My mother and I have a tendency of sending one another links to all sorts of Internet articles we find online; some are scholarly, some are funny, some are frightening, some are cute, and some are just plain silly. Yesterday, my mother shared this article with me, and reading it put a big smile on my face and a sense of inspiration in my soul.
As y’all likely have noticed, the idea of happiness is something that I think about a lot. Honestly, it fascinates me because everyone has their own idea of what happiness is and what it feels like to truly be happy. Not only that, but I truly believe that happiness is a choice – if you can align your mind so that you are open to happiness, you will be happy. I’m not going to lie, aligning my mind to be open to happiness is something that I struggle with sometimes, but it’s something that I’m working on.
Reading the Pope’s ten tips for happiness has as a wonderful reminder to invite happiness into my life by aligning my mind in the proper way, and has also inspired me to compile my own list of ten tips for happiness:
- Learn to understand and accept that you absolutely cannot control everything in your life. We can micromanage and plan our lives to a tee, but there will always be a chance that something will happen at the last second and completely shatter our plans. We can’t predict and plan for everything – that’s life.
- Take what happens in stride, and use it to your advantage. Sometimes, things are going to go wrong. But, spoiler alert: the world keeps turning, the wind keeps blowing, and life goes on. No matter what happens, it will not signal the end of the world. It will be okay in the end – but, it is up to you to decide how quickly “the end” will come.
- Learn to enjoy the journey, not the destination. Our lives are all one big “journey” – learn to enjoy it right now, instead of staying so focused on the destination that you don’t notice what you’re passing by. For more, read this post.
- Take some “me” time. Our friends and family are wonderful people who were put into our lives for a reason, but if we spend every waking moment in the presence of someone else, we’ll never get to truly understand ourselves. I am a firm believer in devoting some time in the day to “me” time; get to know – and love yourself.
- Find at least one thing you like about yourself. We’re all horribly self-critical, and our self-esteems can leave a lot to be desired, but I bet that there is at least one tiny little thing you don’t absolutely loathe about yourself. Find it, embrace it, and flaunt it.
- Find at least one reason to smile every single day. I don’t care if you’re having the worst day of your life – if you are still breathing, you have at least one reason to smile.
- Find your “happy music” and blast it. Seriously, just try being unhappy when your favorite song is playing, happy words washing over you.
- Surround yourself with people that bring you up and make you happy. If there is someone in your life right now that is bringing you down, they’re not worthy of your time, so don’t give it to them. Simple as that.
- Open your eyes. Take a minute to look around you in all directions – left, right, up, down, sideways, and inside out. The world is a beautiful place filled with happiness in all forms – and a lot of it is highly infectious, if you can only find it.
- Get out and move. Take a walk, ride your bike, go for a jog, get together with friends to toss the frisbee around, dance around your room in your underwear, singing into a hairbrush microphone… Just get out there and move. It’s hard to be unhappy when you’ve got endorphins pumping through your bloodstream from the simple act of movement.
I’m a bit obsessed with the song “Boys Chase Girls” by Ingrid Michaelson right now, so just remember her wise words: “I’ve got two hands, one beating heart/I’m gonna be all right.”
You’re gonna be all right, kid. Be happy!