We are all in the seemingly never-ending cycle of pursuing happiness.
Think about it:
You resign from your old job because it’s not making you happy anymore, so you look for another job that will.
You think twice about committing to a relationship because you feel happy when you’re by yourself, so why would you want to change that?
That new gadget, those branded shoes, this unique restaurant that promises to make you taste the best Korean BBQ in the world – you gravitate towards them because you feel like they can make you happier about yourself…about your life.
In this blog post, we’re not going to talk about the deep meaning of life just yet.
You see, happiness is a conscious choice. In life, there will always, always be stress – whatever you do, whoever you are and wherever you may be. Yes, you can lessen the stress intentionally, but there will always be stress.
It’s your choice whether you let it affect you, or not. Luckily for you and me, there are specific “happiness habits” that can help us adopt the right state of mind to be more adaptive to cultivating happiness. Check out this list and start doing one habit, yes?
- REPLACE “I HAVE TO…” WITH “I’M BLESSED I CAN…”
“Hassle! I have to go to the doctor for my check up” becomes “I’m blessed I can afford to go to the doctor for my check up!”
“Hay nako, kainis. I have to go get my car fixed” becomes ‘I’m blessed I can have my car and I’m blessed I have the means to get it fixed.’”
“Oh man, I have to do this article today, so I can get paid” becomes ‘I’m blessed I can write an article and get paid for it! This is the dream, man!’”
Don’t you feel happier already?
- FILTER OUT UNNECESSARY NOISES IN YOUR LIFE
It seems like everyone – your parents, your friends, even the manong selling isaw next door – is telling you what you should do with your life.
Be careful about who you listen to.
After all, there’s only one person responsible for your happiness…
And that person is you.
- CLEAN YOUR ROOM– SERIOUSLY!
Sometimes, we feel unhappy simply because our environment is cluttered, or because we feel like we haven’t accomplished anything substantial yet.
Cleaning can do wonders to improve your mental health! Just ask science.
The simple act of tidying up can make you feel productive and more likely to tackle the next items in your to-do list. We’re not talking about deep cleaning with ultra complicated cleaning materials: just setting aside 10 minutes to declutter your desk is okay.
- BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO BE IN THE WORLD!
A lot of people are worried about the environment.
That’s good, and all, but worrying and doing nothing won’t help you, or the environment, right?
Personally, A and I bought a rainbow-colored steel straw so we can help #refusereuse and #saynotoplastic. This is better than complaining without doing anything. Plus, it makes us happy to know that at least we’re helping the environment, even just a little bit. Also in the process of getting our own mini-tumblers so we’ll always have water anywhere.
What’s something that you care about passionately? Start doing something – even just a little bit – about it.
- PURSUE PERSONAL GROWTH ACTIVELY
“The more elements make up your identity, the less threatening it is when an element is threatened” – The Happiness Project book
A part of you may get lost, but since you’re composed of many parts, it’s okay. Kaya mo ‘yan. You will survive.
(This concept is also why I’m an advocate of multiple income streams. Don’t just rely on one source of income!)
Sure, losing your traditional job can lower your self-esteem, but because you’re also a freelance copywriter who earns money at your own pace, you can still maintain your self-respect.
Yes, switching from “in a relationship” to “single but not available” may not be the best thing at this time. But you’re also a regular volunteer to a non-profit organization you’re a member of.
And yes, you might not have finished your education the traditional way. But so what? You’re a professional video editor and rising content creator who’s also learning a third language!
There’s more to you than just your education, job, gender identity, relationship status, the brand of shoes/clothing you wear!
Never let any one of your identity threaten your happiness. You are uniquely you. And that’s deeply beautiful.
- SPEND MORE TIME FOR “LOVE”
If you’re busy judging people, you’ll have no time left to love them.
Sometimes, winning at arguments means losing precious time with the people you love. (I’m working on this!)
Your partner is always sometimes late. Do you waste one hour getting mad at them – even if they had a valid excuse? Or do you shrug it off and enjoy your date?
Your younger sibling is overwhelmed and is having a meltdown. Do you add fuel to the fire and provoke them more with words that hurt? Or do you let them enjoy “alone time” so you can talk together after?
As long as it’s not illegal or immoral or against your personal set of core values, use the time for “love” instead of hate.
What you focus on, expands.
- TRY SOMETHING NEW EACH MONTH
Get involved in new experiences with your loved ones – attend a personal development workshop together, donate your time and resources to a non-profit organization you care about, visit the National Museum for free… Experiences make us happier than possessions, so spend more time on them!