We all grew up equating happiness with celebrating special occasions, reaching milestones and achieving coveted objects. It’s your birthday. You’re graduating. You just bought your dream car. These events are cause for joy and jubilee. For the average person living an ordinary life, fame and fortune can be mesmerizing. But the reality is, everyday life is filled with humdrum activities. And since we are programmed not to find contentment in the mundane, disappointment sets in. Familiarity breeds ordinariness, which in turn dampens its enjoyment. There is an unspoken belief that only extraordinary elements can bring satisfaction. But finding happiness in the ordinary is not an impossible goal.
If your pursuit of this sought-after emotion seems elusive, there is even more reason to seek it in the cycle of daily living. It’s just a matter of changing perspectives and attitudes and is not as difficult as it seems.
A study has shown that experiences bring more joy than acquiring possessions. Going further, another study found that it is easier for older people to find happiness in ordinary experiences than younger ones. But young or old, anyone can follow these happy tips. Happiness, after all, is a subjective feeling of well-being. You can choose to be happy by cultivating positive emotions and avoiding negative ones.
Why It’s Important To Be Happy
Being happy boosts the immune system and makes you less prone to sickness.
Being happy improves all types of relationships. You have fewer problems with your partner and family and you have more friends.
Being happy increases your efficiency and productivity at work, so you make more money.
Being happy improves your coping mechanism. When you go through trauma or stress, you can handle them better and get over them faster.
Extraordinary magic is woven through ordinary life. Look around! -Amy Leigh Mercree
Points to Ponder for Finding Happiness In The Ordinary
1. Start with the basics. Get enough sleep and don’t allow yourself to become too hungry. Fulfilling physical needs is a big factor in making you feel happy.
2. Fix yourself up. Grooming, putting on makeup and wearing clothes that make you look good will also work on your moods in a positive way.
3. Do not get angry over trifling matters. If something doesn’t work out the way you want it to, and you are not greatly affected by the outcome, accept it instead of venting your anger. The theory that expressing anger physically is good doesn’t hold true anymore. Recent studies found that the activity only made them angrier and not acting on it is better.
4. Force positive feelings upon yourself. You may find it pretentious to smile when you’re having the blues, or have kind thoughts for someone you don’t particularly like. But feelings follow action, and pretty soon you’ll find yourself happier than a few minutes ago.
5. Get some exercise. Physical activity is a proven mood booster. A ten-minute workout in your home gives you a shot of energy and releases endorphins, the feel-good hormone. Your spirits will lift up in an instant.
6. Talk nicely instead of nagging. Listen to yourself when you want your kids to do something or remind your partner about doing chores. You’ll find that your nagging is also making you angry. Try to talk in a gentler tone and use kind words. It’s more effective and you don’t feel annoyed at them and yourself.
7. Be grateful for what you have and appreciate them. There’s a lot of goodness that people take for granted. Instead of focusing on misfortunes, look at what you are grateful for. It could be fulfilling relationships, a house above your head, your job.
8. Don’t compare yourself with others. You will only breed feelings of envy or scorn. Comparing upwards makes you jealous of others you perceive are better off than you and it invites schadenfreude when they fall. Comparing downwards makes you disdainful of people who are less fortunate.
9. Be kinder and more compassionate. Research has shown that bestowing kindness and giving to charity activates areas in the brain that give pleasure. One way to become kinder is to practice meditation. Meditation teaches you to let go of the ego. In the process, you learn to think about others and have more compassion for them.
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