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What is happiness? Why is it so difficult to learn how to be happy today? Why do we spend so much time chasing after being happy? Why is it so hard to find and keep?
Happiness is a tricky thing for sure. Dictionary.com defines happiness as the state of being characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy. So happiness is about pleasure, contentment or joy. Seems simple enough. But we all know it isn’t quite that easy.
Read on and let’s see what we can discover.
There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.— Epictetus
Why is happiness so hard to find?
Personal opinion alert: your mileage may vary.
I believe that most of our happiness comes from our own state of mind. That is, that we can choose to be happy or unhappy or angry or disappointed or grateful in just about any given situation.
There was a now-famous TED talk about the happiness of lottery winners and paraplegics and while the original assertions were not completely accurate, there is a great deal of insight to be had. A year after winning a lottery, the winners were no more happy than the control group who had not won a lottery and paraplegics a year after losing the use of their legs were only slightly less happy than the control group.
To me that says a lot about how to be happy. Two circumstances, one most people would love to have happened, and the other one most people would never want to have happened and after a fairly short span of time happiness balances out to a kind of baseline.
This is why a happy life is so hard to find. We are looking for it in the wrong places. We look for the next great thing to happen to us. Getting married, a new job, a new baby, getting a raise, starting a business, the kids are in school, the kids have moved out. All of those things happen (or don’t happen) and how happy we are really doesn’t change. Circumstances outside of ourselves don’t affect happiness nearly as much as we think.
Choosing to be happy: the key to how to be happy today
The good news is you can be just about as happy as you want to be. The bad news is you can be just about as happy as you want to be.
You are the main roadblock to your own happiness. This is good news because you are the easiest roadblock to remove. When you want to practice how to be happy, you don’t even necessarily need to do anything different than you are already doing.
You don’t need to meditate, take long walks in the forest, eat a slice of cheesecake, go to Disneyland, lift weights, or organize the sock drawer unless that’s already what you have planned.
The only thing you need to do to bring yourself to a state of happiness is to pay attention to what you are doing, otherwise known as being mindful, and notice the happiness you feel while doing the thing or the sense of accomplishment you feel from completing it.
All that being said, it’s not a bad thing to want to increase your happiness by making the effort to consciously choose to do enjoyable, useful or pleasurable things. Society today seems geared to keeping our eyes glued to screens for as much of the day as possible and unfortunately spending time idly looking at a screen (or more than one!) is more likely to actually make you more unhappy.
Feeling stuck and not sure how to get started learning how to be happy today? Check out the list of tips below to get you started.
Happy Tips — 14 Ideas to Help You Learn How to Be Happy Today
Be mindful-stay in the moment and really feel the enjoyment of what you are doing or accomplishing
Stay connected-I’m not talking about social media here, either, grab a cup of coffee with an old friend, join a meetup group and make new ones
Complete a small task you’ve been procrastinating-organize the pantry, clean out old emails, track down those tax forms. You’ll feel the rush of accomplishment along with enjoying the fruits of your labors
Meditate-spend some time with your thoughts
Moderate Exercise-get the heart pumping, you’ll definitely feel great afterward!
Do something for someone else-kindness is its own reward
Celebrate the little wins-keep a ta-da list and look over it when you are feeling low to remember all you have accomplished
Practice gratitude-my family goes around the table each night before dinner and says one thing we are grateful for that day. After a while, it gets hard to stop at just one!
Be happy for someone else-finding the beauty in someone else’s journey will make your own even more spectacular
Say YES to something new-step out of your comfort zone
Spend time outside-bonus points if you choose to use that time for a walk, apparently, 57 degrees F is the happiest temperature.
Look up-lifting your eyes also lifts your mood
Smile-it will actually lift your mood
Remember the choice is yours-choose to be happy
Final Thoughts on Learning How to Be Happy Today
It really is the small stuff that brings the greatest chance of happiness. The power and the choice are yours. I challenge you to do one thing today, right now that will start you down the path to a happy life.
Read More About Happiness
- How to Be Happy
- 23 Ways to Be Happier
- How to Be Happy
- 10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Incredibly Happy
What advice would you give someone who wanted to learn how to be happy today?
Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.— Charles Dudley Warner
P.S. If you enjoyed learning how to be happy today, pin and comment please =)