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It’s too easy to get upset and hold a grudge. And if you’re honest with yourself, being mad at the world will inevitably make you unhappy. Wouldn’t you rather be happy? Today we’ll look at how to cultivate happiness for a more enjoyable life.
As an only child, I kind of grew up selfish. I never really liked sharing anything and I always wanted to be the center of attention. It was always about me.
However, although I was getting things my way most of the time, I wasn’t happy. There was a void that I couldn’t seem to fill. As I grew older, I began to realize that the world did not revolve around me, and that life is not always about what makes me happy and what satisfies me.
Eventually, through much self-exploration and experience, I discovered a type of happiness that makes me feel whole. I’ve also learned that my significance as a human being depends on how valuable I am to others, that living is not really about me and getting whatever I want, but about connecting to something greater than myself.
It is indeed true that to see things right is to look with your heart. Here’s how to value what is truly essential and cultivate a happiness that lasts.
How to Cultivate Happiness
1. Take Time to Care & Be a Blessing to Others
Love is a very powerful thing. It is pleasure, passion, and purpose, all rolled into one. Without the people who completely support you and care about you, and without you doing the same for others around you, your life would be meaningless. Living would be like walking through a dark forest all alone.
So, recognize the power of love by taking time to care and being a blessing to others. Treat every individual as priceless and not just something that you can use to your advantage. Learn to cultivate kindness and apologize sincerely when you’ve caused pain.
2. Slow Down to Gain Control
When things around you are going too fast, it’s easy to lose your focus and get lost in your circumstances. You tend to forget where you’re heading and why. In order to regain control and prevent unintended consequences, you should try to slow things down and develop some patience.
There’s a strong connection between self-control and life satisfaction. When you have the ability to delay gratification and resist short-term temptations, you are more conscious about what you’re doing. You become more efficient in using your time. You are also able to connect with the present moment and fully appreciate little and big things in your life.
In money management, for instance, many people find themselves struggling to achieve financial independence because they are having a hard time taking control of their spending habits. What they don’t know is that they could never fix this problem if they are always looking for a quick and easy solution.
People tend to get loans to pay existing debts without really thinking about the ridiculous interest rate that comes with it. They justify unnecessary spending by convincing themselves that they are entitled to it without considering its implications to their budget. They are under the impression that they are using their own money whenever they use their credit cards. In short, they are not thinking rationally anymore.
So, to gain back control of your finances, it is important to slow down. Take a full stop if you have to. Be PATIENT with yourself and take time to do some reflection by assessing your purchases and understanding your impulses and their consequences.
3. Give Yourself a Break
To fully enjoy life, you have to take a break from your work, obligations, complaints, insecurities, and expectations. These things are draining your energy and in order for you to replenish it, you have to learn to be kind to yourself.
I have a friend who is running on the hamster wheel of weight loss. She complains of being tired of going to the gym 2X a day and trying all these kinds of diets, but she is still having a hard time getting close to her target weight.
The truth is that pushing yourself too much can build tension in your body that could actually result in weight gain, not loss.
Negativity, deprivation and overdoing your workout routines can increase cortisol levels that could make body fats harder to burn. So, give yourself a break, do something that you enjoy, travel alone and stop beating yourself up with your weight goals.
4. Seek the Right Type of Happiness
For you to find lasting happiness, you have to understand its nature so you won’t be looking for it in all the wrong places.
Instead of seeking instant gratification or settling for temporary pleasure, go for the type of happiness that has a positive impact and boost your well-being, your connection with others and your spirituality, or something that gives you a sense of purpose.
You don’t have to go very far or spend a lot of money to be happy. In fact, you can just activate your brain and create your own happiness. Here’s a great book to read: How Happiness Happens: Finding Lasting Joy in a World of Comparison, Disappointment, and Unmet Expectations.
I hope you now know better how to cultivate happiness and not be stuck in an unhappiness rut.