Most people think they would be happy if they had more “stuff” or more money. A better car or a better house sounds pretty good to most people. But more money and “things” don’t necessarily make you happier.
Having a car might make it easier to be happy if it means you don’t have to walk everywhere. Having more money can make it easier to be happy if you currently can’t pay all your bills. So these things can remove some of the obstacles to being happy, but they don’t really provide happiness.
There are four things that do bring happiness, and the best part is that they’re free!
Consider these ideas:
1. Someone to love. Everyone needs someone to love. If you don’t think you have someone to love, go find someone. The world is full of people that feel unloved so it shouldn’t take you too long to find a volunteer. We all need someone to cherish and care for.
- Fortunately, the people and animals we genuinely love tend to love us back.
2. Something to do. There are plenty of wealthy people that are miserable because they don’t spend their time doing something that they love. Life is about doing and experiencing things. If you spend all day doing stuff you love to do, it’s pretty difficult to be unhappy.
- Find ways to spend your time in activities that are meaningful to you. Make a list and start incorporating those things into your life on a daily basis. If you can find work that you’re passionate about, so much the better for you!
3. Something to look forward to. If the only thing you have to look forward to is more of the same, boring routine, it’s difficult to be happy. Everyone should have something to look forward to in the near future.
- Think about something you’d really like to do or see. Maybe it could be something as simple as a yoga class. If you love going to yoga on Thursday nights, it can make your Mondays a little easier when you know that yoga is looming in your future.
3. Using downtime joyfully. Perhaps your biggest challenge is dealing with downtime. When you’re bored, lonely, anxious, or sad and don’t have something to do, it’s easy to resort to less than ideal behaviors. These behaviors not only accomplish nothing positive, but they can also make your life more challenging.
- This would include things like watching TV, surfing the internet, eating when you aren’t hungry, shopping for stuff you don’t really want or need, drinking, drugs, serial dating, and more. These behaviors do nothing to solve the underlying issue and can create more difficulties.
- Coping with negative feelings effectively makes life much easier. Read something worthwhile, go for a jog, meet up with a friend and do something fun, make a new friend, or work on a hobby. Substitute you’re negative habits with new, more beneficial habits that bring you closer to the good life you imagine for you and your family.
- Learn to take a moment and pause before you go on autopilot. If you’re going for the fridge and you’re not hungry, simply STOP. Ask yourself why you’re doing this and what other action you could take.
If you think you’re unhappy because you don’t have enough money or toys, you’re probably mistaken.
Having meaningful relationships, something to do, something to look forward to, and not shooting yourself in the foot are the keys. Find ways to incorporate these ideas into your life and you’ll be much happier!