What is happiness? It’s not found in material things, movie-star looks, or a career. Researchers who study happiness typically define it as a deep and lasting sense of contentment. Are you content? How can you get into the contentment zone?
Research has shown that income, material trappings, and even marital status don’t determine happiness. Instead, happiness is influenced by more intangible influences, like self-knowledge, the ability to appreciate what’s going right in your life, and taking the responsibility to fix what isn’t. What can you do to move towards happiness?
Make a Commitment to Being Happy
Each day, make a conscious decision to make it a good day. Though you can’t keep bad things and irritations from happening, you can choose how to react and interpret them. Choose to let the negative things slide.
How can you start your day by choosing to be happy? Set your alarm clock 10 minutes early. Do something you enjoy with the time. Drink your coffee leisurely, take a walk, write in your journal, or use aromatherapy products in the shower. Though 10 minutes may not seem like long, it’s enough to signal to yourself that your well-being and happiness is a priority.
Live in the Moment
We tend to worry about things that have already happened, or that we fear will happen. When you find yourself worrying over the past or future, stop. Choose to live in the present.
Take 30 minutes to live in the moment. Try taking a walk or sitting on a park bench, and just feel the present. Feel the sun, smell the grass, watch dogs playing. Don’t think of all that you need to do or plan. Stay focused on the present moment. Breathe in deeply, enjoy your surroundings, and you’ll find the present a time of tranquility.
Immerse Yourself in Activity
Find your flow, an activity that you become so absorbed in that you think of nothing else. It might be exercise, painting, writing, even cleaning. It just entails finding an activity that completely absorbs you. Spend some time, even a little, on this activity each week.
It takes work and dedication, but you can find your contentment zone. Practice these techniques and actively choose to be happy. You’ll find it isn’t so hard after all.