I had been thinking a lot about happiness lately. Then I took one of those silly online quizzes that’s supposed to tell you what your “word” for the upcoming year is and guess what mine was, “happiness” so I think the universe is trying to tell me something so I started delving deeper into how to achieve happiness. This is definitely something I will be spending more time thinking about but this is what I have figured out so far for myself.
I don’t think it’s all that important to just only strive for happiness. I think a lot of people think that true happiness has to be this big, grand thing that happens to them and all of a sudden their life will be perfect. I think that is a dream and although it would be nice it is just a dream for most of us. What I have come to realize is that it is more important for me to figure out what is taking away my happiness in my life right now as a way to really become happier.
I have really started to look at happiness in a whole new light by simply asking myself some questions. What is it that bothers you? Who is it that bothers you? Or what is it that causes dread or anxiety for you? What are you putting off right now? I sat down last week and decided to start small and made a list of things that were keeping me from being happy in the moment and then set out to work on the list. Granted these things were not life changing in a big way but they were everyday things that needed to be dealt with such as dreaded chores and appointments that need to be made. Like I said not life changing things by any means but things that I had been dreading and made me feel unhappy every time that I even thought about having to do them. And I can tell you that I felt so much better and happier once the list was completed. These are the types of little every day things that can zap our happiness away from us.
Your list might be totally different. Maybe there is someone who is causing you unhappiness, a friendship that is no longer what it used to be or maybe there is a conversation you have been putting off having. Whatever it is, take some time and really think about what is causing you unhappiness right now and make a plan to take care of it so that you no longer have to feel uneasy every time you think about it and so that it no longer depletes your happiness.
Keep in mind that I never said this will be easy, even writing the list caused me anxiety. I am now working on my next list of things causing me unhappiness and I know this one will be much more difficult but there is more work to be done to become happier. There are things to get taken care of that I have been putting off for too long, things that will affect my long term happiness if I don’t handle them. I don’t want to live another moment with dread since I know that depletes happiness from my life.
I think when you look at happiness from this perspective it allows us to see we are all much more in control of whether or not we achieve true happiness on a daily basis than we ever thought we were before. Happiness is something we have to find for ourselves and within ourselves. It is not necessarily something external that just appears one day and then all of a sudden we are forever happy. We can learn to create our own happiness once we find out what is keeping us from being happy.
Do you need to start a list too? Don’t wait, I wish you much happiness!