What makes you happy?
We can’t assume one person’s happiness represents what happiness means to the masses, making this topic quite subjective. Happiness means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For me, I’m still on my quest to find out what truly makes me happy; and it’s taken me a long time to admit that out loud, let alone, admit it to myself.
Let me clarify, a few things first: I love my family, my dogs, my friends, etc. and they all make me happy. I’ve lived a great life for the past 27 years, and by all accounts, I should be incredibly happy. However, I’ve found myself questioning my happiness for the last few years. Although it’s hard to admit, I’m determined more than ever to continue on my quest for happiness.
Here’s a list of changes I’ve made and new practices I’ve implicated in my life. I know they may not be for everyone, but hell, it’s worth a try to help your happiness, right?
1) Meditation. I use to laugh at this idea. Who in the world has time to just sit down and breathe? However, I’m now eating my words. Even if it’s for only 5 minutes, add meditation to your daily routine.
2) Routine. Get into a weekly routine. Benefits include: feeling accomplished, being productive, and having a sense of ease knowing what’s next in your day. Everyone’s work schedule is different, so work with what you got! If it changes every week, sit down at the beginning of the week and game plan it. If it’s constant, come up with a realistic routine, then work towards your ultimate goal routine. Case in point, I wanted to get up at 5:30am everyday, and hit the hay by 9:30pm every night. I immediately jumped in thinking I could do it, but my body wasn’t ready – and I got discouraged. It took me a couple months for my body to adjust, but now I’m up at 5:30am everyday! It’s possible, just take your time! You’ll get there.
3) Diet. Eat clean during the week, and treat yourself on the weekend. And no, I don’t mean the only thing you can eat is fruit and veggies during the week (although still it plenty of them- they’re delicious and nutritious). And no, I don’t mean hit several buffets on the weekend. But for weekdays, enjoy sandwiches, boiled eggs, grilled chicken, steak salad, etc. But do you see what’s missing? Processed foods. Hot tip: Pack your lunches (this avoids temptation to order take-out).
4) Water. I was never the girl that drank a lot of water. Beer, yes. Water, no. It was a hard transition, but now I drink a mass amount daily. However, I prefer ice cold water, but my teeth or too sensitive for ice. LOL at my life conundrums. Soultion I invested in a venti reusable plastic Starbucks cup (yes, super basic, but whatevs), and fill it with ice water. I drink around 6-8 of these a day.
5) Alcohol. No drinking during the work week. However, I do have a glass of red wine on occasion. But no more than one glass. The weekends you can enjoy a few cocktails.
6) Sleep. I use to run on 2-3hrs a night and be fine. Now, if I don’t get a full 8hrs during the work week not only does my productivity drop, I just feel, awful. Sleep is so important to feeling well rested, and really helps me have the energy and motivation to take on the day.
7) Wake up Positive. This one can be tricky. Sometimes you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. But instead of stewing in your moodiness, close your eyes and press reset. Say thank you to God, Buddha, the Crystal on your nightstand, whatever you believe in, for waking up another day. Hot tip: To keep me in a positive mindset, I’ve created playlists that I know put a smile on my face, and I listen to while getting to take on the day.
8) Get Rid of Toxic People. This can be tough. Sometimes we’re not even aware of the toxic energy people bring into our lives. Relationships are give and take; whether romantic or platonic, both parties need to benefit. If you find someone is just taking, it’s time to cut them out of your life.
9) Find a Hobby. What are you passionate about? Dedicate time to it weekly. Seriously, commit to it.
10) Give Back. The feeling you get helping someone else is like no other. Do selfless acts, and don’t tell the world about it. Be humble, and appreciate that feeling yourself; keep it close to your heart.
What are your thoughts or suggestions for helping your happiness?