You can’t buy happiness, but you can find it for free!
A few years ago, I was reading an article in which the author was arguing that happiness is a lie. They compared happiness to playing football with ever-changing goalposts, believing it was completely intangible and thus impossible to attain.
Happiness, like a lot of things in this world, is a matter of personal opinion. However, I not only believe it exists — I know it does. Not only is happiness real, but it is tangible and attainable. And for us to achieve and embrace a state of happiness, all it takes is a little mindset magic. Which is to say we need to change the way we perceive our lives and actions — we need to develop happiness habits.
I have always advocated for happiness in my life. Along with adopting happiness habits and a positive attitude, I actively reduce negativity in my life. Consider it Continuous Improvement or Quality Assurance — I regularly drop old habits that aren’t serving me, and replace them with new ones that do. However, this is only possible for me to do because I both recognise and accept that my happiness belongs only to me.
Being able to recognise and understand that happiness is something we can all take ownership of is an important step in leading a positive and fulfilling life. We need to accept that no one can really give us happiness, and no one can really take it away. Only we have the power to do that. See, because happiness is a state of mind, once you adopt this mindset you will find it easier and easier to find your happiness in the ordinary, the mundane, the little things, and the everythings.
So how do we adopt a happiness mindset? What steps can we take to embrace more joy and positivity and focus less on the bad and the negativity? Below you’ll find five happiness habits that will help you cultivate happiness and positivity in your daily life.
The five habits of happiness that will change your life
What is a happiness habit? Happiness habits are small daily practices and small mindset shifts that will help with our wellbeing — and they’re backed by psychologists!
Celebrate one success every day.
It’s important to celebrate your accomplishments each and every day before you go to bed —acknowledging and appreciating your efforts no matter how big or how small they are. Every day, write your daily successes and accomplishments, or anything you’ve done that you’re proud of, in a journal. And whenever you feel uninspired, unappreciated, or unaccomplished? Reread your old journal entries. Soon you’ll begin to appreciate just how much accomplish every day — even when you have convinced yourself of the contrary!
Keeping a gratitude journal can be very rewarding.
One of the ways to embrace a happiness mindset is to have what I call a Gratitude Attitude — learning to truly appreciate and be thankful for the things in our life. So think to yourself, what are you thankful or grateful for today? Before you go to bed, write down everything you are grateful for each day, and by acknowledging the things you are thankful for, you will begin to notice more in each moment, which will create an ongoing sense of positivity and gratitude.
Don’t worry about the little things.
When things go wrong, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. However, is it truly worth wasting your emotional energy when things go wrong that are out of your control?It may seem difficult at first, but soon you’ll learn that worrying over the little things you can’t change simply isn’t worth it. Finding a sense of balance in your life begins with knowing when to shrug off things which sit outside of your control. Plus, sometimes it jist feels good to let it all go!
Learn how to forgive yourself.
Whilst it’s important to accept accountability when things go wrong that are within your control, it’s just as important to find forgiveness for yourself as well. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s how we manage those mistakes and manage our responses that sets us apart. When you make a mistake, learn the lesson that accompanies it, then rather than holding on to the guilt and associated anxiety — happiness is learning to forgive yourself!
Remember, be a human being, not a human doing.
Kurt Vonnegut wrote, “I am a human being, not a human doing.” In an increasingly hectic world where we’re expected to work long hours, only to go home and continue working on chores and side-hustles, it can seem almost impossible to simply stop. However, it’s important to not only stop, but to find a sense of mindfulness, stillness, and incorporate self care practices into your daily life. You are a human being, not a human doing, so every day simply allow yourself to be.
This post originally appeared on The Qosh.