5 Habits for a Happier Life
In life, there are often so many ups and downs, sometimes it’s hard to keep up.
Your mood can change multiple times during your day; one minute you feel excited, the next you feel annoyed when something goes wrong.
I don’t believe that any of us can feel happy 100% of the time. That would probably be a bit boring.
There is, however, something in our habits, things we do on a daily basis that can make our lives more difficult and stressful, and some habits that can also bring us more happiness.
5 HABITS FOR A HAPPIER LIFE
SAYING “NO” MORE OFTEN
This is one of the most important habits for a happier life. Saying “no” more often helps create boundaries and will help you understand that it’s completely okay to say “no”, even if you’re saying it to someone close. Saying “no” can help you express your feelings, goals, plans, and desires more clearly, in an open and honest way. It can help you find/create more time for doing the things you love, things that matter to you. Think of it as you, allowing yourself to do the things that you feel are best for… well, you.
Since we were kids, we’ve been told how important it is to be nice and polite, and that we should always listen to and obey those who are older or who hold an authority (teachers, grandparents, etc.) All of a sudden, saying “no” becomes a struggle and you, now an adult, end up doing things you don’t really feel like doing, just because you want to be nice. You then might feel like you’ve been taken advantage of, yet fail to realize that you agreed to do that “favor” for someone, in the first place. You only have yourself to blame.
You didn’t say “no.”
This is something that I struggled with when I was younger, and it took a toll on my relationships. I’d get talked into doing things I didn’t feel like doing because I just wouldn’t say “no” or, I’d end up doing favors for other people while missing out on finishing my own tasks. To avoid putting myself in those situations, I’d keep my distance, always used excuses for not wanting to meet with some of my friends. All because I just didn’t know how to say “no” to the people around me. I just wanted to be nice.
You don’t need to explain yourself.
Being more assertive can help you improve your relationships- and it’s not just about learning to say “no.” If you have friends, co-workers or family members always asking you for favors, trying to get you to do things you really don’t feel or like doing, constantly commenting on your life choices- it might be simply because you’ve never established any boundaries. You’ve been putting up with some of these things, simply because you wanted to be “nice” or liked. Once those boundaries are set in place and you’re being vocal about some of the things you are not willing to tolerate or put up with, you can focus on the relationship itself. This helps build healthier and stronger relationships, without feeling the need to avoid anyone. Remember: you don’t owe anyone an explanation.
SPENDING TIME ALONE
Solitude is an art of being alone, without being lonely. How do you feel when spending time in your own company? Silence and solitude, while at times intimidating, can help you see things more clearly and regain your focus. Spending time alone can help you heal, find creativity and clarity as well as reflect on things like your relationships, goals, plans, and needs.
Those of us who are highly sensitive tend to feel everything. There is so much noise surrounding us every single day. People throwing their own opinions at us, people judging or dumping their own emotions on us; sometimes even great relationships can become a little exhausting. Spending time alone is good for your soul. It’s not just about taking a break from being around others- it’s also about seeing and reflecting on your own behavior, habits, and actions.
If, on the other hand, you dream of doing something different, of trying new things, growing and learning- remember that unless you go after what you want, those things are not likely to happen. Change doesn’t just “happen”- you have to make it happen. Those great things never come from comfort zones. If you want some things to change, you need to embrace some of that uncertainty, change, and you have to be willing to get uncomfortable.
GOING FOR IT
Start where you are, using what you already have. Remember: “tomorrow is a mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation, and achievement is stored.” No matter how long you wait, the timing will never be “right” and the longer you wait for things to “fall into place” so that you can pursue your goals, the more time you waste. Obstacles are what makes your goals worth pursuing and without them, your achievements wouldn’t feel… well, like achievements. Do not allow yourself to become your biggest obstacle.
You can spend the rest of your life waiting to start living. Or, you can feel the fear but go after your goals and dreams anyway. There are some things in life that you cannot learn by taking a class or reading a book; things that you can only learn by doing, seeking and growing through new experiences. It doesn’t matter if you are 20, 30, 40 or 50 years old- it is never too late to start looking, it is never too late to keep learning.
REGULAR GRATITUDE PRACTICE
Your life is what you make it and if you spend most of your time focusing on and talking about things that didn’t go well, if you constantly complain- that is what your life will become. That will be all you notice; the bad, the negative, the stressful and frustrating parts of your life.
We get upset over so many small, insignificant things- we let those small things bother us, we let them get to us. In the meantime, there is so much to be grateful for. Gratitude is finding happiness through discovering what you already have. The more you pay attention to the “good” in your life, the more often you will notice it. Think about it: you can love, you can laugh, you can create, you can run, you can learn from your mistakes and grow through those difficult times. What one mindset perceives as an obstacle, another will see as an opportunity to grow and learn.