The search for happiness is not a new one. When you end the day wishing you could just feel happier, you’re not alone. It’s easy to think that you’ll be happy once you reach a certain milestone. Maybe it’s when your retirement is fully funded, you graduate college, or get married. Or perhaps you think when your kids are finally potty trained, you’ll feel it. Happiness. Unfortunately, once your last child is potty trained, the happiness train doesn’t just pull in. Then you pick another day. Another time when you’ll be happy. Thankfully you don’t have to wait until that elusive day to feel happier. You can start today by building habits into your daily routine that can help you feel happy, no matter your life circumstances. Try doing these habits on a daily basis for a few months and see if they make a difference.
Are you watching the news every night? Scrolling social media every chance you get? The media is a great way to gather information. But it could also be contributing to some dissatisfaction and unhappiness in your life. Evaluate your media habits and cut out anything that is affecting your mood. Not convinced it’ll make that much of a difference? Try cutting back to one hour of media use a day and see how you feel. Experiment with it until you find a good balance for yourself.
Have you ever been around a toddler that hasn’t gotten enough sleep? They are not typically happy people in that moment. After a good nap, that same toddler will run happy circles around you. Your moods might not be as easily changed as a toddler, but the amount of sleep you get does impact your moods. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. If you aren’t a morning person, go to bed earlier at night.
It’s pretty hard to feel happy when your body is sick or not getting the things it needs. Treat your body well. Drink plenty of water. Eat nutritious foods. Exercise every day, even if it’s just for 20 minutes. Make and keep regular doctor’s checkups.
Spending quality time with the people you love is an essential part of being happy. Even when you are busy, carve out some uninterrupted time for your kids, spouse, family, and dear friends. Put down your phone. Listen to what they have to say. Play together. That quality time with loved ones will help you feel happy.
Working hard can get you incredible results in your life. But hard work without purpose can feel like drudgery. Anyone who has worked a job they don’t love can tell you that. Set out to find purpose in your life, and then work hard to fulfill that purpose. Maybe that means running ultra-marathons, teaching kids how to play basketball, or volunteering in your local animal shelter. Whatever it is you love, work hard at it.
The best way to feel appreciative and content with your life is the exercise gratitude every day. You may feel, from time to time, that you are missing important things in your life that will help you feel happy. But if you look around, you’ll notice that your life is full of amazing and wonderful things. Choose a time every day to write down three things you're grateful for.
Learning how to be happy every day is a choice. If you are intentional, you can create happiness in your life by creating daily habits.