The pursuit of happiness is one of mankind’s greatest quests and confounders. When asked what their purpose in life is, many will reply with: “To be happy”. A simple concept, but there are many contributing factors that can either elevate or weigh down your level of happiness. Success in school or in your career, relationships with other people, diet, level of exercise, self-confidence, to name a few. The list goes on and on.
After establishing a goal (to be happy), the next step is to create a plan. And that’s where I usually get lost in this endeavor. What really makes me happy? There is a difference between short-term satisfaction (think binge-watching a tv series) and long-term happiness. But does that mean I have to give up binge-watching in order to achieve happiness? Here is where I would spew some stuff about finding balance and zen, but I’m sure you’ve heard that a million times before.
The thing is, happiness is about the bigger picture. Unlike niche goals, there is no one thing you can do that will make you achieve happiness. With all these contributing factors going into our happiness levels, it’s a daunting task to even begin to think about trying to becoming happier. It’s like trying to put together a 10 000 piece puzzle. And it can make you feel a little like this:
Fortunately, a 10 000 piece puzzle is made up of small pieces. And that is why I have chosen to focus on some little things that will make a big difference in the long run.
Without further ado, here are 5 little tips on how to be happy!
Get some fresh air
- Treat your body right so that you can have the energy to do all the things you want to do. Getting fresh air is especially beneficial to our health for a number of reasons, but has been proven to especially uplift spirits. Scents in fresh air such as lavender, jasmine, pine, rain, and grass are linked to the lowering of anxiety and stress. As well as that, fresh oxygen is energizing for your body.
Spend time with family and friends
- Put the phone and laptop down, stop obsessing over work or school for a second, and just spend time with your loved ones. Humans are social animals and nothing makes us happier than spending quality time with people we love.
- Have you ever heard of the phrase ‘give the gift of giving’? There are few feelings better than helping someone or making someone happy of your own volition. Volunteering frequently can greatly improve mood and motivation, but if you don’t have time for that, something as simple as complimenting someone else is great too. Whether big or small, you are making a positive difference in someone’s life, and that is a happy realization.
Try new things (and fail at them)
- We love novelty and surprise because it is stimulus for our brains. Have you ever wanted to try bellydancing? What about rock climbing? A cooking class? Now is the time to go for it. If you fail, don’t worry about it- consider it a lesson in laughing things off and moving on. And if you successfully tackle this new challenge, you will feel extremely proud and satisfied- and you will have learned a new thing or two.
- I once saw a quote that said ‘life is too short to spend at war with yourself’. If you’re the type to beat yourself up over mistakes, try to change that. There’s really no point in wasting time making yourself feel bad. If you slip up, take it as an example of what to change in the future, not as evidence of how horrible of a person you are. Once you learn to forgive yourself, you’ll become more confident, and confidence is one the key things that leads to happiness.
Charles Saatchi once said: ‘My aim in life isn’t so much the pursuit of happiness as the happiness of pursuit.’ As much as it can feel like a drag, the process of working towards a goal has its ups too. It’s a great feeling to look back at where you started and see how far you’ve come. The goal of being happy is a motivation, and feeling motivated is amazing.
As for when you feel down, perhaps like you’ve gone backwards a step instead of forwards, remember: you’re allowed to have bad days too- in fact, it’s perfectly normal. It’s ok for you to not be at your best all the time, because nothing ever is. As I once saw in a Tumblr post: ‘Nothing in nature blooms all year round, and you don’t have to either’. Mistakes and sadness are inevitable, but they do not determine your success or who you are.
A mini life update: I’ve been terribly busy this past week, but for a good reason. My Performing Arts (Drama) class at school put on our production of Macbeth this past Tuesday and Wednesday! Our teacher has been in the hospital for several weeks, so this was basically a student-led class, so it was truly a unique experience. Nobody, not even the aforementioned hospitalized teacher, had expected us to be able to put on a show, but we did it and I couldn’t be prouder. All in all, it was a truly spectacular experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Anywho, if you liked this blog post, please favourite, reblog, and subscribe to get emails whenever I post new things (and I do so at least biweekly). If you do try any of these tips out, please tell me how it goes!
Seeing as the school year is basically over and summer is fast approaching, the question of this post is: What are your summer plans? My family is going on a road trip, plus I’m planning on getting my first part-time job. Please feel free to put your answers in the comments!
Thank you so much for reading!