Did you know that you can create happiness yourself regardless of your circumstances?
As long as your very basic needs in life are met (food and shelter), happiness becomes something you determine yourself.
Of course, your life circumstances, where you live, your background, cultural and societal implications, and daily freedom of choice will all contribute in some way to your state of mind.
Still, happiness really is something you can learn to cultivate.
Everyone wants to be happy, but not everyone is willing to do the hard work of creating daily habits to ensure that happiness stays and becomes a default emotional state.
I say hard work because it takes some effort to make happiness a part of your daily life.
As humans, we tend to latch on to negativity as a survival strategy, registering negative events more easily than positive ones.
It’s called negative bias, and it means that we feel the pain of reprimand much more than we feel the pleasure of praise.
It is a psychological phenomenon that explains why we tend to focus more on negative things than positive things, why we remember insults more often than praise, we recall traumatic events more easily than positive ones, and we generally have a bias towards the negative that can defeat the truth. of a situation.
For example, a rude comment from a passer-by can haunt your entire day, which could otherwise have been quite perfect.
The best way to turn this negative bias around is to cultivate positive habits that consciously create happiness.
I will list some examples of ways that I have found very helpful in cultivating happiness in my life.
Listing what you are grateful for every morning is a a surefire way to boost your happiness.
When we feel more gratitude, we find it easier to cope with stress and uncertainty.
It is important to actually make gratitude a habitual state by checking in with what makes you grateful every day.
The more you notice what you appreciate, the more of those things you will attract. Try and see!
When I meditate, I quiet my mind and create stillness.
I focus on my breath and let go of everything that is bothering me for just those few minutes that I am in meditation.
If you do this every day, or as often as possible, learn to take things less seriously and live in the present for a short period.
You appreciate that there is a state of mind that you can connect to whenever you need, and always in your control.
This creates an important foundation from which happiness can flow.
Let Things Go
This can refer to physical things and clutter or emotional memories and events from the past.
Simplifying my home by removing physical clutter never fails to bring me happiness!
I always feel better after a good clear-out and I can feel the energy shift.
It’s always important to break old habits, patterns of behavior, and ways of coping that just don’t serve you.
Forgiveness and letting go of the past are also vital if you want to create a new future story for yourself.
Training yourself to focus instead on the present moment and the future you are creating from your now is crucial to your overall happiness.
Forgiveness is a big topic, and it never means condemning bad behavior but rather freeing yourself from the negative vibration associated with the emotions of shame, guilt, bitterness, or anger.
Completing Tasks and Celebrating Small Wins
This is a very simple and, in my opinion, underrated way of raising your overall happiness.
Creating to-do lists and checking them off as you complete them boosts your dopamine levels.
Dopamine is a happiness chemical usually created by short-term acts of pleasure, such as receiving a message or ‘like’ on social media.
Why not take control of your dopamine levels by creating those moments for yourself without relying on other people’s actions or approval.
Celebrate all your victories no matter how small.
Be sure to integrate this into your daily routines and see how easy it is to create a feeling of happiness just by completing tasks for yourself.
It’s that simple to turn a bad mood around with physical movement.
Go outside for a walk or run, jump up and down on the spot or find some quick 5 minute workouts on youtube.
Anything you do to get your energy moving in a different way works to shake your blues and get your endorphins pumping.
It is the medicine we all need; make sure you take some every day.
You don’t have to throw a big party to connect socially, just make sure you have supportive friends and people you can share things with, it’s so fundamental to your happiness that you create lasting and genuine connections with people.
It is also important to remember that we are all part of a larger network, a community of humans on this planet.
If you work from home or find yourself isolated often, take the time to make connections with as many people as you can, whether it’s the store clerk or the post office.
I’m someone who likes solitude to work and create, however, I also need that human connection and when I don’t get enough of it I definitely feel my happiness diminishing.
Even virtual connections are important, so if you can’t go out and hang out, try to connect with real people in a sincere way through text messages or phone calls as often as possible.
Learn to Manage Your Time Effectively
This is a big one for me.
Nothing creates more stress than feeling permanently busy and overwhelmed by life.
All that negativity can be erased when you learn to manage your time effectively.
Understanding how long things take and how that time factors into your routine is vital.
Be very good in the way you structure your days and be realistic about what you can actually fit into.
Make sure you make time for the things that make you happy and peaceful!
Finally, I recommend that you affirm to yourself every morning that you intend to be happy. You can use the following mantra or create your own.
I deserve happiness. Happiness is always available to me. My life is full of joy and love. I am grateful for everything I have.