Being happy probably seems like a given. It’s why we work hard and strive to achieve our goals. We are all hoping that someday it will all pay off and lead to a happier life, but while we are working towards becoming more happy individuals, we sometimes get caught up in what we think we need to accomplish to get there and we forget about being happy right now.
Make your own happiness a priority. Human beings are creatures of habit. We have a routine, a schedule. We have things that we do everyday without thinking about it, habits that we have formed over time. In order to become happier, we need to make doing things we enjoy a daily habit and stick to it as part of our routine. If you enjoy reading, setting aside some time everyday to read a few chapters from a good book should be a goal you set for the day just like going to the grocery store to buy milk. Changing your habits takes time, so if you find it helpful, consider using a day planner where you can create a map of your day. Pencil in all of the things that you feel must get done that day, but be sure to include a time slot for an activity that you enjoy, whatever that may be. If you prefer to be more flexible, consider allotting some time each morning to write a list of things you must do and a list of things you would like to do and follow through by making it a priority to complete at least a few tasks from each list everyday. Sometimes it seems like there is not enough time in the day, but ask yourself which tasks from your list can wait until tomorrow in order to allow you some time to relax.
Take better care of yourself in order to take better care of others. It may seem selfish to take time for yourself everyday especially if you do not live alone. You may feel like this time could be better spent caring for your children or spending time with your spouse or significant other. No one is asking you to neglect your duties as a parent, spouse, or friend. Consider how much more pleasant your interactions will be with people when you feel calm, relaxed, and refreshed. The people in your life care about you and won’t mind that you need some time for yourself especially if they see that it makes you happy. When you are happy, you are more likely to make the people around you happy. You have a much better chance of enjoying rewarding, healthy relationships with people when you feel good.
Take steps to improve your health. Healthy people are happy people. Even the busiest bees can make daily decisions that can have a positive effect on their health. This is something that should be very high on your list of priorities. Making healthy choices everyday will help increase your happiness, confidence, and energy. Even small changes in your diet can make a big difference. Avoid trans fat, maybe substitute the burger on your lunch break for a grilled chicken wrap or a salad, take it easy on the condiments, substitute chocolate cake for fat free chocolate pudding. If you’re not big on exercise, take the stairs, park your car further away from the entrance of the building. If you are low on time, take a walk during your break at work or go for a walk after dinner instead of watching television in the evening. Making these small decisions everyday is an easy way to improve your happiness now and over time.
Reduce your stress. Stress is one of the biggest hindrances to happiness and we come face to face with stressful situations at home and at work everyday. Any small steps that you can take to reduce your stress will be a huge help in improving your happiness and health. A huge cause of stress can be the feeling that you need to do it all or that the whole world rests on your shoulders, but you don’t have to be responsible for everything and everyone and the world will still keep turning even if you stop to take a break. Some simple ideas to reduce stress daily include cutting back at work if this is financially feasible for you. Achieving success in the work place can be great for your self confidence and it gives you a goal to work towards, but at what expense? If your job is a huge source of stress for you, it may be time to think hard about your career. Make a list of pros and cons. If your home life is causing you a lot of daily stress, think about what you can do to improve this. If housework is overwhelming you, ask yourself where you can get help. Maybe a spouse or room mate could help out a little more around the house. A maid service could be of great help if you can afford it. Don’t feel guilty about asking for help. Remember that you and your happiness are important and the people who care about you want you to be happy.
Remember to slow down. We’re all busy and it’s easy to feel rushed and end up simply going through the motions of your daily routine, but it’s important to be present in your own life. Never forget to stop and smell the roses. Count your blessings everyday and never forget or take for granted all of the things that you have to be thankful for.
The advice in this article is not meant to replace the advice of a health care professional. Always ask your doctor before starting a new exercise program. If you are experiencing feelings of anger, depression, or suicidal thoughts, contact your health care provider or a mental health specialist immediately.