The pursuit of happiness seems to be present since the dawn of humanity. Ancient philosophers (and modern scientists) never miss an opportunity to ponder upon what makes people happy. How do we reach the ever elusive goal of blissful living? Is it a matter of luck, a way of thinking or a conscious choice?
It turns out to be the latter. Here are some of the spirit-lifting practices that happy people choose to do daily:
It sound simple and obvious but how many of you actually stop to think during the day about the things you’re grateful for? Our minds are full of missed opportunities and regrets. We live in a culture of scarcity: never having enough, never doing enough, never loving enough. Following a gratitude routine might be a clever idea. Start your day with a short list of things you’re grateful for. It doesn’t need to be something grand: a cup of coffee, the morning sky, your dog’s greeting when you come home after work. That does the trick.
This is a tough one. Our days are so packed with obligations and to-do lists that slowing down doesn’t look like a real priority. But it is. Especially if you’re interested in happiness. It turns out that taking some time to pause and do nothing, may bring you a long way down the lucky road. Budha’s been doing it and you should too.
The process counts.
We are so fixated in achieving our ever growing list of goals that we fail to notice that the journey has some benefits of its own. Happy people seem to be enjoying themselves right now, not tomorrow or when they finally get that damned promotion. Right now is what really matters.
Take the responsibility.
It may be seductive to blame the world for our misfortunes but happy people tend to do something else. They don’t wait for the world to bring about joy and fun to their door. They’d rather go out and see what’s on the happy menu today. Violin lessons? Walk in the park? Listening to some good music? Finding and doing what makes you happy, actually … makes you happy!
Nothing influences our state of mind as much as the quality of our relationships. Being connected to family and friends, and nourishing those connections is what brings meaning to our lives.
There are no worthy endeavours in life without hardships along the way. Happiness is no exception. Having a resilient spirit is what happy people try to cultivate for themselves. We don’t want to allow the inevitable bumps on the road to prevent us from being happy, do we?
Find something bigger than you.
Happy people seem to be less self-centered than unhappy ones. They find worthy causes to fight for and are genuinely interested in making the world a better place. It may be sport, religion or gardening. What counts is the intention behind your deeds: what significance did you add to the world today?
Whatever your lifestyle, it is never too late to integrate some happy practices into your day. Try them out and see if that brings about a real difference!