All of us want our lives to matter and to be happy and successful in all that we do. Many people think that they must fully immerse themselves in their careers in order to find the happiness and success they want. While working to earn money is important, spending most of your time and energy working is most likely to leave you feeling exhausted and stressed, which is probably not how you would define living a happy life. Contrary to popular belief, true happiness does not come from fame, fortune or material possessions, but rather from within ourselves. People who are living the types of lives they want are people with good habits that enhance their lives. Below are a few things you can do that can help you live a more satisfying, happier life.
Regardless of your wealth, status or career success, there will be a void in your life if you don’t have good friends. Friendships have a powerful impact on our overall health and well-being. When you have friends, you benefit from an increased sense of purpose and belonging, and you’ll always have someone there to lean on for support and encouragement during tough times. Ways to nurture and strengthen friendships include being accepting of others, being a good listener, having a positive outlook on life and respecting other people’s boundaries.
It is very easy to get caught up with worry in today’s busy world we live in. But becoming consumed with worrying about things we cannot change or things we have no control over is a waste of time and energy. Worry and stress are two of the biggest barriers to good health, wellness and joy.
If you tend to worry too much about things in general, take the time to look objectively at whatever is worrying you to determine if it is a reasonable concern and something you can change by taking some sort of action. By doing this, you will be able to distinguish the valid concerns from the ones you have no control over. When you have less to worry about, you will be more at peace with yourself and the world, and will be a happier person for it.
Showing kindness to other people is a good habit that supports and reinforces the quest for a good life. When you take the time to be kind by supporting and helping other people, you will be be providing satisfaction to yourself and to those people you show kindness toward. Being kind is also beneficial to your health as your brain produces serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ hormone that reduces stress and has a calming effect, whenever you perform an act of kindness. Furthermore, when you treat people with kindness, dignity and respect, you are better able to form stronger, more meaningful relationships. Never underestimate the power of a simple smile, a kind gesture or lending a sympathetic ear, as you can literally turn someone’s very bad day into a day filled with a little hope and joy.
Instead of constantly dwelling on mistakes you’ve made, things you need to get done and the things you didn’t get done, focus on the good things in your life. All of us face challenging times in our lives when it’s very difficult to be positive. However, when you are positive and strive to make the best of whatever situation you’re facing, it makes that situation much easier to bear.
If you tend to have negative thoughts often, being positive may take some practice. Yet similar to any type of training, the more you practice being positive, the better you will get at it! In addition to thinking positively, you should also show positivity toward others by simply being nice to other people, no matter what. Make it a practice to compliment people and to tell those you care about how much you love them whenever they are on your mind. When someone you know is feeling down, put forth the effort to try to cheer them up. You’ll be surprised by how much better you will feel as well!
It is natural to feel overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities we face everyday in our personal and professional lives. This is why it’s important to take time out of your busy schedule to just unwind and relax. You cannot live a satisfying and happy life if you spend most of your time feeling stressed. When you’re feeling overwhelmed with life, spend some time doing something that soothes you and gives you peace of mind. This could be anything from working on a favorite hobby, playing sports or simply sitting in a quiet place reading.
Everyone needs someone to talk to now and then and sometimes having an unbiased person to do the listening is a good idea. I provide adult and couples therapy and teen therapy in the South Bay at my centrally located office in Hermosa Beach. To schedule an appointment time, just give me a call at 310-892-2572 or use my online contact form to get in touch. I hope to hear from you soon!