‘Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.’ ~Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
What is happiness? When asked to define the term, people focus on specific aspects of what they think makes them happy.
I tend to think to be truly happy; a person’s sense of contentment with their life needs to come from within. In other words, real happiness is internal. However, some people see happiness as contentment, having inner peace and joy from being deeply satisfied with their surroundings, relationships, accomplishments and themselves.
Others view happiness as a pleasurable engagement with their environment, e.g. having a good career and hobbies that are engaging, meaningful, rewarding, and exciting.
Since the dawn of time, philosophers have been pursuing the inquiry of happiness. After all, the purpose of life is not just to live, but to live well.
According to Aristotle, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
Here is your action plan to help you find happiness in your life.
1. Control your thoughts
Most of us worry about something, yet 90% of the things we worry about never happen.
Avoid fixating on the worst in a situation since it is detrimental to your health.
You might worry about the future, but the future is uncertain. Learn to live for today instead of tomorrow. Similarly, avoid worrying about what others think of you because it doesn’t matter.
2. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
While it’s fine to be ambitious, envy will only make you unhappy. Comparing yourself to others will make you feel empty and miserable. Other people’s lives may look perfect from the outside, but there is always a hidden story you are unaware of.
There’s nothing wrong with admiring others and learning from them, but competing with then can ruin your peace of mind.
3. Live in the moment
Though it’s easier said than done, a helpful way to create happy moments in your life is to live for the moment. Don’t get hung up on the past, or worry too much about the future. Staying in the ‘here and now’ can help you feel happier and will help you focus on and achieve your goals.
4. Express gratitude
Spend five minutes at the end of the day thinking about what you are grateful for. Gratitude amplifies the positive things, people, and experiences in your life, and reminds you that you are blessed.
Find a community of people that supports you in your endeavours. Whether it’s a parents’ group, a yoga studio or a hobby club, you can lift your spirits and grow by being around people who encourage you.
As you inhale, invite your greater source into your life, and as you exhale, offer your loving-kindness out to all beings everywhere.
7. Talk to strangers
Smile at people and engage in conversations with people who you might otherwise pass by. Making connections with others reminds you that you aren’t alone and that everyone has hardships and blessings in their lives.
You deserve to be happy, and you can be. Happiness isn’t a distant, utopian dream, even if it might seem like that now.