Walk into any bookstore, and you’ll probably have no trouble finding a plethora of books about the ways to find happiness. However, with so many viewpoints and ideas about what can make us happy, how do we know what is right? In reality, people derive happiness from different things, but we can all probably agree on some basics to becoming happier.
The most crucial part of finding the keys to happiness lies in remembering that we already possess the tools to unlock the door. Within our consciousness, we can tap into a place where we always feel happy, regardless of what’s happening outside of us.
We’ve been tricked from an early age into thinking that the latest TV, a bigger house, or a more beautiful car will finally make us feel happy. Or, maybe we need another relationship, a fresh start in a new city, or a nice massage to discover happiness. While these may bring us short-term joy, the only real happiness will come when you decide that you control your emotions. If you always give the power to things outside yourself to make you happy, you’ll find that happiness will escape your grasp every time the initial excitement fades.
Below, we’ll go over some basic ways to find happiness without making drastic changes to your life.
Here are seven ways to find real happiness (without changing your life):
“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” – Aristotle
1 – Be kind to yourself and others.
If you want to find real happiness, it starts with how you treat yourself. You can’t expect to feel happy if you eat poorly, don’t exercise, don’t get sunlight, make little time for self-care, and don’t prioritize sleep. Being kind to yourself means you’ll find it easier to show kindness to others, too. As they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Engage in positive self-talk and treat yourself as you would your best friend. If you wouldn’t say mean things to your friend, don’t tell them to yourself, either. Simply look at yourself in the mirror and realize that you deserve only the best, and self-deprecating language will not serve you in the long run.
Also, happiness, when spread, makes the world a much brighter place. Small acts of kindness such as leaving sweet notes for strangers, donating money to charities, and holding the door for someone can turn a person’s day around. Studies have shown that people who perform random acts of kindness feel happier in their daily lives, so give it a try! Making others feel good will inevitably boost your mood as well.
2 – Express gratitude for what you do have.
The happiest people focus on everything that they do have, not what they lack. If you only put your attention on the things you still need, you will never have enough. You attract what you think about, so if you always focus on everything going wrong, you’ll only invite more of that into your life. However, if you instead shift your attention to everything positive in your life, more of that will come your way.
Here are just a few things most of us could put on our gratitude list:
- Good health
- Running water
- Food on the table every day
- Our homes
- The loved ones in our lives
- Our livelihoods which allow us to buy what we need
- Waking up this morning
Want to find happiness instantly? Just look around at everything you have and know that some people feel happy with much less than you do. Wake up every morning feeling that you have it all, and you will boost your energy levels without having to change anything.
3 – Pay attention to your thoughts.
Most of us run on autopilot, never paying attention to the thoughts inside our heads. However, if we did, we’d probably find that most of those thoughts don’t serve us very well. Our monkey minds have a hard time focusing on the present moment, wanting instead to shift to the past or future. However, if our minds can never rest in the now, we will go our whole lives not knowing the peace of diving into the still waters of real awareness.
How can we find happiness by paying attention to our thoughts? If you meditate, you will start to notice the peace between each idea, and realize that your feelings don’t have to control you. Happiness comes from surrendering to this peace and letting go of the need to analyze and ruminate all the time. Our minds have a lot of power, but most of us don’t tap into their true potential.
Studies have proven the many benefits of meditation, from boosting your mood to improving focus to even rewiring your brain! Meditation can bring a sense of peace in even the busiest, most demanding lifestyles. So, if you want to find happiness without changing your circumstances, you need only to go within and improve yourself. By doing this, your outer world will inevitably shift as your frequency increases.
4 – To find real happiness, surround yourself with positive people.
Being in the company of only Debby Downers will surely bring your mood down as well. We tend to take on the energies of those around us, so if you surround yourself with positive people, your mood will begin to change too. Studies have shown that happiness is contagious, so if you have a healthy social circle full of uplifting people, they can easily bring you out of even the worst funk!
While this tip might require some changes, you don’t have to do anything drastic. Simply look at the people you surround yourself with, and if anyone affects you negatively, try to limit your time with them. Put more effort into the friendships and relationships that genuinely add value to your life.
5 – Plan out healthy meals for the week.
With so many sources for healthy recipes nowadays, you can whip up different dishes each week that will keep your taste buds and your body happy. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either. Food makes us happy because it provides us with sustenance as well as comfort. However, it can also have the opposite effect if you don’t fuel your body with the right foods.
Try to plan out your meals in advance each week so that you know exactly what you need at the store and how much you’ll spend. You will find that you feel better eating fresher foods that you prepare yourself, and you’ll save time by meal prepping.
Studies have shown that a balanced diet can lessen feelings of depression as well, so make sure to feed your body what it needs to thrive!
6 – Carve out time each day for yourself.
Even if you only have 15 minutes a day, try to plan out some time where you have the freedom to do things you enjoy. Whether that means painting, drawing, writing, singing, or just sitting alone with your thoughts, we all need a little time to unwind. Have a routine each night after you put the kids to the bed where you can express yourself and let out any pent up energy throughout the day. You can journal or meditate to release any stress or negativity, and after a while, you’ll start to notice how this helps your mindset.
7 – Realize that you have everything you need to find happiness.
This world makes us feel as though we always need something else to make us happy. Truthfully, we have everything we need within us already. If you let outside circumstances control your moods, you will make yourself subject to the ebbs and flows of life. However, true happiness lies in our ability to ride the waves and accept the ever-changing nature of life. Instead of being a boat tossed around by a storm, learn to dive beneath the turbulence where the waters remain calm.
By shifting your mindset and realizing that you have the power to control your thoughts, nothing in life can touch you. Happiness doesn’t mean accumulating money, likes on Facebook, or stamps on our passports. All of these things can fade, but our consciousness lives on forever. Spend your time building up your inner strength and peace, and you will not feel as powerless in the face of our changing world.
Final thoughts on how to find happiness without changing your life
In reality, happiness doesn’t have to come at the cost of our sanity, money, or time. You can find happiness right in your mind if you want to. By taking care of your health, being kind to yourself and others, expressing gratitude, watching your thoughts, and being around positive people, you can find happiness. You can also find it by realizing you already have it, knowing that it can never really leave you.
We will leave you with this powerful quote:
“A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.” – Dalai Lama