Happiness. What is it that makes you happy? How to you view the glass? Half empty? Half full? Are you the eternal optimist or always the pessimist? Would you say your job makes you happy? Family? Money? Often times in life we chase happiness, thinking if we just had “this” or “that” we would be happy. The hedonic treadmill, how human beings chase happiness or aka “hedonic adaptation”; the tendency of how human beings quickly return to a state of stable happiness no matter what positive or negative events occur in their lives. Which leads me to this question. Do you ever get tired of running? The chase. If I had this, I could be happier or if only this, I would be happier. When is it ever enough? It is ever so cliché to say, “Appreciate the little things in life”, however, if we really pause and be still, this is a profound statement. If we could stop the chase, pause, perhaps we could truly be, well, happy. I offer some simple ways to live happy.
- Stop, look, listen: There is no trick here, actually, stop, look and listen. Often times we are running, rushing, pushing and pulling to get out the door on a daily basis. Sometimes if we just pause, for a few seconds to stop, look around. Notice the environment, be present, right now to what’s happening, the best we can. Listen to sounds around us; birds, cars, water, whatever. Stillness. And just breathe. This simple practice helps us reengage our core center and become grounded again.
- Re-emerge: What were things that you once loved to do that you find you don’t do anymore? Write, paint, ride a bike, read a book? What are those things? Identify them and start to do them once again. Why? Because they make you happy. The end.
- Grab some crayons: The top 20 books sold on Amazon right now are adult coloring books. Coloring engages the same parts of the brain as meditation! It helps to reduce stress, anxiety and depression and guess what else? It makes you happier! You can go on the web and download tons of pintables for FREE! Google whatever you want, mandalas are my fav!
- What’s your Why: I’ve said this in other posts and I’ll say it again, what’s your “why”, your purpose? Chasing what matters in life rather than happiness seems way more worth the exhaustion to me! Having a sense of purpose connects you to being more centered to your community, friends, family and also…jackpot…being happier! Sharing your purpose is a critical component here as well. Making a difference with others is a sure way to bring joy to your life.
In the end, you may find that it is less work than you think. Finding true joy in life may be right there in front of you. Stop chasing the elusiveness of happiness and remember to be still, breathe, and you will realize your glass is fuller than you think. Cheers to being happy all the days of your life!
Learn, Love & Live with Coach Kenna
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