“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
“If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.’
If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.”
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”
Happiness does not have to come from large things or events. It can come even from small, everyday habits.
So today I’d simply like to share 3 quick tips and habits that help me to live a happier life.
1. Start by setting low standards for happiness.
When you wake up in the morning tell yourself: “Set a low bar for happiness today.”
I am able to appreciate more things when I repeat this mantra and keep it in my mind throughout the day.
It’s not the same old stuff. I enjoy the food, the weather, my job, and the little things that happen to me every day.
What I used to consider small or something that one took for granted, now makes me pause and take a few moments to appreciate.
Does it mean I will lose motivation to work towards bigger goals if I am happier with the little things in life?
I have not had this experience.
The way I look at life now gives me more inspiration and energy. I feel lighter as I explore my goals and achieve them.
Try it out and let me know how you find it.
Use a paper or phone reminder to keep the low bar in your mind.
2. Help someone.
One of the easiest but most powerful ways to have a happy, fulfilling life is by helping someone else.
What can you do to help someone? How can you help someone?
Here are some ideas on how to achieve that.
Offer some practical assistance.
For example, you could be busy with work, moving house or cooking dinner.
Give some good advice.
You may not be asked for advice all the time, but if you are, then offer your best advice.
The comfort of one hug or more can make the other person’s situation at least a bit better.
In the world, there is a lot of discouragement. Encourage people to be optimistic and to achieve their goals by being an exception.
Sometimes people don’t want any help. Sometimes people just want someone to listen or to vent as they work through things and release pent-up emotions.
Even though it may seem insignificant, it can be a huge help to someone who is in need. So be there fully – don’t sit there thinking about something else – and listen.
Take a step back and look at things from a different perspective
It’s easy to get wrapped up in a problem and to make a mountain out of a molehill. Your perspective can be very helpful.
The two of you can talk about it, perhaps laugh about it and even find the hidden opportunity within the problem that in one person’s head may have almost seemed like the sky was falling.
Remember to give yourself a pat on the back for helping others. Do not minimize or brush off the problem.
Pause for a moment and quietly reflect on the good you’ve done.
3. Treat yourself with kindness.
Kindness to yourself can be a great way to boost your self-esteem, and live a happier life.
I’ve tried a few of the many ways that I know work to make yourself more kind.
Your input should be constructive and kind.
The negative messages you receive from others, or even from those further away (media, advertising and the society as a whole) will not make you more kind to yourself.
Replace them bit by bit with daily and weekly input.
You may need the support of family members and friends, or the advice from someone who has experienced a similar situation.
You can find practical books on personal development and blogs to help you with the real solutions you need to your challenges and goals.
You could also spend more time in the nature, in silence and quiet to recharge and relax.
Compare yourself with yourself
Comparing yourself to others and their results can be a great way to kill motivation and lower your self-esteem.
Always, there are people in front of you.
Focus on you.
You can also reflect on what you’ve achieved. How you can improve your results.
This is important because it’s a great motivator to see how much you have improved and how far you have come.
Take a break.
Sometimes I hear that one should always be positive, always win or work towards their goal. This may sound inspiring in theory.
You and I are not perfect, and neither is reality.
Sometimes life gets in your way. Sometimes you may be the one who gets in your way. And sometimes you simply don’t have the energy or the courage or the time to do something.
Choose to be humane instead of trying to conform to the ideals that others or you may have set for you.
Choose to give yourself a break when things don’t go as you may have wished and choose to cut yourself some slack.