As children, most of us were very clear about what had happened and were not happy about it. Play outside? Yes! Will you download ice cream? That’s right! A brand new puppy? Yes, please! What happened to us?
As an adult, it may seem almost impossible to return to the time when you put your satisfaction first rather than your happiness until you got a better job, lost 20 pounds, or paid off your debt. However, according to a well-known priest, professor, and author Henri Nouwen, happiness is not something that is spontaneous. “Happiness doesn’t just happen to us,” Nouwen said. “We must choose happiness and continue to choose it every day.”
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The fact is, you need to be willing and eager to make the most of every day. Besides, it is easy to get caught up in trouble for months or even years.
Here are a few tips you can use to stop delaying your happiness and enjoying your life now, not later.
- Make a list of all the things that make you smile.
We can become so preoccupied with trying to manage our daily lives that we forget what we are living for. To create your memory, make a list of 100 things that make you happy. Yes, they are 100! By challenging yourself to do the job, you will be reminded of what really enlightens you, especially if you’ve been in funk for a while. Include all activities, people, music, places, food, and more that make you feel alive. When you find clarity about what you enjoy most in life, you will be motivated to feel it more often.
- Have a “happy day.”
Every week, block a few hours on your calendar so you can spend it all alone – no work, no kids, no homework, no friends, no Facebook. Use the time to do something fun, no matter what other people think or say about it. For example, if you like art museums or movies abroad or walk a long way in a park listening to birds, get out there and enjoy doing it. Take your time and realize how fun it is to enjoy the moment.
- Keep a thank-you note every day.
According to psychologist and author Robert Emmons, gratitude can increase your satisfaction in life, your confidence and your hope, and ingratitude is linked to anxiety, depression and loneliness. To start adding more gratitude to your life, write it down! At the beginning or end of each day, simply write down a list of three things you are grateful for. Ask yourself: What am I grateful for right now? You can also use the magazine to record your thanks list so you can get back to them as often as you like.
Remember, you can and should choose to be happy right now, regardless of your circumstances. Happiness is always available to you. And you deserve it.
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