One of the great purposes of life is to be happy. Some people say they search for happiness, others look for happiness and many others try to find happiness. I say stop chasing your tail – it’s already here. Right here, right now. It’s inside you – you just need the tools to access it. It’s easy to forget what makes us happy in a busy world, but what makes us all feel good is surprisingly universal. At the end of the day it is accessible to everyone, because the good news is that happiness is mostly up to yourself.
We all have something to offer the world. Sometimes it’s hard to work out what it is. For most of us, it’s probably something quite simple that you may be overlooking. So ask yourself, what do you like to do? Finding this out usually leads to what you are good at. If you don’t know what it is, check with your friends – they can probably fill you in.
Authenticity will lead you towards a very rich life. Be as good at being you as possible.
Consume and Compare Less
Be happy with what you have. It’s a simple statement, but a powerful one. How many of us can say that we are truly content with what we have? I bet it’s not many. We have been trained by the media to consume and want more; always more. More stuff does not make you happy. Having more stuff than the guy next door will not make you happy.
Embrace Your Age
Here’s a new concept to wrap your head around –you’re already beautiful, you just don’t know it yet. Western society is obsessed with being young. It’s a fact. We try to stay as young as we possibly can with Botox, surgery and other methods. What’s wrong with ageing gracefully? Nothing.
Touch is used for communication between humans. It helps with trust and empathy; it’s vital for children in order to thrive; it soothes us. We all need to be touched . . .but we’re so tied up in political correctness, we hesitate to initiate it. Go ahead: be brave and reach out. Your friends and family will appreciate it.
Look at the Big Picture
It’s about reflecting on your life. I tend to do this two times during a year. Once on my birthday and once around New Year, which are around six months apart. I do this by having a little quiet time to actually listen to my thoughts and have an honest discussion with myself. I think that we all need to look at our lives occasionally from this wider perspective and possibly ask ourselves some questions. How is my big picture looking? Is it interesting? Am I happy with it? Am I heading towards my goals? If the answer is no, then you need to set a different sail, or possibly you only need a few small adjustments.
Follow Your Passion
Does your life reflect your values? If not, then it’s time for some change. If you are vegetarian, you might not want to work on a chicken farm – pretty obvious really. Try to live according to your beliefs. Do work that you think is worth doing. Sometimes we need to take on jobs that are less than what we hope for (and it’s almost guaranteed when starting out), but remember it’s a necessary stepping stone, not a finishing point.
Get Out Into Nature
Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is a big part of life in Japan – it is the practice of immersing yourself in greenery by taking yourself on a walk through a forest, and it has been shown to help with mental and physical health, in particular with stress. A dip in the ocean gives me an immediate happy injection – and did you know ocean water contains key minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium?
Appreciate the Little Things
When I go for a walk or drive to work, I’m always looking around me. I look at the clouds in the sky, beautiful architecture, or butterflies and birds, and think, how wonderful. I appreciate nature and the world. I try to appreciate how efficiently my body is working. I think about how I am lucky to be so healthy.
The Little Book of Big Happiness by Bernadette Fisers is available now!