What exactly is happiness anyway?
How do you define happiness in your own life?
How can a person achieve happiness?
And once you know what it is, and how to define it in your life, how do you finally achieve it?
These are all questions you have to ask yourself if you want to understand how to achieve happiness in your life.
Is Happiness a Destination?
Lately, I have been having some pretty powerful conversations about how we frame and pursue happiness in our lives.
The truth is that the journey to happiness feels complicated for a lot of people, but the more I think about it, the more I realize there are very simple and straightforward things we can do every day to invite more happiness into our lives.
Joy vs. Authentic Happiness
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think happiness is a constant state where we always feel fantastic and everything is rainbows and sunshine, but I do feel like we can do a lot in order to feel better in our lives, starting with asking some really important questions.
Authentic happiness is being at the point in your life where you truly feel comfortable with yourself, and you’re at the place you want to be at that point in your life.
Short Term happiness (also known as joy), on the other hand, is only temporary. While it feels good at the time, it isn’t particularly helpful towards our final goals. This is also why so many people get lost in something that brings them joy, but not happiness.
It is particularly dangerous when we rely on something or something other than ourselves to give us temporary joy, and then we have to rely on it again for that same feeling of joy later.
My 8 Steps are for achieving authentic happiness, not joy.
MY 8 STEPS ON HOW TO FIND AND KEEP HAPPINESS
Step 1—Ask Yourself Big Questions
So, reader, are you happy?
Exploring what happiness means to you and where it comes up in your life is essential to understanding how to gain more happiness in your life.
The best way I have found to understand happiness and is to ask yourself big questions, like:
- Am I content?
- What does being content really mean?
- Is being contented enough for me?
- Am I doing the things that I always wanted to do?
- Am I happy?
- Am I happy with my family life?
- Am I happy with my profession, job or career?
- Am I happy with where I am living?
- What can I do to cultivate more happiness in my life?
- What can I do proactively to help me be happy on a day-to-day basis?
Now, I suspect no one’s answers will be the same, and they shouldn’t be. This is just for you, no one else. No one is grading you, and no one has to see your answers.
Finding the answers can be really hard, and what comes up for you can be very interesting, so make a mental note of how these questions and their answers make you feel.
When we check in with ourselves often and consciously notice when we are happy, it makes a huge difference.
Step 2—Shift Your Perspective
People talk a lot about finding happiness as if happiness is something you can trip on in the street.
This kind of framing doesn’t put us in the driver’s seat.
Instead of hoping, wishing and praying that one day you will wake up to find happiness staring you in the face, what if we shifted our perspective to think of happiness as something we achieve?
What if happiness is more about what we DO in our lives, rather than something that just happens to us?
When we frame happiness as just an emotion, the factors related to happiness seem more or less out of our control. Again, this takes us out of the driver’s seat entirely.
But if we reframe and start thinking of happiness as a skill, in fact, life’s most important skill, we make greater strides towards achieving it in our lives.
Step 3—Reach Out
Let people know you care.
Make time for people.
Stop and chat with people.
This will absolutely make you feel better.
And you don’t even have to reach out to people that you know. Whether you are going to the grocery store or taking a walk, just stop and talk to people. Take some time to reach out.
Why does this work, exactly?
Because at our very core, no matter if we are introverted or extroverted, whether we are having a great day or a bad day, feeling connected is something we all desperately need and want in our lives. By reaching out, you feel more connected to your neighborhood, your community, and eventually yourself.
Doing things for other people feels really good.
Reaching out to help people can make you feel really good.
When you feel bad, or not like yourself, or you are doubting something in your life, giving is a great way to re-center yourself and your values, connect and feel good about yourself!
Giving support and lending a hand is a great way to boost your happiness.
Step 5—Take Care of Your Body
Now, don’t you dare skip over this one!
Why do we think we can ignore our bodies? Why do we still act like our bodies and our minds are not connected? That is a discussion for another time, but for now, know this: when it comes to being happy, your body matters.
Here are some physical factors that are directly related to happiness:
- Are you getting enough exercise?
- Are you addressing those aches and pains in your body or just living with your symptoms?
- Are you normalizing your bad habits?
- Are you drinking water?
All of these factors can have a huge impact on your mood. If you treat yourself (and your body) right, you can shift your mood more easily and it will allow you to feel a lot better, faster.
Step 6—Accept Who You Are (And Others Too!)
You know that feeling when someone starts smiling, and it is just contagious, and you can’t help but feel a big ol’ smile spread across your face too? Doesn’t it feel fantastic? These small moments of happiness are really special, and they happen when we accept and love people for who they are, including ourselves.
If you can really be with people, and really truly connect and accept them the way that they are, and accept yourself the way that you are, it does make a difference to how you feel.
When you accept people, and they feel comfortable around you, and you accept yourself, you will attract more accepting and happy people into your life.
Believe it or not, attracting accepting and happy people is one of the most effective ways to create your own happiness!
Step 7–Be Grateful (Even When It’s Hard)
Expressing gratitude is a game-changer.
Being grateful for whatever you have, wherever you are, the connections that you have, and the relationships that you have, is not just great for your overall well-being, but also great for your viewpoint and perspective about life.
Cultivating that kind of optimism will help you receive more of the same.
Step 8—Find Purpose
Having goals in life is also crucial.
No matter what area of your life you are setting goals in, having a sense of direction and trust in your life can help you feel better. Having real goals of how you want to contribute to this world can give you perspective, help you connect, and help you give back, which can make you feel great.
IS THERE A SHORTCUT TO HAPPINESS?
That would be nice, but generally these things take time.
The best thing you can do to kickstart your happiness is to focus on yourself
Follow my 8 step system, and start to build your own personal sense of happiness today.
So, What do you think? Are these 8 Steps to Achieving Happiness simple enough for you? Do you think you will give them a shot?
Have you tried any of these steps before? What were your results?
Let me know in the comments below what you think, and if you have any questions or want to talk more about how to achieve happiness in your life, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.