Happiness seems to be the new American dream these days. We all search for it, and although it appears in reach, it continues to be elusive.
The paradox is that the more we chase that feeling of happiness, the further out of reach it gets. But, when you realize that you already have enough to be grateful for, you’ll start to feel happier.
Each day offers immeasurable opportunities for you to find gratitude. Focus on these small blessings and you’ll find that happiness is closer than you thought!
Here are five small ways to find happiness in your life every day:
1. Remember That You Always Have Yourself
Maybe you don’t think you’re good enough to keep yourself happy, but you are.
Focus on the strengths you have, such as your health, your mind, and your compassion for others. When you look for positive traits, you’ll find them. But when you are always on the lookout for flaws, those are the only things you’ll see.
“Self-care” is a controversial buzz term in today’s society. Everyone seems to know the importance of it, but it’s not always easy to practice.
Some people think it’s just another task on their to-do list that they are neglecting. Others consider it a selfish reason to slack on their responsibilities.
The truth is, psychologically speaking, self-care is crucial. You can’t truly care for someone else’s needs if you can’t take care of yourself. Whether it’s sleep, compassion, or something else you’re lacking, if you continue to give from your own reserves, it’s going to drain your energy.
Take time out for self-care to tend to the embers of your passions and hobbies. It doesn’t have to be hours. A few minutes each day spent doing something that recharges your batteries will get you through until you can do it again.
2. Realize the World’s Problems Aren’t Yours
Worrying about problems that aren’t yours can steal a lot of joy. This concern about what might happen in the future is called anxiety, and over 40 million people suffer from it.
Even if you don’t consider yourself an anxious person, you probably still stress about things that are out of your control. Most of us do it, and it interferes with our own satisfaction.
When you feel yourself getting stressed, ask yourself if the problem is within your control. Some of the problems you worry about are not yours to solve. By attempting to take on the job, you’re not letting the responsible party step up to the plate.
Push away the urge to take responsibility for things that have nothing to do with you. Taking these problems on as your own causes anxiety and steals your happiness.
3. Learn How to Sprinkle Happy Dust
It takes as much energy to be positive as it does to be negative. The negativity may seem easier at first, but the consequences are harsher.
This more optimistic style of thinking isn’t the default setting for everyone. Life experiences and role models often shape our outlook, but we can remold them into a perspective that helps, rather than hinders, our lives.
You don’t have to be one of those people who is always looking on the bright side of things, but you can. If you’re not ready for that level of happiness, start by trying to find silver linings in not-so-happy situations.
Give an occasional compliment to a stranger, pay it forward in line at a fast-food place, or offer to help when you see someone in need. These random acts of kindness will boost your endorphins, which can have significant effects on your mental health.
Sprinkling happy dust may not come naturally at first, but the benefits you reap will make it easier to do each time.
4. Focus Only on the Next Step
When you first start pursuing goals, it’s easy to think that they’re beyond reach. The tendency to focus on that distance keeps many people from gaining any momentum.
Instead, realize that you only have to take one step at a time. As you make those small steps, you might find that they’re leading you where you’re supposed to be. Ironically, that’s not always where you thought you’d end up!
There is no time limit on how long you have to get to your destination. In fact, when you make small moves, it gives you time to stop and smell the roses on the path to where you’re going.
This peacefulness helps you find happiness. You’ll spend less time worrying and more time enjoying life.
5. Appreciate the Little Things
There’s a theory that says, “What you look for in life is what you’ll find.”
If you’re always expecting the other shoe to drop and bad luck to stay on your shoulder, that’s what will happen.
Shift your perspective and look for the little things that are going your way. Maybe your favorite song came on the radio. Maybe you got to take a shower in peace. Or maybe there was no line at the drive-thru.
No matter how little they seem, find the good things that happen throughout your day and take a second to be grateful for them. You’ll be amazed by how it affects your outlook on life!
While you should never give up on finding happiness, your search shouldn’t be all-consuming. No matter how bad things seem, you have blessings in your life, and when you notice them and appreciate them, happiness appears.
Every day gives us the chance to seek out new ways to find happiness. It’s already there if we choose to see it!