Happiness is a funny thing. Many experts say that happiness comes from within. This may be true, but there are also specific experiences that make us happy.
Maybe having a great day at the park with your kids filled you with happiness. Or perhaps that promotion you’d been working for finally came to pass. Bet you felt happy then! However, you probably also know someone who seems happy all the time, even when things aren’t going well in their life.
So how can you have more of this elusive thing that comes both from within and from without? Luckily, there are specific things we can do to bring more happiness into our lives. We can also choose to remove things from our lives that may prevent happiness.
Try these ideas to simplify your life and focus more on doing what brings you real happiness:
1. Unplug from email. Everyone loves to get email, as long as it isn’t spam. But the enjoyment is only temporary. Think about the amount of time you spend on email over the course of a week. Is all that time you’re spending making you happy?
• Do what you can to eliminate the 95% of the email that means the least to you, and limit this communication tool to those people you care about the most. Just knowing that you don’t have email piling up 24/7 provides some mental relief which will help make way for happiness.
2. Ditch all the stuff. Go through your belongings one by one and purge the stuff that you don’t need or love. All the extra stuff is just getting in your way and tying up your resources. Sell the stuff, pitch it, donate it, or give it away to friends.
3. Cancel cable television. Cable TV is practically a given in our country. But the time it takes away from the average person’s life is staggering. And no one is happier from watching television. It merely serves as a distraction from the real issues, both positive and negative, in your life.
• Try limiting your viewing to 2-3 hours a week. This will free up plenty of time to do other things you love or work toward goals that are important to you. Reaching those goals will, in all likelihood, bring you more happiness than excessive TV viewing!
Getting rid of these things might not directly increase your happiness, but it will allow you some time and space to do other things that will increase your happiness.
Now that you’re done with the big steps, what’s next? Take some time to consider these areas of your life:
- Spend time on your relationships. How is your relationship with your spouse or partner? Is there something that could be improved upon? Making this relationship as positive as possible is crucial to your happiness.
- Evaluate your social network. Are your friendships and social activities supporting your happiness? In what ways do they make you happy? How could you increase your positive feelings in this area?
- Assess your health. Are you as healthy as you could be? Are you happy with your body? What changes could you make to your routine to bring about the results you desire?
- Be honest with yourself about your career, finances, and hobbies. Look at each of these areas and determine if you would be happier with some changes. If so, make a plan with some easy action steps to get you started on a path that brings you more joy.
Now that you’ve gotten rid of the dead weight and changed the things that aren’t as good as they could be you have room to add in activities that support your happiness. Don’t be in a big hurry to take up all the new space; enjoy the peace and quiet.
If you have an activity you’d really love to add to your life, now is the time to do it. Over time, continuing to add new things that bring joy will enhance your overall happiness. Your life will be forever changed.
Having a life filled with happiness is really quite simple. Just get rid of all the objects and activities that aren’t adding to your joy. At this point, you’ll have the time, space, and money available to add more satisfying features to your life.
Try implementing just one or two items from this plan today. Before you know it, your level of happiness will be higher than ever.