Board Certified Counselor
“I just want to be happy.”
This is something I am sure we all have felt at some or another, particular during the divorce phase. There is usually an air of frustration with the feeling of constantly trying to seek happiness.
It is easy to continuously live in the past or look to the future for possibilities but in all reality we should be looking at living in the moment to find happiness.
Happiness is right before most of us but we get so focused on what is “missing” from our lives that we overlook all the love and joy around us. As the weather starts warming up, I encourage you to take time to appreciate all the beauty that exists around you.
Here are five tips on living a happier life:
1. Take care of you.
We live in a world and society that places many demands on our time and energy. You give so much to others so make sure to schedule time to recharge your batteries.
2. Exercise, sleep, and develop a solid wellness plan.
A good wellness plan not only reduces stress, but the endorphins released during exercise are certain to elevate your mood. Adequate sleep not only reduces stress but can help decrease anxiety. Make sure you are getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
3. Always have something to look forward to.
It is nice to have a vacation planned or a family reunion to look forward to, however try to focus more on the everyday joys. Meeting up with a friend for coffee, visiting a new restaurant, or going for a hike are all little things you can do that can break up the monotony of everyday life.
4. Set tangible, realistic, and concrete goals.
There is nothing worse then setting out to accomplish something and then feeling like a failure because too many unrealistic expectations were in place. For example, if you want to run a marathon, make sure you are able to schedule the time to train and start off slow with a 5k or 10k race before you leap right into a lengthy marathon.
5. Love yourself.
You are unique and there isn’t one single person in the world that is just like you. There are so many things that make you special so take time to reflect on all the things that you love about you. The love for oneself is the most important love of all.
We all have different ideas of what happiness is and what exactly makes one happy.
I once read that being around other people whom we enjoy is the ultimate source of happiness. I do concur with this idea, however for some of us having “loved ones” around all the time is not always possible.
This makes finding happiness more challenging for those that are recently single and building a new life. But if you follow the five tips above, you are on your way to a happier life.
Lisa Brown, MA, LPC, NCC, is a practicing therapist who helps people overcome life transitions specifically related to loss. For more information, visit her website www.counseling-helps.org.