Happiness.... Who doesn't want to be happy, right?
However, sometimes it's just not that easy. Maybe you didn't get enough sleep and nothing seems to be going your way or your stressed about an upcoming event or project due at work. Life is going at us a million miles per hour and sometimes being happy just doesn't feel possible.
There is so much research on what makes people happy. Several books have been written on the subject. Right now in my own library I have The Art of Happiness by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D and The Happiness Project By Gretchen Rubin.
On my own personal journey , I have found a few specific keys to happiness that work for me. They remind me of what's important and what to focus on. I believe that what we focus on becomes our reality and for me to live a happier life, I need to focus on the positive.
5 Keys to Being Happy
1) Connection - Connection is a human need. We all want to feel like we belong and are accepted. I believe this starts at home. As a parent, it is very important to me that my family feels connected, even when my kids are fighting like crazy, I always remind them, we are family and that kind of behavior is not acceptable. It's also important to feel connected outside of your immediate family as well. Having close friendships can be a key to happiness. Connecting with others who understand you and get you is so important. One of the reasons, I love my group coaching service is the connection between the members in the group. There is something to be said about just being supported and heard. Connection is important and paying attention to the connections you value most will only lead to more happiness in your life.
2) Living with Intention - This has been a fairly new concept for me, just in the last couple of years have I made this more of a priority in my life. I recently had a great conversation with a client about what this means. For me, I set my intention for the day before I even get out of bed. I think in my mind, what kind of day do I want today. Each day is different in terms of what needs to be done, but see this is not about your to do list, this is about choosing to be happy each day. I do believe it's a choice and it's something you can intentionally do, if you work at it. It doesn't come natural for all of us. But just setting the intention and putting it out in the universe helps.
3) Being Present - Being present and living with intention certainly go hand and hand. I believe when you have more intention in your life, it opens the door to be more present. But again, this takes a conscious effort. I feel like I have a better grasp now of when it's really important for me to pay attention and be present. I believe it's made me a better parent, a better friend, and a better coach for my clients. The conscious effort is recognizing these moments and taking a moment to acknowledge the experience and really be available. I have found when you do this, you get more out of the experience and so do those around you. The positive energy spreads.
4) Letting go of Judgement - If I had to say one of these keys is a major work in progress, it's this one! We are our worst critics. If we can just let go of some of the judgment, some of the time, we have the potential of being happier people. Often times, when I am coaching clients and they are trying something new, I will ask that they let go of the outcome. It doesn't matter what it is, it's not good or bad, let go of the judgement and just let it be. This releases the pressure of what if I don't do it right or I'm not able to do it everyday... I think if we started treating ourselves with more grace and kindness, then our worlds would be a happier place.
5) Gratitude - If you have listened to any of my podcasts, it is no secret that gratitude is an important piece of my life. Being grateful is being happy. It's seeing the positive light rather than the darkness. It gives us hope when we feel defeated. Gratitude is a reminder of the blessings we have in our lives, big and small. When my mind starts to go down the rabbit hole of anxiety and worry, I stop and think about what I am grateful for in this moment. It can be as simple as noticing a butterfly outside or listening to your children laugh. Gratitude takes you back to what matters most...
My hope for you is that one or more of these ideas may resonate with you. Something you are willing to try and practice for the next week. See if it makes a difference in your life, your mood, your general outlook. I can't say I do all of these things all the time, but for the most part, I try.
If you have anything to add, please share in the comments. I would love to hear from you and maybe even share it on Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast.
Until Next Time...