It’s the dawn of a new year and that means wonderful new possibilities and a fresh start to make our dreams come true. Many of us have one common hope for the new year — to be happy. You might have noted I didn’t say to “find” happiness, but to “be” happy and that’s because there is a huge difference.
A lot of times we spend so much time and energy trying to “find” happiness that we end up feeling defeated because finding it can be very elusive. What if I told you that the truth of the matter is, what we need to be truly happy, is actually right in front of us, so no search is necessary.
True, long-lasting happiness isn’t something we can buy or borrow and its not something we can learn from a book or website. Genuine happiness, is something we find within ourselves and nurture it until it grows and takes root in our life. To be happy, is basically a state of mind and a conscious choice that we make — we’re each in control of of our own happiness.
“Very little is needed to make a happy life. It is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius
“Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.” – Sri Chinmoy
We all know that true happiness isn’t situational or something we can create just by changing where we live or where we work and once we understand that we have the power to be happy…or not…it takes away the stress of always searching for happiness. That being said, there are of course things we can do (and not do) that will help us to draw out that inner happiness.
Everyone’s path to releasing their true happiness is different, but based on some actual research we know that these keys to freeing our happiness help a great deal:
Giving to others is an incredible feeling! It not only helps other people, but it makes us feel good and feeling good is contagious — it energizes us and makes us want to help even more. So, if you bring a smile to someone else’s face, you’ll find a smile on your own and that will inspire you to keep doing good.
2. Tolerance and Understanding
Make 2022 the year you respect everyone and try to understand that other people, like you, are just trying to make it in this world. Be tolerant, and expand your circle of friends. Letting go of bias and hatred is absolutely liberating!
One of the biggest obstacles to happiness is being complacent and unaware. This world can be tough and its easy to lose focus. This new year, commit to remembering who you are — get back in touch with the real you and make the time to be conscious and present in life, always striving to see and appreciate the beauty and moments of happiness all around you.
4. Be an Active Participant
Never let the sense of awe and wonderment leave you! Keep learning new things — grow, be curious, open your mind, accept new ideas. Learning does not have to be any kind of formal process either — read, travel, speak to new people, learn something about our planet, the stars, other cultures…an open mind that is always developing is a happy mind.
5. Have Direction and Purpose
Goals, a sense of purpose and ambitions are vitally important to choosing happiness. What makes you tick? What excites you? Focus in on the things that you want to accomplish and draw up a plan to get there — be mindful not to make them too difficult at first and also, we need to remember that we can’t necessarily tie our true happiness to goals — think of them more as a key to helping us unlock our inner joy.
Many people feel unhappy and are always searching for ways to be happy, because they feel unfulfilled. Having a purpose in life is very important and the good news is, it can be many purposes and none of those need to be epic. Some among us have a purpose that seems so simple, such as reading to the elderly in a Nursing Home. It seems simple, but in reality, its a noble, beautiful purpose that helps others. So our purpose can be one big thing, or lots of “little” things — the point is to have something to do.
7. Take Care of Your Body
Exercise and eating right is also vital to helping unleash our inner happiness. Anything that gets us up and moving is helpful, so it can be at the gym, or just taking a 10 minute walk each day. What ever works best is the right thing for each of us. When it comes to diet and exercise, it’s a good idea to have your Doctor help decide what is healthiest and best for the individual.
Who can be happy with a negative attitude and outlook? Being a more optimistic person with a positive attitude is extremely important. Like choosing happiness, we choose our attitude — we can either be more positive and hopeful, or we can wallow in defeatism. This new year, choose to be a positive person who sees opportunities wherever possible.
Get back in touch with who you are and try to always be true to yourself. As important, be comfortable and content with you — you have to like yourself to be happy. None of us are perfect, no matter what you may see on social media, so commit to liking you this year and be proud of who you are…you have every right to be so!
Gratitude is also very liberating. Being thankful and appreciating what we have is a great way to stop the endless search for happiness. This new year, try writing a gratitude journal and each day, write down the things you have to be thankful for — this can literally be as simple as “today I saw the most adorable puppy playing in the park and his innocence and playfulness made me smile and I’m so thankful I got to see that.”
One of the most important things to help us release and embrace the happiness within us, is to love: simply put, we must love as we want to be loved. Care for others, animals, nature…be compassionate and always lead from a place of love. Hate is a burden, so reject it and in its place, just simply love all. We don’t have to “like” someone or even associate with them to love them, but love them we must. Once that toxic poison of hate, anger and jealousy are flushed out and love fills the void, happiness just starts to flow!
We’re all as happy as we chose to be and for me, that is one of the goals we should all have for the new year. Resolve to be happy and take steps to help release that inner happiness.
“Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you.” – Ralph Hartston
“The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.” ―