We are coming up on 6 weeks, longer for others, of quarantine. When this first happened, someone said “we will talk about this for the rest of our lives.” Only two weeks in at the time, I didn’t believe them. Now, I feel like “quarantine,” “Covid19” and “pandemic” have a new meaning.
I don’t know about you, but parts of me have gotten used to this new life style in the last week. I’m not saying I like it but my nerves have settled as I’ve found a new routine and a new “balance” within the chaos.
Which leads me to happiness. Side tangent, when I first met my husband (12 years ago next month) I decided to do an English paper on long lasting relationships. We implemented my findings into our day to day life and we honestly think our marriage has been easy for that reason.
Same goes for happiness, if you can implement elements into your life, you’ll eventually start doing them naturally and just be happier overall.
But first, what is happiness? It’s a hard thing to define and I think to a certain extent, you should define what happiness is to you. Some say it’s more than a positive mood, happiness is a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life, one with a sense of meaning.
If you’re sitting there thinking about your own happiness take a moment to think about the five people you spend the most time with in your life. Who do you see and talk to more than anyone? Write their names down. Is it your boss? Your mom? Your spouse or a best friend you’ve had since elementary school?
They say you’re a combination of the 5 closest people to you (mood, temperament, your choices can even be different depending on their influence). What are those five people like? Their personalities and attitudes directly affect you and visa versa. Whether you notice it or not.
If you have negativity streaming in from one or more of these people in your life, you don’t have to cut them out but you do need to figure out how they are affecting you so you can make a choice going forward on if they should continue to be part of your five.
Proven activities that will make you Happy!
Maintain Routines: Studies show we relax within our routines. When you know your routine, you can also find joy in the simple things, like finishing something early or your kids being ready on time. On the flip side, dealing with challenges within your routine are more manageable. Why does this equal happinesses? Less stress on your body, gives you more opportunities to enjoy the moments instead of focusing on the tasks that need to get done.
Look for Goodness/Spread Positivity: I can’t tell you how often I smile at strangers and they either don’t notice (wrapped up in their own world) or they don’t know how to respond. Even though now, and for awhile people will be covering their mouth with a mask, you should still make an effort to smile at the people around you when you can and if someone smiles at you, smile back. During this pandemic you can also spread goodness by leaving positive notes in mail boxes or make small gestures on social media that might make someone smile.
New Experiences without Expectation: What do I mean by this? It’s good to have goals and to have expectations for yourself but don’t go try painting for the first time and expect to be the next Leonardo da Vinci! Try new things with the open-ness of failing or just the joy you can get from something totally different. If we can learn to let go of our expectations a little, we are much less likely to feel disappointment.
Take accountability for your actions: Sometimes things don’t workout and that’s okay but blaming outside factors doesn’t work because it makes it out of your control. If you make a mistake, have a negative interaction when you were already in a bad mood or waste a day due to poor planning, and you own it, you can change it or change the way you react to it.
Things aren’t always perfect: Happy people don’t have perfect days everyday. Everyone has days that don’t work out, that are horrible or emotionally exhausting and that’s okay but you can find happiness again. Allow yourself to accept imperfections.
Take time to Self-Care: I went through a phase where I was so determined to save money, I wouldn’t treat myself to anything that cost money, even if it was for Self-Care. There is a balance to this but if something can really help you and create a positive effect you should treat yourself. This could be a massage, a skin care product, S’moo to regulate your hormones. Don’t put your needs aside.
How do you know if you’re a happy person?
Well hopefully you feel satisfied, you smile and laugh often but other signs can be:
- You’re not spiteful or insulting
- You’re open to learning new things
- You Exercises self-care
- You don’t register small annoyances (most of the time)
- You’re always grateful