Sunday, September 23, 2018


Happiness, one of the world's more coveted goals. A subjective feeling that people will do anything to obtain. A trophy that always seems just out of reach. Or once achieved, it tries to escape like a frightened bird. 

In the past I was notorious for achieving happiness from completing a goal and then letting the feeling fizzle out. I would lose momentum and this would discourage me from achieving other goals. Over time I had developed some tricks or ideas on how to break this cycle. Below is what helped me. Hopefully one or two may help you.

1. You cannot achieve something from nothing.
• Happiness does not just happen. One cannot do nothing and just expect to be happy. I need to have a clear set of goals I want to work on. Achieving tasks on a To Do list gives me a great sense of accomplishment.  This year I have started identifying my long term goals and then separating them into smaller monthly tasks. Then I get the satisfaction of completing something each month that will build into the future I want.

2. Always change focus.
• Once happiness is obtained, what then? If I do not use the motivation from one accomplishment to drive me to work on the next task then my happiness wanes. I will fall into a rut and then it takes more time and effort to get back on track. I find that I can have small lulls in time, but I generally need to be working on something.

3. Material objects bring empty happiness.
• From years of dressing in Lolita fashion I have learned that buying a "dream dress" or highly sot after accessory only bring empty happiness. I would save up, stalk websites for release dates, and hunt through several auctions for particular items. Once they were finally in my possession, they would lose the magic I imagined it would bring me. I would wear the items once or twice and then it became just another piece in my wardrobe. I would then find a new dream item I just had to have. Stuff is not the answer to happiness. There is no real sense of accomplishment only bragging rights.

4. Fake it until you make it.
• When I find myself in a rut the only way to get out is going through the motions. Do the activities I know I usually love although they feel tedious at the time. Also getting up and moving helps. Exercise, meeting with friends, or just sitting on the porch for fresh air makes a big difference in my mood. Eventually the fake feelings turn into real happiness.

5. Don't be afraid to reach out.
• If I ever feel really down I reach out to someone. Family. Friends. Just sitting down and ranting can be cathartic. Everyone needs to vent from one time to another. If you every experience severe emotional turmoil, depression, and hopelessness please reach out to a professional. Counselors, social workers, groups, and physicians are there to connect and help you.

6. Be appreciative.
• Look around and actually see all that you have. Be thankful. Yes, no matter where you are in life there will always be people that have something better. But there will also be people that have it worse. Not that you should be comparing yourself to others. But you should appreciative that you have a bed to sleep in, clothes to wear, food to eat, and some sort of access to internet, otherwise you would not be unable to read this. If life's basic needs are met, then it should bring some sort of happiness.

7. Treat yourself.
• Take time to treat or pamper yourself. No one can be happy if they feel run down or neglected. Sometimes a good nap, a manicure, or a delicious treat can be motivating. Besides humans are hardwired to want to work after receiving a reward. I like to reward myself after completing extremely difficult tasks. It adds to my happiness and gives an extra little boost when starting on the next task. 

image from: pixabay

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