be happy first, and everything else will happen as it should.
- Sugar will NEVER love you like you love it. Whole, healthy, natural foods will ALWAYS love you. Choose to be in a healthy reciprocated relationship with your food.
- People that are happy have a psychological advantage over those who are not happy.
You do not need loads of money, or time to be happy-because it starts within.
Looking for a boost? Try something on this list right now and feel your mood lift.
- do something nice for someone else, expecting nothing in return
- meditate for 5 minutes – guided meditations on youtube are great for beginners
- stretch for 5 minutes
- write down 3 things that you’re incredibly grateful for in your life
- tell someone you love how happy you are to have them in your life
- declutter your immediate surroundings