Finding happiness is the ultimate aim of most people’s lives, whether you’re just graduating high school, or you’re 80 years old. There is no better feeling than being truly content, and life is – most of the time – just a journey in search of that happiness.
But where do you find it? You can feel like you’ve turned over every rock, and underneath it just lies more stress and worry. However, most of the time it’s not what you’re looking at, it’s how you’re looking at it. Here’s how you can change your outlook, and maybe your life.
#1: Be grateful for the good stuff
Sometimes, life can just seem like it’s all bad. When bad things come, they generally all come together, and it can really get in the way of your quest to find happiness. However, there are always things to be grateful for, and choosing to see them is important. Perhaps you’ve got your family around you, or you’ve even got a neighbor that always says hello to you as you go to work in the morning. There is good stuff everywhere!
#2: Think about what you really want
A lot of unhappiness in life comes out of the fact that you’re doing things that you don’t necessarily want to do. Perhaps you’re living in a neighborhood that you don’t like, or you’re in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy. If you don’t think that you want something anymore, then do your best to change it. Living a life that reflects what you truly want will be the only road towards your future happiness.
#3: Let toxic people go
Sometimes, your life is littered with toxic people. Whether it’s friends, family members, or even your partner, think about whether they are contributing anything positive to your life. Of course, everybody has their difficult patches, and it can lead to some (infrequent) toxic behavior. However, if this is a consistent thing, and you’re not getting much out of the relationship, then learn to let them go.
#4: Face up to your issues
Whilst we all want to pretend that our lives are sunshine-and-rainbows all of the time, that is rarely the case. Whether you’re dealing with teen depression, an addiction problem, or the repercussions of a difficult childhood, face it now and seek therapy. If you let it rule the rest of your life, you will always regret the years that you wasted to these problems, and the happiness that you could have replaced them with.
#5: Quit your horrible job
One of the main things that dominates your life is your work. Most people spend around 40 hours a week in the office, and if you don’t like the environment that you’re in, the people that you’re working with, or the job that you’re doing, then why are you there? You can make excuses, but invariably there are other options; it’s just about finding them and taking the plunge to make your life happier.
#6: Stop prioritizing money
Look, you could have all of the money in the world. You could be getting that six figure income, and still be super unhappy. It’s a cliche, but it’s true: money doesn’t buy happiness. You could get an average wage working in a bar on the beach, and enjoy every second of doing so. Don’t think that you have to have the car, the house, and the big income to live a ‘successful’ and happy life, as this isn’t the case!
#7: Set yourself goals
If your life has no real direction, and you have no ambition – or goals that you want to reach – then you can find yourself in a boring, unhappy rut. Whether your goal is to eat healthy, or to achieve that career that you’ve always wanted, it’s important to just think about what you really want to do, and then work towards getting there. It doesn’t matter how big or small your ambitions are, just that you have them!
#8: Take ownership of your life
Your life is your life, and it doesn’t belong to anybody else. You are an autonomous human being with hopes, wishes and desires. You shouldn’t be going to college just because your Mom wants you to go, and you shouldn’t be living in a way that satisfies others, but not yourself. Don’t feel guilty about taking ownership over yourself; nobody else truly knows what you want, and only you can decide.
#9: Learn to love yourself
If life, you learn one major thing. People are going to be around you a lot of the time, but they will come and go. The only constant is you, and if you’re not on good terms with yourself, then you’re going to have some issues. Take yourself out for dinner, think about things, and always make time to just be alone. Learning to love yourself – and to be content alone – is an integral part of happiness for anybody.
#10: Remember that life is short
Another cliche, but you only get one shot at life. Before you know it, years will have gone by, and you don’t want to have wasted them doing things that simply didn’t make you happy. Just think: when you’re nearing the end of your life, what do you want to remember it for? All of the happiness that you made for yourself, or all of the times that you just ‘made do’ with situations that weren’t right for you?
If you want to find your happiness, then there are many ways that you can go about it. Sometimes, the journey towards being truly content is a messy one, and it isn’t always straightforward. However, making excuses to stifle your own happiness will most likely lead to regrets later down the line.
Perhaps it is an inconvenience to get rid of your rubbish job, or to break off a terrible (or simply just passionless and boring) relationship with your partner. But it’s one that allows you to get closer to a true feeling of happiness, so it’s worth every effort. Enjoy finding your content feeling, you definitely deserve it!