Building a Happy Life: 10 Key Ingredients

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If you ask the majority of people what their number one goal in life is, it would probably sound something like: to live a happy and productive life where I feel like I make a difference in other people's lives.
Many of us are productive in our lives and we do make a difference in others lives, yet the key ingredient - happiness - seems to be missing.
The following tips will help build more happiness into your life: 1) Find something to be passionate about.
What drives you? What motivates you? What gives you meaning and purpose in life? If you want happiness in life you need to be able to answer these questions.
Without meaning; purpose; something to be passionate about- life can become stale and boring.
A stale loaf of white bread probably isn't going to make most people too happy.
2) Simplify your life.
De-clutter your house and your life.
If possible, take a week off from work and go through every single room in your home.
Set aside bins or bags marked throw away and give away.
Get rid of things that you don't use anymore or haven't worn in the past 12 months.
If you have projects that you haven't completed make sure to either dispose of those projects or finish them up while you are off from work.
If you can't take time off from work, set aside time each evening or weekend to go through each room.
3) Set goals that you would like to achieve.
Having a goal and achieving it brings about a sense of accomplishment.
Often, the sense of accomplishment or pride in a job well done brings about a certain amount of happiness in life.
When we live our life without goals, we often get lost and life starts to feel bad.
We get stuck and start to feel miserable and helpless.
Having a purpose, a set or progression of goals helps keep us on track in life.
4) Start some traditions in your life.
What made you happy as a kid? Can you build that in to your life now? When I was a kid, I loved the holidays.
My mom had a ton of cookie cutters that we would pull out for each holiday season.
We would make Halloween cookies, Thanksgiving cookies, Christmas cookies, Valentine cookies, you get the idea.
It was a fun tradition.
It is something that I do with my daughter now.
It's bonding time and a chance to just be happy in the moment of baking and decorating cookies.
You don't have to wait and have kids or a family to build traditions.
You can plan a yearly trip with your pals to go hiking, site-seeing, or shopping.
It's just something that you do each year where you can kick back and have some fun in your life.
5) Along with setting up traditions, it's important to connect with others.
If all you do is work, and come home and watch television- life is going to get pretty boring pretty quickly.
If you are an introvert and new to the area you live, find a non-profit that you can do some volunteer work for.
If you are more social, skim the local weekly newspaper for clubs that meet.
I live in the suburbs of a major city.
There is every single kind of club imaginable for people to join.
When I lived in a smaller area there were still ways to connect- joining a fitness group, or gym, going to a community recreation center for an art classes- there are lots of places to connect with people.
All you have to do is look.
6) Do not compare yourself to your neighbor (or anyone else for that matter).
Accept yourself for your uniqueness and celebrate your individuality.
There are certain things in your life that you will never be able to change so stop trying.
On top of that, you never really know what is going on in your neighbor's or friend's home/life.
For example, you may envy how thin and fit your friend is, yet don't know that she has been struggling for years with bulimia and poor self-esteem.
Or the nicest house in your neighborhood is filled with the anger and hate tied up in an ugly divorce process.
7) Be responsible for yourself.
Stop waiting for the perfect mate, the perfect job, the perfect set of friends to fill your life with meaning.
No one else can make you "whole" or fill your life with "meaning.
" Only you can do that.
If you want a happy life, figure out what happiness means for you and take the steps to start building that in to your life.
8) Get enough rest.
It is hard for anyone to be happy when they are walking around sleep deprived all of the time.
Good quality sleep is important to our overall health.
We need it to make sound decisions and to move effectively throughout our day.
9) Eat right.
Along with getting quality rest, it is important to eat a healthy diet.
Too much sugar and caffeine can create not only a physical crash but an emotional one too.
10) Choose to be happy.
You aren't going to be happy in life if you don't decide to be.
Happiness isn't going to just descend upon you 24/7.
It requires making conscientious choices in your life.
Just letting life happen isn't going to result in the maximum amount of happiness that you can have.
"Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of the human existence.
" -Aristotle
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