Make Room for Happiness
I’ve mentioned before that happiness doesn’t just happen (that often), and conversely, chasing happiness doesn’t work well, either.
Caught in this paradox, how does peaceful, tranquil happiness occur?
Happiness comes from the things you do to make life better for yourself, and that requires you to welcome happiness whenever you find it. Tweet this
You can’t really be happy if you’re devoting a significant part of your mental real-estate to worry and anxiety. If you’re stressed out constantly, you just don’t have the emotional energy to be happy.
Happiness won’t come along and displace the anxiety and worry. That’s a common misconception.
As long as you’re waiting on happiness without doing anything yourself, you’re in for a long wait.
To open up some of that real estate, you have to come to grips with anxiety, stress and worry.
Anxiety, stress and worry, are the anti-happiness guys. They suck you totally dry of the mental energy you need to enjoy life.
To displace them, you need to understand your own triggers for stress. Stress provokes both anxiety and worry, although the relationships amongst the three can go in any direction.
Diffusing stress isn’t always as easy as “just not thinking about it,” you need to redirect your thoughts.
You may need to define what “happiness” means for you. If it’s having staggering wealth, how realistic is that?
Honestly, is a stack of money something you are willing to work for, to struggle for? If not, why desire what you’re not going to work for?
If your stress is coming from quite real and unpleasant circumstances that you can’t change at the moment, what can you do to open yourself up to even small joys?
If your threshold for allowing yourself to be ok, to be happy is very high, you may not get there when you’re in a bind. Lowering your expectations isn’t giving up.
Our society, all of Western culture is very conflicted about setting personal standards. We hear
“you can do anything you set your mind to,” or
“follow your dreams,” and so many other slogans.
Those aren’t bad; they’re just much more difficult to do than say.
Setting an unreasonably high expectation just sets you up for bitter disappointment. Set lower expectations, then increasing the next step, up and up, gives you room to look back on each day with pride and contentment, knowing you made a real, enduring step toward your goal. Happiness is no different.
Happiness is found in the moment. Click to tweet
We call those moments, “the little things,” but those little things compose a much greater tapestry, that when taken together, composes happiness.