What can we do to make ourselves happier? That’s a big question. But there are small remedies that can help. Here are a few ideas.
Firstly, ask yourself what is really important in your life. It’s amazing how much time we invest in being busy but not being really productive. The only true productivity is not about getting things done. It’s about getting the important things done.
I often go to my desk and spend the first hour – the very time when I’m freshest – just filing away the mess that I left behind the day before. But there’s an old useful saying on this topic. ‘The secret of success is to do first things first.’ So identify at least one important task per day and do it before you touch anything else. It will make you feel better.
Secondly, if you want to achieve a substantial dream you have to be prepared to make sacrifices. It’s not as hazardous as it sounds. Simply put, if you want the benefits of a new life you have to be prepared to pay the costs. For example, if you want to give up your job because it doesn’t make you happy any longer, then maybe you have to forgo the sun holiday this year or cut back on your fancy shopping. But people are sometimes more resilient than they realise. In other words you can get used to anything. Equally you can get used to doing without it.
Another point is that you can’t continue to live life in the same old way and expect a different outcome. So introduce a few small changes every week. Our daily, or at least our weekly, habits will ultimately determine where we will be next year or the year after. Introduce change on a small scale. No need to go cold turkey. In fact the ancient Indian system of Wellness called Ayurveda advises us to bring in change in three gradual goes. For example if you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle then change one third of your diet firstly. Then after a couple of weeks, introduce the second third, so to speak. And after a few more weeks, the final third. I think it makes sense. A gentle approach.
Then there are old rejections and how they invade our mental space. Everybody has endured them but they have no place inside your head. Let go of them and live in the moment of now.
Another area to look at is the people whom you regularly associate with. They can have a huge impact on your happiness. You may need to do an audit. Search honestly for those who add to your life and slip away from those who are full of negativity.
And finally no matter how unenthused you may feel, your life and everybody else’s has a lot of good things. Write down three things that you can be grateful for right now. Nothing fancy. Just maybe the things that you take for granted yet are essential to your wellbeing like a good friend, a partner, your home. This simple practice will bring you back to the present moment and you may realise that where you are is a very positive platform indeed from which you can grow your happiness.