How do we pursue happiness?
It’s an honest question. In today’s increasingly fast paced and impersonal society, I’d argue that we’ve lost sight of the things that matter. We’ve been conditioned to attribute happiness to the attainment of career goals, the acquisition of money and the accumulation of lots and lots and lots of stuff. These aspirational targets may help to grease the wheels of a consumer capitalist society, but how effective are they at delivering on actual, meaningful happiness. We’re trained to believe that happiness is just a promotion, a purchase or a pay rise away, and while the odd shopping binge can give us a fleeting high, the acquisition of possessions rarely brings us lasting happiness. Indeed, it can often feel like the things we own wind up owning us. There must be a reason why so many lottery winners and successful entrepreneurs wind up miserable. Indeed Jim Carrey famously once said “I think everyone should get rich and famous and have everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer”. While there’s no secret formula for happiness, there are a few little things that you can do to help yourself today, right now…
Get out of your routine
What do you plan to do after work today? Drive home, make dinner, watch TV, sleep? Becoming embroiled in these routines can easily sap our enjoyment of our lives. Do something different. Go for a long walk. Sit in a cafe and read a book. Go to the cinema. Deviate from the old routine until it stops becoming a routine.
Meditation may be outside of your comfort zone and you may even have some derisive opinions of it, or doubt its efficacy, but it is nonetheless scientifically proven to promote happiness. Meditation not only helps you to gain perspective on the minutia of our day to day lives, it also actually shrinks the amygdala; the part of the brain responsible for anxiety and fear. It also lowers the production of the stress hormone cortisol not only improving your happiness but helping you to lose weight too!
Have a nap
Far too few of us get enough sleep, and this can be detrimental to our quality of life in numerous ways. Sleep allows us to repair our bodies, rest our minds, release waste matter from our brains and get the nutrients to our skin to keep mit looking young, clear plump and firm. Yet, too many of us see sleep as a waste of time to be gotten out of the way. If you spend too many nights watching films instead of sleeping you may need to get a new mattress. Check out this Eve mattress review. You’d be astonished at how much more rested and happy you can be after a great night’s sleep.
Purge your stuff
If something brings you joy, then keep it. If you find value in something, keep it. But if you find your home cluttered by stuff that has ceased to have any meaning for you, it’s time for a purge. Collect it all together and take it to the nearest charity shop. The lack of clutter and knowledge that you’re doing some good is bound to brighten your day.
*This is a collaborative post