Let me tell you from the get-go that How to Find Happiness Within Yourself is not an easy question to answer.
I’ve spent days hopping on trains of thought to abandon them in the middle because they either seemed unfair, unrealistic, unempathetic, too complex, or impractical.
I’ve been thinking about happiness that exists without dependence and where I can find it as I take my dog on his walk, drive home from my grandma’s, watch The Office, feed stray dogs, move from one room to another, climb stairs, choose clothes, and all the places in between.
When a subject is rarely talked about or talked about incessantly, I like to begin by understanding it from the basics.
What is happiness?
In the simplest sense that I could gather, happiness is the experience of enjoying the moment that you are in. It’s beautiful and something that we all deserve.
Finding happiness within yourself requires it to be independent and natural, unforced and palpable, simple and powerful.
And, after my relentless introspection, I found my answer on one of these drives on my beloved scooter that I named Firebolt (thank you, Happy Potter).
The answer to finding happiness within is a balancing act between kindness towards yourself and kindness towards others. You have to take them both together and build on each other’s strengths.
Yes, service is something that people time and again credit for happiness, but it has to be maintained with caring for yourself otherwise you might feel burnt out, irritable, dissatisfied, and miserable.
And, being kind to yourself only multiplies with giving back and being close with a community and cause.
Watching the students on my self-love course has shown me that though self-love is an individual’s journey, taking it together is thousand times more impactful.
And, by the way, it sounds so simple, right? It’s not a new idea.
We all know about this. There is a lot of joy and satisfaction in giving to other people, looking after them, making space for them, and being grateful for them.
It definitely makes us feel that we are good human beings.
For me, the impulse to do something good for someone else has more often than not outweighed my desire to do something good for myself.
And, that is a problem. And, I can sense that it harms me. On the other hand, gratitude has been strongly correlated with happiness but there are times when it’s not experienced naturally on our own, so sharing it with others supports its practice.
So let’s now get down to the things that we can do here. What are the ways that we can be kind to others and to ourselves? I know a lot of people in the gratitude community identify as givers so let’s start with how we can be kind to others.
Ideas for kindness toward others
- Calling up a friend that you haven’t been in contact for a while
- Thanking someone generously without the expectation of mutual excitement
- Getting thoughtful gifts for the people you love
- Appreciating your acquaintances on Instagram that you see doing well.
- Pick up a piece of litter on the street and throw it out.
- Take the time to write a great online review for a restaurant you love.
- Contribute used books to the library.
- Be grateful for the innumerable small things that support your life each day
- Give honest feedback to someone who could benefit from it.
- Compliment a neighbor on a feature of their home.
- Write a thank-you note to a teacher who made a difference in your life.
- Stop to assist someone who looks lost.
- Give compliments that you genuinely mean.
- Buy a warm meal for someone in need.
Ideas for kindness towards ourselves
- Practice self-love
- Do guided meditations
- Expressing gratitude to yourself for the many ways that you are wonderful
- Sit down and do a self-reflection journaling exercise with no distraction
- Treating yourself to the things that you enjoy
- Appreciating all the little things that you accomplish every day
- Taking time out for rest and relaxation
- Embracing all the emotions other than happiness as they are a part of you too (read - the secret to be happy for life)
- Not pushing ourselves to our limits to feel we’re productive enough
- Watch/read what makes you feel good
- Base your value on how much you value yourself, not how much you want someone else to
- Learn to talk to yourself compassionately with positive affirmations
- Take photos of moments that you feel happy in
- Compliment yourself
- Don’t compare your unique, wonderful self to others
- Write letters to your future self
These are the ideas that I could come up with. I’m sure you’ll have many of them too. Let’s not make happiness a solitary experience, let’s make it inclusive.
As we make happiness an unlimited possibility, it will always be there to find within ourselves. I think I’m going to enjoy this experience. And I hope you will too. Share this with your friends if it resonated with you!
Take care :)
💡 Continue Reading: 3 Reasons Why You Should Love Yourself First