- Living in the now and experiencing/enjoying what’s right in front of us.
- Not thinking about past regrets, hurts or heartbreak.
- Not thinking of future worries.
- Not expecting or relying on happiness to come from anything outside of us or our control – a person acting a way that we want, having a relationship, a few drinks at the bar, winning at the casino, a container of ice cream. Not saying these things can’t bring happiness, but when we rely on these things for happiness it can spell trouble. What if that person you love cheats? What if you don’t win at the casino? We have to rely on ourselves and only the things we can control. We have to make our personal life so good that we still have a life if our relationship ends. So, we never want to RELY on anything for happiness. Sure, go to the casino once in a while but don’t make going to the casino every night for a win your basis for happiness because winning is not in your control and it will turn into an addiction to where you don’t see all the other blessings in your life.
- Appreciating all the nice little things that happen throughout the day – a hug or smile from a friend, laughing at something silly with someone, a cup of hot tea or coffee, your friend’s homemade cookies, a beautiful sunset, the moon being so bright it lights everything up, birds singing, the sound of rain, blue skies, a small accomplishment at work or at home.
When we pay attention and appreciate everything that is happening now, that is happiness. Even when it’s something we judge as “bad”. Maybe that experience has something good in it like a family being pulled together over someone’s sickness. Maybe we are learning a lesson that will help us have happier moments in the future.
Even when going through something “bad” we experience nice little moments. It can be difficult to appreciate something small when things seem dire, I know, but if we can see things from a different perspective and appreciate small things that come up, it will help us get through, or maybe even see that situation as a blessing.
A gratitude journal helps in changing our perspective that life is not going well. There’s always nice little things that happen through the day, even if we’re going through something difficult. When we write out things we are grateful for, we will see that life is mostly good, maybe even all good. An example would be that we are feeling lonely during the holidays, but after writing in our gratitude journal we may see that we are actually spending time with people we care about at work, or that we appreciate our alone time so that we can write, paint, or whatever our passions are. There are people that don’t have that luxury because they are raising small children.
Happiness is all about a choice in how we see life and what happens to us.
What are your thoughts about happiness? Would love to hear from you!