Oasis Living Magazine, January 01, 2012
Modern living consists of going full-speed on the treadmill that is our daily lives, as we’re caught up in our technology-dependant world. We’re constantly bombarded by advertisements and seduced by the quick fixes that are available in our consumer society. Many of us are feeling tired, stressed out, overwhelmed or inadequate, and more people are increasingly affected by depression. We are certainly living busy lives in uncertain times, but are we living happy lives?
Do you sometimes wonder and ask yourself if you are happy? Do you know what makes you happy? Do you feel content with your life? Do you feel you are a fortunate person? Are you usually in a cheerful mood?
Sadly, some of us are caught in the merry-go-round of wanting more or longing to be more in the hope of obtaining happiness. I’ll be happy when I get a pay rise! I’ll be happy when I lose 10 pounds! I’ll be happy when I get a bigger car! I’ll be happy when I get married! I’ll be happy when I retire!
The danger of defining happiness in this way is that:
1. You may not reach these goals, so what next?
2. When you reach the desired goal, you may feel happy for a short time, but soon you have to start searching for the next thing that will bring you happiness.
The reality is that happiness doesn’t come from losing a few pounds, having the perfect house or a wonderful salary. Happiness is not a place we arrive at. Happiness is a feeling of contentment and satisfaction; it is a state, a mood. It is making the most of what we’ve got at any given time. Happiness comes from within.
We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. – Frederick Keonig
It is our attitude that makes us feel happy or unhappy. Therefore, it is up to us to choose our thoughts and decide if we let external events, situations or even people determine and affect our mood and happiness. There are many things we can’t control in this world, but we can always control our thoughts. No one but you has the power to decide what you think. So, let’s use those thoughts wisely.
There are simple things that we can do on a daily basis to bring more contentment and happiness into our lives.
Here are some of the activities that can help:
1. Slow down: take time to relax and reflect. Read an inspiring book, listen to music, do something good for yourself every day.
2. Nurture your relationships: spend as much time as you can with the people you love, make sure you keep in touch with your friends that you care about, associate yourself with happy and interesting people.
3. Enjoy and value life’s small moments: celebrate small victories, see the beauty in children laughing or the splendor of the sunset. Appreciate your walk on the beach or in the park.
4. Express your gratitude: tell someone how much you appreciate them, write a thank-you note, say a genuine thank you to the packer at your grocery store.
5. Be optimistic: always look on the bright side, think of solutions (not problems), avoid comparisons, think of your past achievements, visualize your future positively and confidently.
6. Take care of your body: eat healthily, exercise, chill out, go for a massage.
7. Find your purpose: pursue your passion, dream big. Having a purpose gives meaning to life. Challenge yourself, help others, volunteer.
8. Laugh, laugh and laugh some more: see the funny side of things, develop your sense of humor, loosen up and joke around with your colleagues and friends, watch comedies.
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
– Albert Schweitzer
My dad’s favorite saying is, “We’re not here for a long time, but for a good time!” I feel he is absolutely right. We never know how long we have on this wonderful earth, and life can be short. I’m committed to make the most of it while I can. I’m making choices and decisions to feel happy, and I thrive to live my life with purpose and passion. I personally believe that happiness is a choice. So smile often and choose happiness!