What Does Happiness Mean to You?
We all find happiness and joy in different things. Whether big or small, what brings a sigh of contentment or a bright smile varies for everyone. But the key to starting to focus on getting more happiness into your everyday life is knowing what you find joy in.
Determine What Gives You Joy
Some things might be obvious sources of happiness in your life like spending time with your family and friends, laughing and making memories. Others may be more subtle but no less rewarding.
Start making a list of activities that feel good and rewarding when done. If you find yourself struggling, put the pen down for now. But over the next few days, week, or month, come back to it. Whenever something brings a smile to your face, take a note of what you were doing, how it made you feel, and why you think it brought joy.
If you just can’t find the words, a picture will do. Whether it is one you take personally or an image you save online, keeping a personal board of goals and interests can help focus your efforts on your well-being.
Most of the things you write down might seem small and trivial, but they are no less important. The small things in life build upon each other to make us feel complete. Looking out a window holding a hot cup of coffee in the morning and bringing a sense of calm to the day's start is as much a moment of contentment and joy as an Easter egg hunt with your family.
How to Experience More Joy This Year
While having a list of personalized experiences that bring you happiness is a help, the lack of it won’t stop you from incorporating more joy into your life. Countless studies have shown that people who experience more joy lead longer and healthier lives.
Focusing on your happiness isn’t just about prioritizing yourself and feeling good. When you are happier, so are the people around you that are important to your life. Here are a few ideas on incorporating more joy into the everyday life of yourself and those around you.
1. Find the Time
It might seem both obvious and counterintuitive, but the most important thing in making sure we have more joy in our lives is to make room for it. Our lives are busy enough as it is, and unless you are someone who finds happiness in getting things done efficiently, that is why we often let our interests fall to the back of the line.
If you have a busy schedule, carve out time to focus on yourself, even if it is a set day and time every week. You don’t need to decide what you will do ahead of time. Set aside work and responsibilities and dedicate whatever you do to yourself. Disconnect from work email and social media accounts, both of which can lead to stress and anxiety.
2. Spend Time With Loved Ones
Even the most introverted among us benefit from spending quality time with others. Humans are social creatures at heart, and the bonds of community that we form around us keep us emotionally strong. Even on a down day, a friendly face can raise your spirits.
If you constantly find yourself in a bad mood after interacting with someone, consider if they need to be a part of your social life regularly. We can’t avoid some interactions, but there is no need to foster a negative relationship.
Some easy ways to spend quality time with loved friends and family are regular meals or grabbing coffee to catch up, watching or participating in a sport, going for a weekend walk, or sharing a hobby. Take a look at the self-reflection you did and find something that sparks joy in the people around you as well.
3. Be Kind
It might seem like a trite sentiment, but keeping a positive outlook can lead to happiness. You don’t need to fake a smile, just be kind and compassionate to those around you. A bit of grace to someone else on a bad day might lift them up. And when you are feeling down, they’ll share that little bit of good back.
And don’t just be kind to others, be kind to yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, and some things are just entirely out of our control. Focus on what you can do in the here and now. When the bad comes, remember the things that bring you joy and focus on the good. Look ahead at a clear goal and purpose and just keep moving forward.
4. Prioritize Yourself
Don’t be afraid to indulge in your happiness. If you are a natural giver or caretaker who tends to focus on the wellbeing of others, this may be difficult. But take the time for something that is just about you. It is your life to live, so don’t fear treating yourself like the main character once in a while.
If there is a hobby you have always wanted to pick up, do it! If you need to relax, book a solo spa day. Look to your own comfort, and set boundaries to pursue your happiness. An item rarely brings us true joy. It is in the experiences we find fulfillment.
It’s a Beautiful World
While many things can bring us joy at home, we often need to travel to a favorite restaurant or friend's house. This can be a delicate balance for those with a disability that has caused mobility issues.
Don’t let travel keep you from the things you love to do, and experiencing more joy on a day-to-day basis. If a friend or family member can’t accommodate your circumstances, look for a local professional service.
Loyal Lifts Transportation Service provides chauffeur quality, personal service in a custom, luxury vehicle. Our drivers go the extra mile to make sure your excursion is safe. If you need a lift around Asheville or Buncombe County, NC, let our friendly staff get you door to door in comfort. Contact us online or call at (828) 674-6471 to set up a ride.