Happiness is a mental and emotional state of well-being. We all want it but may not know how to get it. Most of us strive… to find happiness in different ways throughout our lives by doing activities we love like playing an instrument, developing a prized collection, trying a new restaurant, or watching a favorite movie. These activities that create short-term happiness will build up to a greater sense of satisfaction and contentment.
Happiness can come from your state of mind, your outlook on life, and your willingness to accept certain situations. You play the biggest role in defining your happiness. You can’t depend on others to create happiness for you.
Let’s look at five secrets to happiness at any age to help you strive to incorporate those things that make you happy into your daily life.
1. Adopt the Right Attitude
Someone who is grumpy all day, upset at the world, and expects outside forces to alter a person’s situation is not going to achieve happiness. You may be going through a difficult time, where being happy feels nearly impossible. Changing your thinking and adopting an optimistic attitude can have an incredibly positive impact on your mood and your situation.
One thing you can do is to perform an act of kindness for someone else. We often get stuck on focusing on ourselves and lose sight of our impact on others. By doing something kind for someone else, you allow yourself to reach beyond your needs, which leads to the person being thankful for your help and increased satisfaction that you were able to lend a hand. When someone acknowledges the goodness in you, you may instantly feel happier.
2. Find Your Passion and Do Things You Love
No matter where you are in life, whether you are entering retirement or thinking about a career change, doing things that you love and are passionate about fosters happiness. Maybe you love to read and would like to take a writing class to test out your skills as the next James Patterson. If you enjoy knitting or crocheting, create blankets or baby booties to donate to your local hospital or homeless shelter. Turning your passion into something more that impacts others can make you feel truly happy.
Trying something new can be scary, but it generates happiness and accomplishment. Maybe there’s a new restaurant in your town, or your local library offers free computer classes that you would like to try. Whatever the case, creating new experiences generates happiness and allows you to get out of a rut.
3. Spend Time with Family and Friends
You will be happier if you are not isolated or alone. Personal connections lead to happiness. You don’t need to plan anything expensive or elaborate. Simple walks in the park, a trip to the grocery store or dinner at your favorite restaurant is enough to create happiness. It’s not about what you do with your friends and family; it’s spending time with them that matters. The chances are that you will get into conversations that you otherwise would never have, giving everyone an opportunity to learn things about the past or your desires that you hadn’t had a chance to share previously. Time cannot be bought or replaced, so if you are lucky enough to have a strong support system that you’ve cultivated over your lifetime, cherish those relationships to remain fulfilled and happy.
4. Practice Meditation
Meditation brings calm to your body and a sense of relaxation. Many people feel like they don’t have time to pause for a few moments each day to be mindful of their breath. If you do take the time, even just a few moments each day, you will feel more centered and balanced which will lead to happiness. Meditation can be intimidating if you’ve never tried it before because you may not know where to begin. If you have a smartphone, there are many free applications that you can download that will help you meditate. Or just find a quiet space, close your eyes, and try to clear your mind. It’s amazing how refreshed you will feel even after just a few short breaths.
5. Keep a Journal
Try writing down three different things that make you happy each day. You can also write out a comprehensive list of all the things that make you happy. After you’ve kept your journal for a while, it’s fun to go back and read the things that made you happy previously and will be sure to bring a smile to your face. Identifying the things that make you happy can suddenly change your outlook and make you feel more empowered. Writing is an excellent outlet for your thoughts and, who knows, maybe you’ll discover a key to happiness that you didn’t know was there.
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*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living
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