One of the most common impressions about happiness is that something needs to happen before we truly feel happy.
“I’ll be happy when I graduate from school.”
“I’ll be happy when I get my dream job.”
“I’ll be happy and satisfied once I am earning this much a year.”
“I’ll be happy when I get to but this thing.”
While it’s true that achieving our goals, dreams, and wants can give us a boost of bliss and cheer, most of the time, it only leads to short-term happiness, and once the excitement and pleasure have passed, especially with material things, you no longer feel the same amount of happiness you felt the first time.
Instead of basing your happiness on specific things, you can always look for your purpose and meaning and train your brain to be happy despite the situation.
Here are habits you can regularly practice to increase your happiness.
Enjoy the present
Many of us spend a lot of time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. This habit takes us away from the present and prevents us from enjoying what’s in front of us. True happiness can only be experienced in the now. Not on what already happened and not on what will happen.
Practice savoring and enjoying the moment, even with little things and activities, such as cooking, taking a walk, eating your favorite food, or a relaxing day with nature.
Take a break from technology
Technology has its fair share of pros and cons. And while it is one of the most important factors that molded society into what it is now, it also gives a few disadvantages as well.
Frequent use of technology contributes to stress and less connected relationship. Aside from that, it also has a huge influence on taking us away from the present. When you reduce your screentime, you can look around you and appreciate things, people, and moments.
Try taking a break from technology. Start with 1 hour with no technology on hand and evaluate how you feel and slowly increase your time to half-day or full-day. You can do this once a week and see how it changes your perspective.
Focus on relationships
As much as we want to spend quality time with friends and family, it can be challenging to do so, especially with busy schedules and neverending tasks. There are also moments where you are physically present at a get-together with your loved ones but your mind has drifted off to somewhere work-related.
And while it’s true that this is something difficult to prioritize, still try. Spend time with those people who you genuinely enjoy the company of, instead of hanging out with those you only feel obligated to. When you do, eliminate distractions as much as possible, such as turning your notifications off or telling your workmates that you won’t be able to respond to their messages.
Rid of negative self-talk
Sometimes, we are our own biggest and worst critics. There are moments where are too hard on ourselves and even an inner pep talk no longer works. In the end, we are the main reason why we have low self-esteem and no confidence.
The next time you see yourself engaging in negative self-talk, reverse the situation and think about what you would say or how you would support your friend who is in the same situation. Then apply that to yourself.
Do what you’re most passionate about
Work, taking care of the family and kids, and everything in between can take up your whole day and leave you with nothing but just enough time to sleep during the night. Unless your passion are the ones mentioned above, try to find time for the things you are passionate about and hobbies you enjoy. Some even quit their full-time stable jobs in exchange for something they want to do.
Pursuing your passions can increase your happiness. Some might think it’s selfish but you are broadening your horizon and practicing your potential. You are helping yourself develop and boost your self-esteem.
It’s not realistic to always be happy. Hurt, fear, and other challenging emotions have significant contributions to our growth as a person.