The beautiful thing about happiness is that it’s entirely up to us – through our choices, our actions, and our beliefs, we determine our destiny for ourselves (and not by someone else’s expectations!).
Here are seven ways to recognize elements of happiness that exist (or have yet to be discovered) in your own journey.
1. Happy people know how to slow down. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, ‘there is more to life than increasing its speed.’ Happy people know how to relax and accept life as it comes, moment-by-moment, instead of always looking ahead to the next thing.
2. Happy people know to stay active. A body in motion is a body in joy. We are meant to move, to explore, to be free – and it’s important for mood and mental well-being to make plenty of time each day for exercise and youthful play.
3. Happy people stay mindful in the present. The past is gone. The future is yet to come. All we really have is the very moment before us – and the wisest among us know that that is where life really happens.
4. Happy people consistently seek challenges. Plateaus are natural in life, but those who seek happiness know to keep pushing and striving for new goals in order to feel fresh and relevant!
5. Happy people remember to play. It is said that adults have largely forgotten how to play (they call it exercise instead). And while going to the gym is certainly important, so is the need to let our hair down and roll in the grass every now and then.
6. Happy people know how to let go. What happens in life is important; through a series of choices we shape our present, making our lives into what we want them to be. But attachment to past failure and disappointment is a negative we should strive to avoid.
7. Happy people celebrate the little things. A smile. A sailboat. A birthday cupcake. These are the kinds of small blessings happy people live for, knowing that no moment lasts forever and that we should take nothing for granted, ever.