I was just speaking with a friend who is constantly playing the “if only” card… i.e. the world’s smallest violin.
“Well, if only he was nicer to me.”
“If only I made more money.”
“If only I were getting more sleep.”
The truth is, this mama is making herself unhappy.
Girl, you gotta take that bull by the horns.
Happiness is YOURS… if you choose it.
The Lowdown On Happiness…
You may have heard that happiness doesn’t come from your material world, but from within.
I tend to wholeheartedly agree!
You aren’t happy because of your life, you’re happy in spite of it.
Have you ever met somebody who’s positively peaceful and radiant… and all you can think is, “damn, I’ll have what she’s having”.
Then you discover that she has a sick child, has just lost her job, or is in the middle of an enormous lawsuit or legal battle.
It’s easy to look at other people and assume their lives are easier.
The grass is always greener…
But the truth is, whether rich or poor, happiness goes past your circumstances.
Nonetheless, here are a few things you can obtain TODAY that will measurably increase your happiness.
1. Meaningful Friendships Bring Happiness…
In 1985, the average person reported an average of three close friends.
Just 19 years later, that number fell to ZERO (1).
Having close friendships isn’t just associated with greater happiness, but a more vibrant social life has been compared to an additional $131,232 per year in life satisfaction. (2)
This may be why people cling to religious groups or clubs where they have a steady, predictable stream of friendships to nurture all year round.
2. Goals Elicit Happiness
When you feel passionate about something in your life, you are more likely to feel good about yourself.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to be a mega-millionaire or celebrity to achieve the happiness that comes from being goal-driven.
In fact, regularly hitting small goals actually provides much more satisfaction than the rare lottery wins. (3)
What are small, incremental ways you can feel steady hits of “winning” throughout your week?
- Wake up 15 minutes earlier every day for a week and see what you do with that free time!
- Having a hard time getting to sleep or finding time to meditate during the day? Download a Meditation or Yoga Nidra App to wind down with 10-30 minutes of meditation at night.
- Food prep healthy items you can pull out of the refrigerator easily. I’m a busy mom, so I always like to start Mondays with Mason Jars full of quinoa, gluten-free mac ‘n’ cheese for my son, homemade cauliflower or carrot soup, rich salad dressings, and, of course, my nearly world-famous oatmeal cookies!
This week, try to set small goals that will give you a sense of accomplishment every day.
These small wins add up to much greater life satisfaction than big ones, anyway!
3. Personal Growth Brings Happiness…
Obviously I began the Moms Wear Capes Superwoman School because I was burdened for mothers who stopped growing.
Motherhood seems to beat the personal development trajectory clear out of us.
Did you notice that before you became a mom, it was much easier to attend workshops, read books, or even think deep thoughts, for that matter!
Evolving and changing your views on the world around you reflects in personal satisfaction and is associated with being in a better mood overall.
In fact, people over age 50 who reported continually learning about things they were interested in were 43% more likely to feel vital. (4)
Having core values is great, but keeping an open mind helps the world feel more expansive.
What’s more, continually growing is an exercise in humility.
If you think your way is right, you not only close off your world to new ideas, but that rigidity facilitates a sort of insecurity and even narcissistic experience.
And with that being said, surround yourself with a friend circle that empowers and challenges you!
Alas, here we are, back at step one!
- Make Friends.
- Have Goals
- Keep Growing.
… And Be Happy!