Recently a client walked into my home office at 18 and told me she had one goal: I want to be happy. Now, her goals are very different. And “being happy” isn’t one anymore…!
What worked for her could work for anyone! During the session my job was to help her know, it’s in her control. Yes, another cliche. But seriously, it is. We planned simple things for her – get outside, lounge in open space, take a walk in the park or hang out by the water. Absorb the sights, sounds, and smells of nature. Feel the breeze on her face.
Next, we need to understand that real happiness comes from the inside out. What that means is learning how to examine our needs and desires, our motivation, our hopes, our dreams, and our wants, and compare what we really want with what we’ve been told we should do. If we look from the inside out and determine what it is that we do, then we’re more likely to be on a path of happiness toward happiness. We’re more likely to be able to avoid the most typical traps that keep us stuck going on a hamster wheel at work.
To add to the pile, research has also found that exercise is a proven strategy for feeling better, increasing your energy levels, and reducing tension. And to prove that you should get started today if you currently don’t exercise, one study showcased how self-image improved (even when body shape didn’t change) for participants just by exercising.
If you’re not sure, take a shot at it. Freshen things up. Rearrange your furniture or paint a wall. Start a garden, clean and declutter, or find a new coffee shop. See if there’s something you can change to pull yourself out of that rut.
Find interesting things to do and put them on your calendar. Give yourself something to look forward to. After all, anticipation is half the fun. Plus, seeing it on your calendar might also help you follow through.
Not only that but these “experiential purchases” tend to make us happier, at least according to the research. In fact, a variety of research shows that most people are far happier when buying experiences vs. buying material goods.
Instead, find a happy middle ground by heeding the words of C.S. Lewis — don’t think less of yourself as a person, but think of yourself less, focusing more on the betterment of yourself for the sake of those around you, rather than for your own ego.
There are so many ways to volunteer your time in service of others. You can volunteer in person or help out remotely from home. Either way, helping others can make you feel good. Plus, it can help you feel connected to others while still getting in some quality alone time.
There a simple way to handle things that you aren’t obligated to do: it either needs to be a “Hell Yeah!” or a simple “No.”
Of course, you will do a lot of things during the day, and those are to be done-simple, as there is no choice. But that’s your cue- where do you have your choice? Now pick this magic question. Do things with your choice, where you have a choice and see how happy you feel. Start with small. Start with small time. Start with small space and they will soon spread into your entire day, space and time of life. Happiness is a feeling you experience, so it starts with YOU, Inside you, Isn’t it?