2021 is here. So, what do you really want?
I know most people, when asked what they want, is to be happy. Happiness is and always will be one of the most cherished human desires. But happiness isn’t something that someone gives us, nor is it something that we need permission for. Happiness is a state of mind that is created from within.
The World Health Organization has named depression as one of the greatest causes of suffering worldwide. 1 in 5 deals with depression or anxiety and for youth that can be 1 in 3. When it comes to the factors that influence happiness, it said genetics and life circumstances may account for some of our happiness (or lack thereof). But the amazing thing is that an estimated 30-40% of our happiness can be influenced by intentional thoughts and actions, that contribute to life changing habits.
The question I have for you is, ‘do you know what makes you feel happy?’
Maybe you have accepted other people’s answer for what happiness should look like or you spend your time scrolling social media looking at how happy and perfect everyone else’s life is in comparison to your own.
Maybe you may have started to believe that you will never be happy or that you are just not a happy person.
Take a moment and think about what actually makes you happy.
To start, what I would recommend is that you make a list of things (like actually write them down) that make you happy.
If you need some prompts, think of:
- things you want to do or experience
- things you feel happy doing and experiencing
- things your body and emotions say they need or enjoy
- things you would like to gift yourself with
- I feel happy when…
- I feel most happy when I…
- I feel most happy around…
- I find myself laughing at…
- I enjoy laughing with…
- The one thing that makes my heart soar is…
- The thing that makes me want to dance and cheer is…
My Personal Happiness List
For example, my Happiness List (not in order in any way) includes:
- Get outside – 20 minutes of walking especially in the trees helps me to feel more grounded and calmer
- Lift heavy weights or do a spin class for at least 20 minutes
- Get adjusted by my Chiropractor
- Call a friend
- Drink a delicious cup of hot coffee or eat chocolate
- Do a puzzle
- Listen to a podcast or good upbeat music
- Put social media on silence (aka hid my phone so I can’t start mindlessly scrolling)
- Repeat affirmations like “I can do hard things” or “You were made for this”
- Get more sleep
This list is in my journal so when I am having a particularly hard day, I refer to the list and pick something I can do. Now if I have the time to spare, I do more than one thing.
For the past 3 years, this has helped every time I have needed it.
No, my problems did not all disappear, but I was more able to deal with the problems I was having, which matters. The happiness list has increased my capacity to cope and therefore increased my level of happiness.
I am curious though, what is on your happiness list?
PS. This is a great exercise to do as a family or with your kids.