“Happiness” – what it means, how to achieve it – is in no way straightforward. With the demands of modern society weighing heavily upon us, it may feel like our “happiness” is far out of reach.
It should be noted, however, that “happiness” is not a state of mind that you simply switch on when you wake up in the morning. Rather, it is a habitual process that you have to work at – every day!
The very concept of “happiness” itself is, of course, hugely subjective – we all have our own personal vision of what a state of “happiness” might be. In order to achieve some measure of what we each believe this elusive “happiness” to be, there are some useful mindsets that you can adopt.
1. Pay It Forward
It’s easy to limit your life to your own personal desires. Our daily life is so chock full of our pursuits, it can be difficult to look beyond yourself. Pause for a moment to take stock of your situation in life, and to consider those who may be worse off and who may benefit from your help. None of us is an island, and we all instinctively understand the value of human kindness and how central it is to our wellbeing.
Try and “pay it forward” by donating your time to volunteering or getting involved in a community activity . It’s no secret that giving happiness begets happiness, and opening your heart to someone else that needs a helping hand will enrich your life and your outlook immeasurably.
2. Have A Hobby – or 3!
Believe it or not, some of the happiest and most fulfilled people in life can be the busiest. Outside of the work environment, having a hobby or pastime that is entirely yours, with your own explorations and personal goals, can be hugely rewarding and give a great sense of pride in yourself.
Even if you’re tired at the end of a long day, try and dedicate some time on a regular basis to your own personal interests, whether it be writing, music, building model ships or dancing! Keep your mind active and your attention engaged and your overall happiness barometer will rise quite without you even noticing!
3. Take Time to Smell the Roses
With the global community increasing at a substantial rate, it’s difficult to take time to get off the roller coaster and relax a bit. The 9-5 is more becoming the 24/7, This makes the proverb “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” all the more true.
Take the necessary time to step away from life’s responsibilities so that you can allow yourself the physical and mental rest you require. If that means catching up on some sleep, doing some quiet meditation, relaxing with a good book or doing something as innocuous such as people watching with a cup of coffee, taking the time away from the rat race will help you recharge your mental batteries and allow tendrils of happiness to creep back in.
4. Challenge Your Perception of “You”
Do you ever hear yourself saying, “I could never do that!” Or, “I would never do such a thing!”, or “I’m not sure about that!” We all have our comfort zones and things that we can never picture ourselves doing. However, with this mindset we run the danger of pushing ourselves into a corner, and risk becoming stale with our very sense of self.
Try to push your boundaries and redefine who you are. It doesn’t have to be anything as dramatic as climbing a mountain, or jumping out of a plane. Just taking yourself out of your comfort zone once in awhile will help!
Visit somewhere you would never normally consider on your next vacation, walk home a new and different route, or do a charity run. Just breaking out of your normal routine will freshen your perspective and help you see the world with brighter eyes.
When your sense of happiness and equilibrium suffers, your relationships frequently suffer too. PARC is here to help. Our compassionate, highly experienced therapists will be able to help you on an individual basis to resolve your relationship issues, beginning with your relationship with yourself.
PARC © 2015. PARC (Park Avenue Relationship Consultants) is a group of highly skilled and experienced NYC relationship therapists working with individuals, couples, and families. We have private office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Riverdale, and Long Island. Each PARC therapist has extensive clinical training and experience, and is fully licensed and certified by New York State. Privacy and confidentiality are guaranteed. Out-of-network only. For more information, please call PARC at (917) 340-7592 or visit parkavenuerelationshiptherapy.com.