Living a happy life needs to come from within ourselves, not externally. Surprise right? Not really,
but most people think that happiness is something to be found “out there.”
How to live a happy life?
Researchers think of happiness as having satisfaction and meaning in your life. Happiness is a side effect of living an intentional life with meaningful connections with those we love.
“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” -Aristotle
A couple years ago I took the MOOC class “The Science of Happiness” from Berkeley. I really enjoyed the course. It’s important to know the difference between pleasure and happiness.
Pleasure is fleeting and comes from a material desire which is different from living a happy life. We get pleasure from eating decadent desserts or falling in love with someone.
But that doesn’t mean that we are happy after eating anything we want, in fact we may be upset about it. Also if we fall for someone that is bad for us, that definitely will not make us happy either. Pleasure is fleeting.
There is truth in the saying, “It’s the journey not a destination.” We probably have all experienced trying to reach a goal and then when we do… we wonder, is that all there is? It doesn’t feel the same as we thought it would.
Often it is the lessons that we learn and the planning and working towards that goal that makes us feel the most alive.
We need to enjoy the simple things in life, no kidding, really.
It does not happen magically after we reach our goals but rather in the journeys to reach them. That does not mean that we are not happy when we achieve something that we desire.
But to achieve a happy life you need to live the life that you truly want with meaning and purpose.
The reality is that life is challenging and change is constant. Bills and stresses are just a part of everyday life. It is not natural to be happy all the time, if you know someone that is happy all the time they are suppressing way too much!
Happiness is not something to achieve, it is something we realize was here all along, we just didn’t realize it.
So the answer is to find that happiness or contentment within ourselves regardless on the exterior events.
But to be happy for the long term, you will need to live a life of intention. To know what we really desire and to understand ourselves better we need to become self aware.
How to become more self aware
Focusing on becoming self aware is how we will know what brings us meaning and purpose in our life.
We need to know ourselves better to figure out what we really want. We need to be aware of the relationships that we should nurture and get rid of the things in our life that don’t make us happy.
We can change our perspective by cultivating mindfulness, gratitude, forgiveness, and kindness. There are activities that we can practice to increase our sense of well-being and strengthen our connections with the people who matter the most in our lives.
By becoming more self aware, we focus on filling our lives with more of the things that bring us joy and less of the things don’t.
Having the ability to connect with others & have meaningful relationships creates long lasting happiness.
Meditation, Journaling & Gratitude
These are three tools that help us become aware of our emotions and understanding of our reactions.
Meditation forces us to be in the present not the past or future. I like the ease of guided meditation, just tell me what to do and how to breathe and I am good! It is amazing how calm you feel after meditating.
Journaling is another way to focus on the “Now.” But with another great benefit, the act of writing forces us to label our feelings and emotions.
Keeping a journal helps to establish order when your world feels like it’s in chaos. It helps you get to know yourself by revealing your innermost fears, thoughts, and feelings.
Gratitude helps to remind us of all the good in our lives and helps to change our perspective. Since we tend to focus on what is missing in our lives, being grateful snaps us back to what really matters most.
Grateful individuals tend to be happy individuals, and that grateful thinking improves mood. Although the science of gratitude is still in its infancy, preliminary findings suggest that gratitude may be an important component of the good life.
Happiness and Awe
The emotion of awe seems to be a very important factor in happiness and health. There is an enormous amount of data about how awe is so beneficial.
I can relate the most to how it makes you feel “small” and “humble” in its presence. It changes your perspective on where you fit in with the larger world.
Research also suggests that awe helps us feel more connected to the people in our lives and to humanity as a whole.
In essence awe, wonder and amazement adds to a happy life. So visit some awe inspiring places, watch some amazing videos & walk along the beach in the moonlight.
Reap the benefits of the feeling of awe and enjoy every moment.
Harvard Happiness Study
The longest happiness study at Harvard University found that people who say they’re happy have strong connections with community and friends leading to long term happiness.
Another finding is that how happy we are in our relationships has a powerful influence on our health.
Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy throughout their lives, the study revealed.
“Loneliness kills. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.”
— Robert Waldinger
Pay attention to your relationships! Your happiness and health depend upon this..
Sometimes we have people in our life that suck the energy right out of the room. We need to spend less time with toxic people or perhaps not associate with them anymore.
We only have so much time to live this life. We do not need anyone in our life that actively makes us unhappy or overly stressed.
Becoming self aware and nurturing our relationships brings us happiness because it’s part of working towards our Ideal life.
When you are spending time doing what you want and aspiring to reach goals that you have set for yourself, you are on the path of becoming the person that you were meant to be. That will bring you happiness.
So stop trying to be happy and BE HAPPY.
1. Smile more
2. Give to others
3. Share your talents
4. Show love to those that are important to you
5. Perfection does not exist stop chasing it
6. You cannot control everything, so stop trying
7. Be grateful for what you have
8. Learn what excites and drives you
9. Grow into the person you want to be
10. Let go of negative thoughts that do not serve you
11. Live with meaning and purpose.
12. To hell with what anyone else thinks…You do You!
Happy life quotes
Quotes put our thoughts into words, enjoy these happy life quotes and sayings for inspiration.
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”
“If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never truly be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
“A smile puts you on the right track. A smile makes the world a beautiful place. When you lose your smile, you lose your way in the chaos of life.”
— Roy T. Bennett
“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.”
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
–Thich Nhat Hanh
“Others may know pleasure, but pleasure is not happiness. It has no more importance than a shadow following a man.”
“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”
“If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.”
— Roy T. Bennett
“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.”
“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.”
“Lead the life that will make you kindly and friendly to everyone about you, and you will be surprised what a happy life you will lead.”
“Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.”
“Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.”
― Immanuel Kant
“A happy life must be to an extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live.”
“Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men – above all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends.”
— Albert Einstein
“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”
“Happiness consists more in small conveniences or pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life.”
Short happy life quotes
“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
“Be happy with what you have. Be excited about what you want.”
“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.”
“There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.”
“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”
“If you want to be happy, be.”
“A disciplined mind brings happiness.”
“Happiness is never stopping to think if you are.”
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
― J.K. Rowling
“The purpose of life is the expansion of happiness.”
— Deepak Chopra
“A happy life is one spent on learning, earning and yearning.”
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
― Oscar Wilde
“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”
“Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well-lived.”
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
“If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.”
Happy life quote images