“The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.” – Audrey Hepburn
I think it is fair to say that the pursuit of happiness is something that unites us all. We all want a life that is comfortable. A life in which we feel ultimately fulfilled, and in which we enjoy a harmony, balance and symbiosis between all aspects of it.
To strive for happiness is a simple idea. However, we know that achieving that perfect balance is no simple thing at all. A human life is ever changing, it many moving parts meaning that you must remain conscious of the structure of your life and constantly adjusting your choices and behaviours in order to maintain overall happiness and wellbeing.
In fact, all though many consider, at least subconsciously, the word ‘happy’ to be the primary colour of positive emotion; the base feeling from which all more nuanced feelings of positivity branch, knowing whether you have obtained it is not always that simple. Have you ever asked yourself if you are happy and realised that you don’t quite know the answer? Do you know what makes you happy? Have you ever taken time to reflect on your happiness at all?
1. You Appreciate Simple Things
Happiness is directly connected to contentment. When you are content, and your mind is at ease, you tend to find the time to notice the little details in your life, and to have the time to appreciate them. Your favourite song comes on, and you enjoy it and sing along. Perhaps you catch the sunset out of the kitchen window when you are washing up, so you turn the tap of and take a moment to look at it. You get excited about eating, taking your favourite route to work or sitting in your most comfortable chair.
2. Small Bumps Don’t Bother You
When we are in a bad mood, or are feeling unhappy overall, little issues tend to wind us up. Being irritable and blowing small issues out of proportion is a sign of bigger things going on with you. However, when you are happy and content, these niggles don’t, well, niggle at you so much. So your house is a little messy. Never mind. So you got caught in the rain. That’s OK, you’ll dry off eventually. So you missed that train. No sweat, there another one coming in two minutes.
3. You Feel Happiness For Other People’s Success
When we think we are not doing well, it is easy to resent the success of others. Sometimes we project our own disappointment in ourselves onto other people, as if displacing the blame for your apparent situation over to them. This is a very human and perfectly common behaviour. When you are in a good place, and feeling happy about your life, this won’t happen. Indeed, you might even be really happy for the success of others, and demonstrably praise them for it!
4. You Enjoy A Range of Fulfilling Relationships
Human beings thrive on nourishing relationships. A happy life usually involves a range of relationships, all different, and all adding to the richness and growth of your continued existence. Think about the relationships that are important to you. If you have a supportive family, a nurturing partner and a range of diverse friendships and working relationships, then you might just be happy!
5. You Know What Activities Make You Happy
Learning to be conscious of the self involves learning about how you react to situations, what triggers you and, perhaps most crucially, what makes you truly happy. Even a contented life has bumps in the road, but if you know how to visit your happy place, then you have a powerful tool, a key to keeping you in a positive place. I know that, if I am feeling down, an hour in the kitchen preparing food will calm me. I also know that exercise, going food shopping, or simply going outside are great ways to clear my head.
6. You Are Able To Reflect On Yourself Without Panic
Being able to look at yourself honestly is important. When we are unhappy, many of us avoid looking at our own actions and behaviours in fear that opening a tin of worms will make an almighty mess. If you are in a place where you are able to self-criticise, and able to actively work on altering your own behaviour and outlook, then you are in a good place.
By Chris Thomson
One of the keys to being happy is to have a variety of fulfilling interests in your life. Hobbies are important, and here’s why… The Importance of Hobbies, and Some to Try!
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