Of the many possible ways to evaluate your success in life, the amount of happiness you experience might seem like a good benchmark. The only problem is that achieving those feelings of happiness can feel like a balancing act. For some, general emotional wellbeing may be the only concern, whereas others feel better when armed with a checklist for the different facets of life. In case you’re one of the latter, consider these elements a base for your own list, and a great place to start.
Health and Wellbeing
Ask anyone who has been ill or injured and they’ll likely tell you that your health is amongst your most precious assets, so it’s no surprise that a longer life expectancy is one of the keys to happiness. Time spent on keeping yourself in great physical condition is time well-spent, but being healthy often starts on the inside, which is great news for those who hate the treadmill with a passion. Remember to include things like stress management and sleep quality in the mix, and once you’re in the habit of looking after the basics, you might even have enough energy to set up the backyard garden you’ve been thinking about. The bottom line is that there are endless options for improving your health and a bottomless pit of information on the subject – just remember to start where you are.
It’s an unfortunate fact of life – money worries can be a strong contributor towards feelings of unhappiness and depression. Whether you’re living from one paycheck to the next, struggling to pay off a mortgage, or working hard to save for a holiday, each stage of life comes with its own financial challenges. Interestingly, increasing your happiness in life has less to do with the amount of money you earn and more to do with the way you choose to spend it. A recent survey conducted revealed that those who spend their money on helping others are typically happier with their lot in life than others who use it to accumulate material possessions.
Once you can afford it, finding a place to live is a top priority, and for obvious reasons. Because nothing can create a feeling of comfort and safety quite like being at home, and your home becomes much more than a place to store your belongings. It morphs into a space for your memories, for your downtime, and for the people who mean the most to you. The good news is that while your level of happiness is obviously affected by having a place to live, neither the size of your dwelling nor the number of zeros attached to your bank loan matters as much. Go for a place that won’t break the bank, and you’ll have every chance of feeling happier in the long run.
If you have a full-time job, you’re spending roughly one-quarter of each week at your workplace. Over time, that will form a significant part of your life, which might be a great thing for those who love their work, but if you find that the days feel longer and less meaningful, it’s probably time for a change. Make the time to look for job opportunities that interest and excite you – even those that might require extra education – and do what you can to develop any new skills that might be useful. Then, when you’re ready to transition into a new career, a counselor might be helpful in working out your optimum career path based on your skills and experience. Seek out the right advice, and you could be on the road to your dream job in no time.
Humans are social creatures. We all need people we can rely upon through the highs and lows of life, who will offer support during hard times and encouragement when things are going well. Friends, family, and significant others are all great ports of call for most people, but for the times when your nearest and dearest are out of reach, keep those closest to you in mind. Reaching out to your neighbours or getting involved in local community events can help you establish entirely new networks, and feeling more connected might just make a big difference to your emotional wellbeing.
Genetics and Attitudes
You are at the root of everything in your life, which is why it’s so important to understand yourself internally. Whether that means examining your attitude towards life or exploring a deeper underlying condition like anxiety or depression, you are the only person who can decide to change things about yourself, including your emotions. The way you think about your life and yourself is likely to have a more significant impact upon your long-term happiness than any external factor, so be aware of any recurring doubts, disappointments, or harmful self-talk and counteract them with positivity.
The one universal truth about happiness is that it comes and goes. It’s impossible to feel happy all the time, but you do have the ability to influence each of these factors and change your position in life.