We all want to be happy.
We live our whole life seeking it and often baffled when we can’t find happiness.
We yearn for happiness and we do so many things in the pursuit of happiness. We think of life’s milestones that will finally bring us fulfillment and happiness. Sometimes we think when we marry that very eligible bachelor, yea, we will be happy then. Or when we have children, or when we get that amazing job. Only to get those things, hit those milestones, and alas! We are still lost and unhappy. Why is that? Why is happiness so elusive?
Perhaps there is a secret to finding joy and happiness and inviting it into your life?
Well, it is simple really. No, actually it is not simply because then there wouldn’t be so many people living unhappily when indeed they have all the things we think make life happy.
The secret to finding happiness is really luving authentically and creating habits that foster happiness and ditching those that leave you miserable, unfulfilled and lost.
To be truly happy you need to practice the following 11 simple good habits for a much happier life
Typically there is always something that can easily zap the happy out of our lives. Chaos happens.
Someone annoys you. Work can suck. People disappoint you. It rains when you want sunshine! Yup!
I hate rainy days. But I am going to find a way to love them so they don’t suck in all my joy.
Things at times just go wrong. We get stressed.
But sometimes things may go wrong because we may be doing something wrong.
Or maybe there some areas in our lives that need some finetuning and smoothing out.
We may need a change, a new routine or a new way of looking at life. And sometimes we just need to change our perspective. If this is the case try to get some clarity. These journal prompts can help.
Other times it is due to the habits that we have gotten us mired in this unhappiness.
You may find that little habits can accumulate over time and cause heaps of unhappiness.
This can make the quality of life a bit wonky, dim our shine, putting a dark curtain overjoy and unhappy.
Time to stop walking around feeling lost.
We can embrace life and feel more vibrant.
How can we do this?
Well, girl, we need to change a few things and claim our joy.
Oh my! I know Rome was not built in a day.
But the Romans must surely have put in work daily to get it done. Yes, you may not be a history buff but even you have surely heard of the Roman empire? It was amazing.
Though the Romans I am sure made the slaves did a lot of their work while they lazed around watching the bloody fights, and lazing away in hot spas and
eating way too much and using something they called a vomiterrean. The
Romans apparently would eat till they upchucked.
Yuck! I am sure you didn’t need to know that detail.
Anyway… back to finding happiness.
Okay, I think that’s why the empire collapsed. But enough with the Romans.
This is about you and how you need to stop putting things off and then getting all stressed and feeling unhappy cos guess what, the bill was late and now you have to pay an extra 15 dollars.Just an example of troubles of procrastination.
Okay, that was me. But are you procrastinating in any way? It is high time to start a new habit.
Raise your hand if there is something you are putting off doing right now? You know yourself.
Procrastination is easy these days.
There are just so many ways to do it.
The distractions in our lives are many. We can easily escape into social media for a while and avoid the chores and responsibilities for a while.
You can spend the whole day simply scrolling Facebook, bouncing between
Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and scrolling your tweeter feed, watching youtube channel. One can really spend all day doing this. It is easy to do.
But stuff is still waiting to be done, and soon the things you avoided catch up with you and then its too late.
You are late and have to run around stressed last minute trying to accomplish whatever it was.
And at times you miss a deadline and then there is some unpleasant consequence to face. Not pretty.
We procrastinate sometimes to avoid doing something we don’t want to do.
It is too big, too hard or scary or we think it is unpleasant. So we put it off.
When we waste time getting to our to-do list and put it off, things go wrong and we end up in an unpleasant situation.
The end result is stress and unhappiness.
No one enjoys stress, so if it can be avoided by getting things that must be done, done in a timely manner, then you feel at ease and much happier.
What’s wrong with putting things off?
Well, for one the problems we are avoiding may get bigger. If it is cleaning the house well, the house gets dirtier. And if it is something you have to do eventually, it is still there waiting to be done. So get done and move on.
So have a plan of getting your life in order by sailing through your list of to-dos in a timely manner.
Invest in a planner. make lists and follow them. Tackle the big hairy things first so they are out of the way and you can breathe. You will feel so much better. Happier.
Stop comparing yourself
Oh, the woes the comparison game can cause us! Be careful of feeling sorry for yourself because someone’s social media pictures of their latest adventures look so amazing.
Yes, their life just looks great and so you start wondering why yours isn’t as good and feel bad about yourself.
And you get sucked into the vortex of unhappiness. Keep in mind that people only post the very best of themselves, most of the time.
These pictures do not tell the whole truth.
And if you are a mom, don’t compare your newborn’s milestones with those of another. All babies develop at their own pace. Your darling little one will reach hers in due time.
In the same vein, if your children are older, don’t force them to seek a college degree in an area they don’t want so you can be proud because they will become doctors.
You know, because that’s what your neighbor’s children are doing.
It’s a great career but they would be miserable. Love them for who they are and let them be who they are, of course, some guidance is needed.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, lets instead count our blessings.
There is always to be grateful for.
These are just some area of comparison that ca
n make you miserable.
If your house is clean and organized, then I say, more power to you. You are doing great!
And your mind perhaps feels lighter for it and you feel at ease. Aah! The joy of looking around and everything is clean and organized!
It is one of the best feelings ever. Just eases one into the zone of happiness.
But someone has to do the cleaning and organizing.
A cluttered environment leads to a cluttered mind, and it causes stress. Stress means you have lots and lots of the stress hormone cortisol and the fight and flight hormones coursing through you.
And when this all is going on, you do not feel happy.
So have a plan of doing cleaning a bit each day putting things away right away so the clean up is not overwhelming. Having some nice baskets to stow away things in a pleasant manner is very helpful. These beautiful baskets are versatile for putting things out of the way.
Looking at all the organizing ideas can be very inspiring. Look around Pinterest for inspiration.
If you have ever watched the TV Show Hoarders, you would notice that not one of those people is happy. Living in an unpleasant cluttered environment is depressing.
Throw away things you no longer need. Have a plan to declutter. This post by Jenn of SweetTmakesthree makes this process easy and seamless.
To improve your mental health, you have to clean and organize.
I feel a peace wash over me whenever I finish cleaning, and things are where they should be.
It just makes me feel calm.
An organized space is essential for mental health. You will feel happier if your living spaces are clean and organized.
Make cleaning and organizing your new habit so you can find your joy again.
Take pictures if you want and inspire us.
Love your self
Make yourself a priority. Yes, you are worth it. Do the things you enjoy daily. Get in touch with who you really are.
Take little moments to find you and fill that cup of joy with something small that makes you happy.
You know how they say you cannot pour from an empty cup, right?
Yes, they are right.
Take a nap when the kids take one occasionally. Schedule to see a movie with a friend and have hubby watch the kids.
Do things you love. Read a good book just for fun. okay, I love books. They are my escape.
Here are a few I love to expand your reading list.
Educated by Tara Westover is phenomenal
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
The Darkest Child by Delores Phillips
Or, spoil yourself a bit with a long bubble bath. Infuse it with some sweet-smelling essential oils.
Go all the way and relax with a glass of wine while you soak your tired muscles in some Epsom salt bath.
A great way to detox your body too. Nothing better at the end of a long day than a warm scented bubble bath. Bath bombs such as these are a great way to unwind.
I have had moments that I know I have reached the point where I cannot keep going and going, giving and giving more.
Because honestly at that point I am empty. Nothing is left to give anymore, and I must refill the love chambers if I am going to be of any use to anyone. This way I won’t snap at my hubby or the children. And I can be the soothing source of solace and centeredness my family needs.
So when I feel I am tensing up, and I am reaching close to the edge I stop and evaluate how I am really feeling.
And then, I am like, “hold up!”. So I take some me time.
I have got to do something a bit selfish. We know it really is not selfish.
So I find something that makes me happy and I indulge.
You have to prioritize yourself some of the time, so you can then be the best
mommy, wife friend that you can be. This is simply self-care, it is not selfish really.
So one way to find and keep joy is through loving yourself through self-care.
Here is a great post all about self-care that you can check for more ideas.
We all have heard that if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Now that is harsh. But it is the truth.
Like the time you fail to write a list of what you need at the store, and when you get there and buy everything in sight and then get home and oops! You forgot the very one thing you really needed to get.
And we all know what happens.
You have to go back tomorrow and come back home with a load of more stuff you hadn’t planned on getting.
Yea, I have been there way too many times. So write that list and check it twice and take it to the store with you!
Plan weekly meals. If you know just what you’re going to cook every day and plan for your leftovers as well, you, my friend will save money. You will stress less when dinner time rolls around, and you will feel happier.
No stress when you hear “what’s for dinner mom?” Nothing as stressful as starting to run around opening cupboards as you try to think about what to cook for dinner at 5 pm.
There are many decisions to make daily and it helps to have a plan for as many areas of life as possible.
Make it easy on yourself and plan for as much as you can. This is especially necessary for mommas, mompreneurs, and moms who have to juggle so much. And which mom isn’t juggling something? Find balance through planning your life.
This is one sure way to find happiness.
To stay motivated to plan here is another cute planner to help keep you organized, inspired, and your life streamlined.
Manage your money well
Oh, the woes money can bring us!
No one likes to be in money trouble. But that is one sure way to lose joy. But all those shiny things we want and need and desire can lead us into trouble with money really easily.
You could go out or online and buy yourself those amazing dazzling jazzy cute boots, but if you’re going to feel all stressed out about spending the money that either you needed to save or taking away from bills, or worse you are using a credit card, then, giiirl, you got to stop right there and consider.
Consider a lot. So it’s on sale and you are spending 100 dollars and getting a discount of 25 dollars. Great sale but you are still spending a hundred dollars you didn’t need to.
The way you spend your money can make you giggly happy when you get your hands on that amazing new purse, but when the bills come you may feel very unhappy.
No one wants to get that dreaded call from the debt collector. So spending wisely is a sure way to keep your life in order and find happiness. Money can buy momentary happiness but overspending can surely buy a lot of unhappiness.
This has been said before. But it is important. You don’t want your kids to be
glued to their electronics all day. But are you not on your phone all day? It is not good for either.
Scrolling Facebook or any other media just causes anxiety, and likely impacts your life negatively. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, being online too much will make it worse.
Research is showing that spending too much time on social media causes unhappiness.
So cut back. Put the phone down. Give yourself a limit and dedicate time to check mail and to check your Facebook and then go do something useful or fun that is is not electronically based.
Take time for other activities. Go out and enjoy nature. If your space allows, take up gardening.
Smelling the soil is beneficial for mental health. Even just walking bare feet on the soil in a process called earthing helps with mental equilibrium.
And of course, seeing those roses you planted and tended bloom will fill you up with joy and pride vastly improving your sense of self-worth and happiness.
Or you could read. I know I said it again. But the teacher in me can’t let go. I guess once a teacher always a teacher.
People are not reading books much and this makes me sad.
I worry about our children who are growing up with too much social media and losing the art of reading and even penmanship.
It is a fact that people who read are well, simply smarter. They know more, are more informed even culturally for they experience other cultures through books.
They know more words, have a better vocabulary and are better writers as well.
Reading is so cathartic too. While you follow the adventures or struggles of the protagonist, you forget your struggles for a while.
Books are entertaining too and a really great way to relax.
So to increase your happiness quotient, read more, spend some time alone with a good book. Read to the kids and show the way. This is a great way to fill your cup of joy.
Related: The secret to better and improved sleep
Sleep is essential for mental health. Developing good sleep habits will help in all areas of your life.
It really is an insurance policy. Think about how you feel when you haven’t slept enough? Grumpy, yes.
Slow. Yup. That exhausted feeling, and heaviness, stops you from being your best self.
It stops you from reaching your goals, from kicking behinds of that to-do list.
You are tired and you feel awful. I have never seen a happy sleep-deprived person. Sleep impacts all areas of our lives.
That’s why it is essential. When one is sleep-deprived, one is depressed and
long-term sleep deprivation can cause a lot of bodily harm and cause illness.
You are probably nor delight to be around when you are sleep deprived, and that affects your relationships.
You are not at your best and are not the best decision-maker either. You can
make so many decisions that cause you unhappiness later.
Well, you’re likely to reach out for that donut because your decision-making faculties are down.
It is also proven that when one is sleep-deprived, one eats more because
sleep deprivation causes an imbalance in the appetite and satiety hormones.
So guess what happens? You gain weight, and you become unhappy with your body and yourself. These are just examples of the troubles sleep deprivation can cause.
Read more about the benefits of sleep and the ills that ensue when we don’t sleep enough in this post.
Feed your mind and body
I recommend having a meal plan. This ensures that you are less likely to reach for the wrong things that though are a delight to eat will no doubt cause you more harm than good.
We need to eat for mental health.
There is a lot of research that is confirming that the food you eat, and the lack of some nutrients such as vitamin B 12, folic acids and many B vitamins can lead to mental illness especially depression and anxiety.
Read this about depression and nutrition
Also, some illnesses such as dementia may happen sooner or become more prevalent due to lifestyle choices such as consuming too much sugar. let’s all watch that sugar which finds itself in literary everything these days. Read those labels and cook at home as much as possible.
You would be surprised to find out how much sugar is hiding in the ordinary things we take for granted.
Planning what you will eat in advance will keep you on track for your health and weight loss goals.
By eating right you will improve your whole healthy body and mind.
Good nutrition supports your brain health, a crucial element in staying healthy and happy.
Include vibrant colored foods and even consider a multivitamin as sometimes in spite of our best effort, we still can’t get all the nutrients we need.
Related post: Must have Vitamins supplements and vitamins for good health
Consider brain foods such as berries, oily fish such as wild salmon,
avocados, and nuts, and green vegetables. Eat whole foods.
Stay away from processed foods.
Related post: 20 powerful superfoods for brain health.
No. I don’t mean across town or country. You don’t need to change location,
But your body, yeah, It needs to move. Our bodies were not made to stay stationary planted in our cushy seats.
Exercise is one really easy way to feel happy. It may be hard at first as all new habits require some effort. But once you get into the groove, you will never want to stop.
Just a nice brisk walk will fill you with exhilaration as those endorphins kick in.
The feeling one gets after a good run suffuses one with exhilaration better than some drugs. So yea, Xanax has nothing on exercise. No side effects.
And though exercise can be addictive, its a healthy addiction. They need to find another word for it as addiction has a negative connotation.
And once you make this a habit and the weight starts coming off and you see that new figure, you are going to be even happier.
So start today this new habit of moving. Put those headphones on, pump some good tunes on your phone and head out, walk or run.
Too cold outside you say. Well, good thing we are in the 21st century. Ask Alexa. Say Alexa, Play …whatever songs make you want to dance. Now if you don’t have Alexa, well you sure have youtube or your good old music player.
Girl dance like no one is watching. Momma, have a dancing sesh with your toddler. This is a great way to find a happy place.
This is a two-part deal. First, it is crucial that you detox negative thinking. If we said half the things we say to ourselves about ourselves to friends, we really wouldn’t have any friends. So Be your own best friend. Love yourself.
Look yourself in the face and Say… Lady, you are awesome! You are gorgeous! Those curves are amazing. Abit of a pooch?
You are still perfect and you are amazing, it’s indeed a wonder that you
housed a human in that body for nine months and then proceeded to put
them first throughout their life. You are magical. Take pride in that.
Catalog all the great things you love about yourself. Think about the things you do well. Yes!
You do some things great, better than anyone else. And you are beautiful.
And if you are a mom, you are doing a great job. Stop questioning your mothering and having doubts.
You feed those babies, you bathe them, take them to school, read bedtime stories, do homework with them.
Who said motherhood is easy. So what if you mess up a little sometimes.
There is no guide to motherhood, and your momma perhaps messed up, and you turned out great. Yes, you did.
Sometimes we are our very own worst enemy.
We are our own harshest critics. Stop being so hard on yourself. You are doing great. You are a great mom.
So what if the house is not perfect!
And yes even if you don’t cook from scratch daily, they will still turn out okay. So take a moment and appreciate yourself.
You’re doing great.
Anyone in your life stressing you? If you can ditch them. Do it. Now I know
this is hard as some maybe your family members and ditching them can be hard. But friends, if they are not bringing you joy, give yourself some distance.
Now I am not advocating for divorce and I know these partner relationships can be delicate and complicated. But asses the situation carefully, and if you feel you have given it your all, and you see no change will ever come, stop marking time in unhappiness, move on. Life is too short for joyless relationships.
Cut loose people who are causing stress and painting your world grey.
I am sure there are people who appreciate you. Spend time with those.
I say let’s go out there and conquer chaos and streamline our lives, through
self-care, cultivating new enriching habits, evaluating the things that are no longer bringing us joy and doing more of what makes us happy. Practice
new healthy life habits for a wholesome and happy life.
Tell me, what do you do to be joyful? How do you keep from being
overwhelmed by daily life? Do you have a system that works to keep your
life in order and happy? Tell me more below in the comments.
Please share this post with your friends. You are awesome! Come join me on Facebook. Find me on Twitter and follow me on Pinterest.
Go on now and start the habits that will elevate your joy. You can truly live a happy life.