Happiness is what we all desire. It has been the ultimate human quest since ancient times. But what exactly is happiness? The meaning of happiness and its essence is different for every person: some seek wealth, others fame and power, and still others, peace.
As such the path to happiness is different for each person. However, research has shown that these seven keys can greatly contribute to your happiness.
Understand what makes you happy
Happiness is a state of mind. So many people are chasing after happiness, but they don't know what it means to be happy. They do not even know what makes them happy.
Everybody is different and our concept of happiness is also different. We need to understand what makes us happy. Those who think that material things and wealth will make them happy will spend their whole lives chasing after material wealth.
Therefore we need to spend some time and reflect deeply on this important question, "What really makes me happy?" This will help you to identify what needs to be done in your life in order to be happy and satisfied with your life!
Establish close relationships
Taking time out to socialize or engage in activities that promote relationships can help you build better, stronger relationships with the people you love.
The importance of establishing close relationships is so significant that it can actually serve as the foundation of living a happy life. When you build strong relationships with your loved ones, you improve your mental health and lessen your chances of experiencing depression, stress and anxiety. Social connection also helps boost immunity and counter the harmful effects of stress on your body. Remember that by nature man are social beings and have an inner need to form relationships with others.
Find ways to celebrate success and happiness
Life is a journey and no one knows what is going to happen. Celebrating the happiness and success that come our way, makes it easier to deal with anything else that life throws at us. It's also a way to acknowledge the things going well in our lives.
This will help us to recognize our own achievements so that we can appreciate our own worth and capabilities and improve our self-confidence. Lastly, by celebrating our success and happiness, we are motivated in our pursuit of happiness.
Accepting what can’t be changed
To me personally, the serenity prayer is a very powerful prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
Many times, we want to change things in our lives, whether it's our body shape, our job situation, or what people think of us. We may want things to be different than they are.
Accepting that there are some things in life that we change, is a key part of happiness. When you accept what can't be changed, you free up your mental energy to focus on what you can change.
To be honest, this is something which I struggled with often as a father with an autistic son. I need to accept the fact that Jonathan is autistic and that I must focus my energy on helping him to lead a more independent and happier life.
Accepting what can't be changed doesn't mean giving up or settling for less than you deserve; it just means seeing the bigger picture and using your energy where it will do the most good.
Living in the moment
We are always in the present moment because the past is gone and the future is not here yet. We can't experience the past or the future unless we're in the present moment. If we want to be happy in life, we must learn to live in the moment because we can only experience in the present. Living in the moment also means you are more likely to be grateful because you will be appreciating what you have right now.
All we have is today so let us live with purpose and meaning every day by making our best effort and enjoying life thoroughly right now!
Practice gratitude and kindness
Gratitude makes us happier, healthier and even helps us live longer. It also increases our self-esteem and has a positive effect on our relationships.
Gratitude isn't merely the expression of appreciation or indebtedness. It is an attitude that promotes an optimistic perspective about life events in general. Gratitude helps you appreciate the good things in your life, while simultaneously helping you re-frame negative situations in your life.
Life can be hard sometimes and it's important to remember that we're all in the same storm. As humans, we need to learn how to connect with each other and practice compassion. By showing kindness to others not only makes them feel good but also helps us feel better too. Studies show that when we practice acts of kindness, our happiness and self-esteem will increase.
Take time off to enjoy life’s simple pleasures
Life is full of ups and downs. However, we can be happy often if we find time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
A study at the University of Warwick, for example, found that spending money on experiences that bring us pleasure can increase our happiness more than buying material goods.
When we spend our leisure time on material pursuits, we tend to compare what we have with what others have. But when we spend our time on experiences like climbing a mountain or learning to play the piano, our inner dialogue is about how much fun we're having rather than how much someone else is enjoying their stuff.
We don't need to give up all the material pleasures in order to be happy. All we need is to subtract some of our possessions and add in some experiences.
For me, one of life’s simple pleasures just spending quality time relaxing and having fun with family and friends. Life is about creating happy memories with loved ones enjoying the simple pleasures of life.
Happiness is not about getting everything and having everything in life. It's about knowing how to make the best of the situation and enjoying whatever we have in life. It's about appreciating the little things in life.
As each of our concepts about happiness may be different, you need to find your own keys to happiness.
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