Happiness is a Habit: 5 Tidbits on Growing Happiness
"Happiness is a habit - just like brushing your teeth before you go to bed" - Me.
Yes I just quoted myself. Yes I know that is kind of ridiculous, but happiness is a habit just like brushing your teeth! There are two kinds of happiness - long term and short term. Long term happiness while it requires more effort and patience to obtain, it also offers great and longer lasting rewards. Short term happiness on the other hand is much easier and quicker to obtain, but often times only offers immediate gratification, and its power is only temporary. Short term happiness can even bring about unhappiness. For example if you go to Tim Horton's and buy 3 iced coffee's a day you might be happy in the moment you are buying them (because they are freaking delicious), but by the end of the week when you realize how much money you have spent on those iced coffee's you might be left feeling worse than you did at the beginning of the week.
People often times think that happiness is a permanent state of euphoria like fireworks, or having your first kiss... but the reality is that happiness doesn't need to be quite so loud. Happiness, true happiness, is more like the quiet glow of a firefly. Like a warm blanket on a chilly Autumn morning. Like the smell of fresh baked bread...
"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one simply remembers to turn on the light" - Albus Dumbledore
Happiness is a sense of contentment, a sense of enough-ness, and the ability to find magic in the ordinary. With that being said what kind of habits can we plant in order to grow our happiness? I have 5 tidbits that have greatly helped me in my journey to growing happiness and I'd love to share them with you today!
1. You can't control everything and everyone around you, but you can control how you react to external factors so at the end of the day happiness is a choice. Sometimes that choice is hard to make. And sometimes we have to allow ourselves to make the choice that today is just going to be a bad day and that's okay. But knowing that happiness is a choice gives us the freedom to create our own destiny. When you wake up each day try asking yourself the following: "Today can be a good or a bad day, which will it be?" and answer it right there and then. I'm not going to lie, my TODAY IS A GOOD DAY pillow certainly helps me make my decision each day.
2. Practice gratitude regularly. Whether you keep a gratitude journal, read books about gratitude, or whether you simply think 'thank you' each time you encounter something you are grateful for, gratitude plays an enormous role in realizing just how much of an abundance you actually have. Gratitude lets you experience enough-ness in its fullest form. It is easy to take things you have for granted, but when you start saying thank you for them on a regular daily basis you begin to realize just how much you have to be thankful for.
3. Try a few 30 day challenges. To date I have completed 5 30 day challenges (no social media, no meat, no coffee, no bra and 30 day gratitude journal) and each of those challenges has been amazing in their own way. It only takes 21 days to form a habit and 30 days is not too big or scary of a commitment. You'll be surprised by how life changing these 30 day challenges can be! Think of some things you've always wanted to try, or embrace, and then pick a date to start. At the end of the 30 days it'll be up to you whether you continue on, or whether you end the challenge. Either way you will be different at the end of those 30 days, than when you started.
4. Understand that your happiness is no one else's responsibility. We often think that it is other people's jobs to make us happy: our friends, our spouses, our family. When in reality that is no one else's burden but our own, and to ask that of someone is unfair. Happiness comes from within. External factors like our friends, spouses and family certainly can contribute or sometimes take away from our happiness, but they do not generate it or control it. The sooner we realize that our happiness is our own responsibility the sooner we have the ability to do something about it.
5. It is okay to have a bad day. A lot of times people think that once you find happiness, that's it! You're set! But happiness can't be found, it is grown. Happiness isn't a goal, it is a journey. And as with all good journeys, there are peaks and valleys. It is okay to have a bad day. In fact, it's good to have a bad day. Being happy and positive can be exhausting, and sometimes all we need is to allow ourselves a day where we acknowledge that we aren't feeling our best. The bad days allow us a vantage point from which we can see all the good that lies in front of us. We cannot possibly know the good without the bad.
"At midnight, even bad days come to an end" - Ms Moem