What makes us truly happy in life?

Sometimes we fall so deep into our routine rhythms of life that we forget to even think about the ideal of happiness.  When our mind does land on the subject it can take us by surprise.  How did I get here, am I happy and what would make me happy are often questions that arise.

It is my belief that if we start to ask these questions while making even the most mundane decisions in life, slowly happiness will begin to bubble to the surface.  For example, while at the grocery store we often make hundreds of decisions without even thinking.  How do these decisions effect us, in particular our happiness?  Well….if we buy foods that have ingredients that ultimately make us feel icky our health will decline…..feeling icky can cause you to be grouchy….which can lead you to mistreat family and friends or simply not enjoy activities….which ultimately leads you further away from happiness.  This is just a general overview.  Imagine if you start to take into consideration the details that get effected by that trip to the grocery store: blood sugar levels, quality of digestion, intake of caffeine and alcohol,  adequate vitamins and minerals, etc. And this is just your trip to the grocery store!

Let us quickly look at other simple things we can do in our everyday lives that will up our happiness quota:

  • Never bring junk mail into the house, throw it away at the post office or directly in the trash. Remove yourself from mailing lists and feel good about saving trees, human energy and reducing your exposure to unwanted junk mail.
  • Watch a PBS program instead of commercial TV.
  • Eat at the dinner table, with candles lit (instead of in front of the TV).
  • Read a good book.  Visit the library.
  • Write a letter on pretty paper using a nice pen.
  • Take your dog for a walk. Both of you will get exercise, sunshine and fresh air.
  • Hold hands with someone in public.
  • Eat fruit directly off the tree or vine. You will almost be able to taste the sunshine in it!
  • Use your imagination, make something with your hands or work in the garden.

This will be a series of entries and I plan to add to this list.  What would be on your list?

Published in: on July 3, 2010 at 7:04 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love the simplicity of your “ritual” suggestions and agree, that although they are external, the impact on the internal is significant.

    I would like to add being kind and friendly even when you’re not feeling great. I notice that when I’m in a funky mood (for whatever reason), that connecting with others helps me to remember who I am able to return to being joyful and grateful for this life.

    Wonderful question! Thank you . . .

  2. Angela, thanks for the reminder about asking that very important question. We all struggle to achieve, but does what we get make us happy? As the saying goes: “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get.

    However, I would like to add something to your list: going for a bike ride!

    Here’s an article I saw today that discusses this very issue (happiness, not bike riding):

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