How to feel happy – seems like I have it all figured out which I certainly do not. Butttt, I am confident writing this blog post because everyone I’ve shared my daily happiness system with has told me it’s life changing. Here’s the one thing that’s a must for it to work… you’ve got to do the work. You have to put in effort to feel happiness. You’re going to enjoy it though, so don’t worry… it won’t be hard.
One of the most interesting things I’ve read (I feel like I start a lot of sentences that way but I’m such a reader especially on personal development, happiness and all that good stuff). Anyway… an interesting idea offered in a piece I once read is that: “our natural, default state is negative.”
What that means for us is that unless we are actively pursing happiness… unless we are seeking the positive… we will likely just feel blah.
HAPPINESS IS NOT OVER THE TOP
I need to state this very clearly… the happiness that I am referring to is not over the top. To me, in order to live a happy, darn good life, you have to find happiness in the day-to-day.
Of course you will feel happy when you’re on vacation or opening presents or at a fancy dinner or doing some over the top activity in some over the top location. That’s awesome and I hope your life includes that but the happiness I am referring to is this….
Do you feel happy on a Monday at 730 AM?
Do you feel happy if you’re at home on a Friday at 8 PM?
Do you feel happy on a random Tuesday if you just stop mid-day and pause?
We spend the vast majority of our lives doing the daily grind. If we can find happiness on a Monday at 7:30 AM, on Friday at 8 PM in our pajamas or on that random Tuesday, then life is really freakin’ good. At least, I think so!
MY HAPPINESS SYSTEM
Yes, I have a system for everything…. from how I start my day to how I grocery shop and even how to feel happy. This system is simple and I truly use it every. single day.
STEP 1: write a list of 10 things that you can do that make you happy
This list should consist of ordinary, day-to-day activities that can be completed Monday at 7:30 AM or on that random Tuesday. This list is about things you can do aka activities. This list should take you a very long time and it should change as you change as a person.
Examples: walking outside, reading
STEP 2: complete 4+ items on your list every day
There’s not much more to say other than check off that list. Personally, I find 4 is what it takes for me to really feel that deep sense of happiness.
1. outdoor activity (walk, park, patio meal, etc.)
2. family adventure with all 3 of us (grocery shopping, eating a meal out)
5. self care of body (mani/pedi, massage, yoga, face mask, bath, etc.)
6. quality time with husband
7. decorating (pinterest-ing home decor, shopping for home decor, helping a friend with idea, rearranging my own home)
9.. getting together or catching up with family/friends
Clearly, you can see that my list looks like incredibly ordinary things. It is! Each individual’s list will be personalized to exactly what makes them tick. I know about myself that my family and the outdoors are my greatest sources of happiness so that’s why my list includes a lot of that.
However, I could easily get through a day without doing 4 of these items, so being intentional about my days is what creates happiness in my life.
If you want to feel happy or happier, do more things that make you happy on a daily basis. Happiness is an inside job. I can’t write a list for you. You can’t simply copy mine. It needs to be a list of things that you’ve really thought about and that you know make you happy. Then, you’ve got to hit at least 4 per day. If you fill your days and your free time doing what makes you happy, you’ll feel that way!
I hope this post helps you enjoy your day-to-day just a little bit more. My life really transformed for the better when I focused less on the “big things” like my next vacation or weekend plans and more on the seemingly “little things” like what I can do on my lunch break or a little activity I can plan with my family on a random Tuesday late afternoon.
Sending so much love to you!
Photos by Jennifer Mathews Photography