In this article, we will talk about building happiness that lasts. This article also has PDF resources including worksheets to help you build your own happiness.
Bonuses, new friendships and even winning the jackpot can only make you happier for a short time. Every person has a baseline happiness level to which they rapidly return. It requires effort to maintain long-term happiness. The exercises listed below can help you achieve true and long-lasting happiness if you do them on a regular basis.Find whatever works for you!
- Acts of Kindness
Each day, make a list of things that you are grateful for. Don’t worry if they’re basic or uninteresting—just get anything down on paper. Making a gratitude list will assist you in recognising the bright aspects of even the most grim days.
Meditation has been believed to reduce anxiety and increase feelings of positivity according to studies. Those who meditate on a daily basis may be able to completely restructure their brains, resulting in long-term happiness.
Exercising has a plethora of health benefits. People who are physically active have more energy, better immune systems, and a greater sense of achievement. Exercise can help with sleeplessness, brain development, and even comes with antidepressant benefits. If running or lifting weights appears to be too much, begin with a 30-minute stroll or a leisurely bike ride.
Take a little time to write about the good things that have happened in your life. Write about a memorable day spent with friends, a great movie, or a fun activity. Positive journaling will help you develop a habit of focusing on the positive aspects of your life.
Acts of Kindness
Among the most powerful influencers on our mood are strong social ties, according to research. Those that devote themselves to spending time with friends and family are the happiest. You can still write an email or telephone your loved ones if you can’t see them every day. If you feel like you don’t see your loved ones enough, set aside time for them.
The last section of this article will be dedicated to Ikigai, which is a Japanese concept for having a purpose in life, which ultimately leads to a sense of fulfillment and happiness.Once you find your Ikigai, you will be in alignment with your life purpose and that will ultimately lead to contentment and happiness.
Do you have a good enough reason to get out of bed in the morning or do you snooze your alarm to laze in bed for some more time. Through my experience I have discovered that most people haven’t really found or aligned with their purpose. They haven’t discovered their Ikigai. So what’s your Ikigai? Let’s find out.
In order to discover your Ikigai you’ll have to answer 4 fundamental questions and that too after reflection. Here are the questions and take your time to answer them:
- What is it that you love doing?
- What are you really good at?
- What is it that the world needs right now?
- What kind of work can you get paid for?
I have found that a lot of people don’t know what they love doing. Some haven’t yet discovered what they are good at. Others still are great at what they do but are not getting paid for it. The idea is to create balance in your life and for that you need to take this journey into yourself. This journey of self-discovery so that you may find out what you love doing, what you’re good at and what you can get paid for.
I, for example, have found that my passion lies in helping people cope with their life challenges and be there for them to provide them a safe space and emotional outlet and sit with them through their journey’s and watch them grow. Mental health advocacy is another thing I’m passionate about. This means that I have found what I love.
Take things step by step and don’t go hard on yourself. Give yourself time for self-discovery and understand that it’s never too late to live a life of meaning and purpose.
Characteristics of Ikigai
A healthy body, according to this concept, leads to better happiness in other aspects of life. Eating healthy and exercising frequently are two of the most important aspects of everyday ikigai.
Everyday ikigai also includes maintaining mental and emotional well-being. That begins the moment you wake up each day. You should try to do something you enjoy as soon as you get out of bed. Perhaps you have a favourite cup of coffee or prefer walking your dog while enjoying the sunrise in the morning.
Do anything you love every morning, whatever it may be, and you’ll set yourself up for success for the whole day.
One more feature of everyday ikigai is ichi-go ichi-e, which is the belief that every moment in life only comes once, so you should appreciate it while it can last, plus wabi-sabi, and that is the art of making the most of life’s moments no matter how perfect or imperfect they are.
Above all, ikigai entails celebrating others and nurturing healthy relationships on a daily basis. Make it a priority to express to your friends and family why you appreciate them. When you’re having a difficult time with someone, expect the best and recall the wonderful times you’ve had together.
Apart from that, be proud of the little things in your relationships and life generally. Do more than is required without hoping to be rewarded in return. This is known as kodawari in Japan.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
The Ten Rules of Ikigai
Here are the ten rules of Ikigai:
- Stay active; don’t retire.
- Take it slow.
- Don’t fill your stomach.
- Surround yourself with good friends.
- Get in shape for your next birthday.
- Reconnect with nature
- Give thanks
- Live in the moment
- Follow your ikigai
Stay active; don’t retire
Those who abandon their passions lose their sense of purpose in life. That is why, even when your “formal” professional activity has finished, it is critical to continue doing things of worth, progressing, offering beauty or value to others, contributing to, and altering the world around you.
Take it slow.
If you’re in a hurry, it means you’re not in control and stressed. Slowing down allows you to be more aware of your choices, in control, and more likely to do the things you should be doing.
Don’t fill your stomach.
“When it comes to eating for a long life, too, less is more. As per the 80 percent rule, rather than stuffing ourselves, we should eat a bit less than our hunger requires to stay healthier for longer.”
Surround yourself with good friends
When we realize that we now spend much more time alone staring at screens than we used to with our friends, we can see how this is truly the case. Rather than scrolling through your social media feed, contact an old friend and set up a catch-up date.
Get in shape for your next birthday
To keep functioning for a long period, the body you move through in life requires some everyday care. Exercising also releases hormones that make us feel good.”
A positive attitude is not only soothing, but it also aids in the formation of friendships. It’s important to acknowledge the negative aspects of life, but we should never lose sight of how fortunate we are to be alive right now in a world full of possibilities.
Reconnect with nature
Despite the fact that most people nowadays live in cities, humans were created to be a part of the natural environment. We should go back to it on a regular basis to replenish our souls.
Do you know what the Japanese phrase shinrin-yoku means? It signifies connecting with nature through the five senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch, and is translated as “forest bathing.” It is a mindfulness exercise that allows you to reconnect with nature in order to revitalise your body and give your mind a break.”
“To God, to nature, which gives you the oxygen you breathe and the food you enjoy, to your friends and family, to everything that brightens your days and makes you feel fortunate to be alive. Spend a few moments each day saying thanks, and you’ll see your happiness grow.”
Live in the moment
Stop reminiscing about the past and worrying about the future. You only have today. Make the best of the situation. Make it worthwhile to remember.
We have an internal discourse with ourselves from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall asleep. We forget to be awake, present, conscious, and alive in each moment as our minds fly from one worry to the next.
Follow your ikigai
There is a passion within you, a one-of-a-kind talent that provides purpose to your days and motivates you to give your all till the end. If you don’t know what your ikigai is yet, your mission, as Viktor Frankl puts it, is to figure it out.
Your ikigai doesn’t have to be a single special ability that motivates you. Ken Mogi, a Japanese author, defines ikigai as a spectrum, and you may have multiple ikigai.
The following venn diagram will help you discover your ikigai.
Building Happiness PDF Resources
In this article, we talked about building happiness that lasts. This article also has PDF resources including worksheets to help you build your own happiness.
If you’ve enjoyed the ”Building Happiness (A Guide + PDF)” mentioned above, I would recommend you to take a look at ”Little bags of happiness”
Frequently Asked Questions: Building Happiness PDF
What is the real key to happiness?
Relationships are the single most essential factor in determining happiness. People who have a wide range of social connections are happier, healthier, and live longer. Close relationships with family and friends offer us with love, purpose, and support, as well as boosting our self-esteem.
Can being too happy kill you?
It’s official: you can die from too much happiness. As per new Swiss research, happiness, rather than stress, anger, or fear, causes one out of every 20 cases of takotsubo cardiomyopathy, a potentially deadly change in the structure of the heart’s left ventricle.