Are You Happy? Learn How To Love Your Life
Being happy is about being able to love yourself and appreciate the individuals and circumstances around you. Many people find it easier to celebrate the love they feel for another person than the love they feel for themselves and the life they lead.
Those of us who are truly happy are healthier and live longer, more productive lives.
With this important fact in mind, let’s ask the simple question:
Are you Happy?
How many of us seriously consider this? We lead busy work and home lives, rushing from place to place, task to task, person to person. We have many more material comforts than our ancestors. Entertainment is available to us at any time of the day or night. We are surrounded by gadgets, software and places that are designed to make us happy. But do they work? Or, are we looking for happiness in the wrong places?
Despite the material comforts available to us, reports of depression and low-mood are on the increase. It seems, despite the endless entertainment we have at our fingertips, many of us feel unfulfilled.
If you think your happiness may not be all it could be, it’s time to act. The truth is: being happy isn’t a passive activity. It’s a choice, and it’s up to you.
Being Happy with Other People
Countless studies show that happiness is increased by spending time with people whose company we enjoy. Being alone can become a habit. It’s easy to get in from work, stick Netflix on and become absorbed in other people’s fictional lives. However, other than staving off boredom, this sort of ‘false’ social contact has little benefit.
Human beings are wired to spend time in social groups.
If you live alone, make time to meet people. Even visiting a coffee shop daily soon ensures you are a familiar face.
Of course, it’s possible to feel alone even when there is family or a partner at home. If you find yourself in this situation, think of ways of increasing your social circle. There are many groups, charities, sports clubs and social activities available in communities. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and contribute something worthwhile to the planet.
On the same note, some people can make us feel unhappy. If you spend time with people who negatively affect your mood, it’s fine to limit or eliminate their company entirely.
Toxic relationships drain your happiness. Take an honest look at the people you socialise with and make plans to break away from those who upset you regularly.
Being Happy with Creativity
Expressing yourself creatively makes you feel happy. Creativity has also been shown to reduce the risk of illness, both physically and mentally.
A recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that art and creativity help reduce stress and anxiety while increasing positive emotions.
Try creative writing. It doesn’t have to be a novel you write. Poetry or simple descriptive paragraphs are just as satisfying as a craft. You could also try journaling.
If you feel adventurous, why not take up art or a craft? You’ll likely find many local groups in your area, which include tuition. If a group isn’t available, treat yourself to an online course or ‘How To’ manual.
Being Happy Outdoors
Sunlight is needed by our bodies to create vitamin D. A lack of this vitamin is linked with feelings of sadness and depression.
Make sure you spend time outdoors each day.
Take time for a walk in a local park, take up gardening or simply sit on a bench in a pleasant area. Being outdoors is incredibly relaxing, and it’s also a great place to try meditation. We spend so much of our lives under electric lights – enjoy some time outdoors, whatever the weather, and reap the emotional rewards!
Studies show that people who consciously practise gratitude actually feel happier with their lives than those who don’t. To put this useful tool into action, make a list of three or more things that you are grateful for every day. This may include your partner, the sunshine, a smile from a stranger or even the food you enjoy. When we begin to notice the good things in our lives, our minds focus less on the negative, and we feel happier.
Being happy is down to you. We all have unpleasant things to deal with in life, but most of us experience good times too. The key to being happy isn’t in the hands of your family, your friends or your partner. It isn’t down to the amount of money you have in the bank or the job that you do – it’s a state of mind.
Choose to actively practice the art of happiness and learn to love yourself and your life again!
At Illumine, we have various courses that support personal effectiveness. From energy and well-being to work-life balance and time management for personal effectiveness training, we’ve got you covered.
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