Happiness is relative but we all want to be happy, whatever form it takes. With busy lives, sometimes it’s hard to focus on ourselves...and that can be a good thing as you’ll read below.
After many years of trying to figure out how to be happy, we arrived at these steps. They work for us; why not give them a go yourself?
1. Do a good deed every day
Your good deed doesn’t have to be a big thing. It’s about looking for the difference you can make in someone’s life that day – something that only you can do. It’s about being aware of the opportunity to help – so you need to look out, not in. When you notice that opportunity, don’t miss it; it may be the only chance you have all day. Smile at someone in the street; compliment a stranger or a friend; pick up something someone has dropped. Your good deed is all about showing someone some kindness that will set in motion a ripple that spreads happiness.
2. Enable your creative self
When you’re engrossed in a creative pursuit, you’re fulfilling your inner desire to make something that gives you or someone else a little pleasure. Being creative doesn’t mean that you become an artist; it’s simply allowing yourself the licence to grow more beautiful plants, baking your specialty sourdough, learning to crochet or taking up pottery.
We know from studies that creativity feeds positivity and those who spend time indulging in their creative pursuits generally have a more positive outlook on life. And if you’re creating goods for a family member or maybe knitting squares to make blankets for the homeless, you’ll get more satisfaction and happiness from your creative pursuit.
The bonus? You could become friends with like-minded people who also enjoy what you do.
3. Love everyone
First, we need to stress that this does NOT mean you have to LIKE everyone who you come into contact with; that is a bit much to ask. However, it’s important that we view everyone with compassion, understand that what they’re going through may not be obvious to us and they may have different views from our own. Wish everyone well – even if they annoy you. As noted earlier, you don’t have to like them.
How different the world could be if everybody cared about each other. And while you might think ‘rose-coloured glasses’, everything starts with one person who sets an example.
4. Look for a magic moment in every day
When you look, you can find many memorable moments that make you smile and appreciate the world around you. There’s always one but you have to look for it or listen. Think of a child’s laughter, a cute puppy, the sound of thunder in the distance. We’ve even seen recommendations that you take a photo of the best thing you see every day: a fabulous sunrise, a perfect flower or the flight of fruit bats at dusk as well as unexpected surprises like extraordinary cloud formations.
At the end of each day, be present and think back on your ‘magic moment’. So, instead of walking around thinking of the next task you need to undertake or rehashing a confrontation, look around. Actively look for the beauty that is all around you. Spend some time sipping a coffee and watching the world go by. You’ll be surprised at what you see, hear and experience if you just take the time to look for those magic moments every day.
5. Have a goal
When we aren’t happy, it can be a challenge to think further than the next hour or day. So set yourself a goal so you look ahead. A goal, even if it’s as simple as repotting your indoor plants or getting the washing done, gives you purpose and makes you think further than tomorrow. And achieving small goals will exercise your goal-setting muscle that will help you with the bigger goals like downsizing or moving to a retirement village or choosing where you want to live for the next 30 years.
Even if you don’t achieve your goal, goal-setting can help with your mental health as you look to the future.
For those of us still working, it’s important to love our work. So the icing on the cake is if you can choose a job you love getting up for every morning. Someone wiser than us said: “If you do something you love doing, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Do your work with joy while following the five steps above and you’ll not only be more content in your work, but also, you’ll be spreading joy to your colleagues..
Want to learn more about making the most of your next 30 years?
Retirement living can be the best time of your life. We’re committed to making life better for the over 55s. Check out downsizing.com.au for more insights and great advice on living life to the fullest. We have a great range of properties for the over 55s to help you do that with like-minded people in land lease communities and retirement villages.