Everyone and their cats are looking for happiness. The adorable infographic below shows how people around the world are finding… or making… their own happiness.
I love it and I’m know you will too. – Joi (“Joy”)
Happiness. Gratitude. Mindfulness. Don’t we all live for that?
There’s nothing wrong with that attitude. In fact, we all deserve to be happy and we should strive towards that goal for as long as we’re living. The problem is: it’s almost impossible to be happy all the time. Most of us are far from Buddha’s smile. But, there’s a good thing about it: the journey.
The journey towards happiness is bumpy. If we want to experience pure freedom and joy, we have to dig deep into our soul and mind, and get all the trash out of there. We have to develop an immunity against stressful situations, which we’ll keep experiencing.
Today, we’ll explore a method that makes us more conscious about the happy and less happy moments we go through: journaling.
Journey. Journaling. The similarity between the words is not a coincidence. By keeping a journal, we become aware of all emotions, fears, expectations, obstacles, and joys in our journey. We are witnessing our own way towards happiness.
Now, the question is: how do you keep that journal?
Why do you need journaling and how will it make you a happier person? You need that answer before you commit yourself to this practice.
Mindy Bennett, a writing tutor at EduGeeksClub.com, explains why journaling makes sense: “I had a job I loved, a great partner, and tons of friends to give me support whenever I needed it. Still, I wasn’t happy. Something was missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it. I tried contemplating over my life, but that didn’t work… my thoughts were too chaotic,” – she says.
“Then, I thought: why don’t I just write? It’s what I do for living, anyway. Journaling was the most overwhelming writing challenge I’ve ever faced. I had to express my fears and deepest emotions on paper. At the same time, this was a beautiful experience. When I write about what makes me happy or miserable, I reach a stream of consciousness that keeps me going. This practice helps me understand myself.”
A stream of consciousness. A practice that helps you understand yourself. That’s what journaling is all about.
First, you make a commitment:
“I’ll write in my happiness journal every single day.”
Repeat that to yourself. You’ll feel inspired for an entry during the beginnings. However, you may notice that your inspiration fades away within a few days. You’ll skip one day, making the good old excuse: I’ll just write something tomorrow. That’s called procrastination, and it’s not a good habit to have on the journey towards self-realization.
You need something that will motivate you to keep journaling on the long run. Here are a few suggestions:
You’ll be able to search through your journal, so you’ll easily find the exact entry you have on mind. As for the inspiration, Penzu will send custom email reminders to keep you going.
Is your mind playing tricks on you, trying to convince you that there’s no time for journaling? Look; if you can’t find 10 minutes a day for an activity that leads you to a happier life, then there’s something really wrong with your schedule.
10 minutes is all it takes. Sit down. Clear your mind. Think: are you at a good place now? Why? Why not? Describe how you feel in this very moment and what would make you happier. Don’t edit anything. Don’t hold anything back. Just pour your feelings out. When you’re done, go to bed. You’ll do the same thing tomorrow.
From time to time, you can go through the entries and you’ll see your progress. With practice, this activity will become easier. You will stop censoring your thoughts and you’ll be completely honest with yourself. When you recognize your flaws and the obstacles that prevent you from being happy, it will be easier for you to take the right action.
When you start writing about your feelings, it’s easy to focus on the negative. You’ll complain. That’s okay. Don’t hold your bitterness back. The paper (or computer screen) can handle it.
However, you should never put your entire focus on negative thoughts. Recognize the obstacles, but give credit to the good things, too. Turn this into a routine: at the end of each daily entry, write what you’re grateful about. Even if it’s the same small thing every day, keep writing it down. With time and practice, you’ll train your mind how to be more optimistic.
Getting into details is not a comfortable thing to do. You’re hiding some thoughts and emotions from yourself. When you write “I was happy today,” ask yourself: why? What exactly made you happy? How did that thing make you happy? Why weren’t you happy about it yesterday? How can you keep that thing going?
These statements are too vague. When you write something like that, you’re not digging deep enough. How exactly did your partner make you happy or miserable? Be 100% honest with yourself. Remember: no one will read your journal. It’s all about revealing the truth to yourself and finding the path toward happiness.
Are you ready to do it? Why wait? Today looks like an awesome day for journaling!
Antonio is a hopeless optimist who enjoys basking in the world’s brightest colors. He loves biking to distant places and occasionally he gets lost. When not doing that he’s blogging and teaching ESL. He will be happy to meet you on Facebook and Twitter.
Too often do you see people easily overlook the impacts traveling can have on your overall, general wellbeing. If you are spending significant parts of your day being held up in hectic traffic, then your mind will feel hectic too. It is hard to transition a stressful journey into a calm day, especially if you know the commute home will be just as bad.
Therefore, it is important to think about how you travel, and whether it is causing any negative effects towards your health. If driving to work is setting you up for a stressful day, then it could be time to look for alternative methods of traveling.
By building exercise into your travel routine, you will be reaping in double the benefits. For a start, walking or cycling to your destination will give you time to clear your head, and over time it will boost your fitness. If you haven’t cycled for years, then this is the perfect time to start again, as there are facilities and cycle lanes set up on most roads to make your journey safe. You could be surprised at how quickly you can get to your destination when you’re not sitting in traffic.
Another plus is, if you exercise more, you will also have a boost of happiness through the release of endorphins, making it a win-win option. Furthermore, you could save huge amounts of money by opting for this method of transport.
Alternatively, maybe catching public transport is the root of your problem due to the constant worry of being late and unreliable connections. Maybe you are sick of the discomfort from over-crowded buses or trains. This kind of regular discomfort can cause anxiousness, panic attacks and slowly build towards mental health issues. If you are in this situation, then it might be better for you to work out whether it is better for you to drive to work, or ask your employer if you could work different hours to avoid the heavy traffic and avoid busy times on public transport.
If driving isn’t an option because you haven’t learnt to drive yet, then you should think about learning. You could pass your test on a quick course and prepare for your theory test online here. Being able to drive will give you much more freedom and provide happiness.
However, sometimes public transport is the only effective method of travel within major cities. If you catch a train, then you are able to perform tasks driving a car would not permit. You can grab a seat, take out your laptop and/or tablet, and either relax or prepare for the working day. This is a perfect way to utilize the time otherwise spent driving, cycling or walking, and can help the busy businessperson.
Similarly, you can spend your time on public transport completing simple errands such as grocery shopping or gift buying.
There are lots of ways you can make changes to set you up for a happier life, so make sure you invest in a way of life that can help you lead a blissful, healthier lifestyle you will be thankful for years down the line.
Lucy has been working in the fashion industry for six years. A dedicated follower of all things fashion and beauty, she is passionate about new industry developments. Lucy is now a full time freelance fashion writer.
In a perfect world, your job would provide you with plenty of interesting tasks, the opportunity to use your skills in a rewarding and stress-free way, funny and engaging co-workers and a beefy paycheck at the end of every week.
… but this version of workplace utopia does not reflect the reality of your workplace, at least not most of the time. Sure, you like your job and it helps to pay the bills, but lately you feel more stagnant than inspired and constrained rather than empowered.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tangible and effective things you can do — starting today — that will help you to feel happier in your career. Here are a few great places to start:
In his book “The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job,” Wall Street expert Patrick McGinnis offers an intriguing idea. Nurture and embrace your entrepreneurial spirit and explore ways to start your own company, while still holding onto your steady job and paycheck. By launching your own side gig, which should be something you truly love to do, you will probably feel more creative, energetic and inspired, while avoiding the financial strain that comes with getting a new business off the ground. There are plenty of low-risk ways to get a side business off the ground. Consider using gig-economy platforms like Handy, Upwork, Amway and others. Using McGinnis’ equation, strive to put four to five hours a week toward your entrepreneurial goals. In time, you may find that you can leave your current job and focus on your new career full time.
While entrepreneurs start their own business, intrapreneurs look for ways to better their existing job and company. As Key Differences notes, for some people, being an intrapreneur can be immensely rewarding, and can definitely help boost your workplace happiness. If you have been with your company for some time and are familiar with all aspects of the business, approach your boss about taking on a larger role in improving the workplace and products. Rather than using your own finances like an entrepreneur, the intrapreneur can use the company’s resources to help fund new ideas, redesign the way things are done and make improvements.
Depending on where you work and what tasks you must complete, you might be able to tweak your schedule and responsibilities to make your job more enjoyable. If you’re an early bird who struggles to focus after 4 p.m., talk to your boss about adjusting your shift to match your inner clock. As Work It Daily notes, if you love certain parts of your job more than others, see if you can cut back on the tasks you do not enjoy to emphasize the ones that bring you satisfaction. If you are a journalist who’s tired of writing “negative” hard news stories, you might see about switching your beat to community news or writing for a smaller paper that emphasizes uplifting feature stories.
An effective way to boost your workplace spirits is to treat yourself for a job well done. As The Muse notes, this can be as simple as promising yourself a fancy iced coffee drink once you finish an especially boring or challenging task, or setting aside a small portion of your paychecks to spring for that new outfit, exercise equipment, electronic device or other goodie you really want.
My personal candidate was Marco Rubio, and I greatly respected Ben Carson as well. If Vice President Joe Biden had thrown his hat into the race, I would have had a candidate in each party. I guess I should be glad I never had to face the problem of liking too many players in the game!
Don’t get me wrong, unlike most people, I don’t feel any animosity toward Hilary Clinton or President-Elect Donald Trump. I respect many of the things they’ve done in life, including their children. Are they perfect? No more so than you or I. I wish both of them a world of happiness and success in life. I have no time for or inclination toward hate, bitterness, or resentment – so if you’re waiting for me to spew any ugliness, you’ll be sorely disappointed. I leave the judging to God.
I only point these facts out because there is an unreal amount of hate swirling around these days and I don’t want anyone thinking I have a political agenda. I have no such thing. What I have is a “happy agenda” and I’ve had a bad case of it for as long as I can remember.
I want people to be happy! Not just the “smile on their face” kind of happy, either. I want people to be so happy and so in love with life that they find it almost impossible to sit still.
The present emotional climate in the world is stormy with signs of getting worse before it gets better. And this from an eternal optimist! I take no joy in pointing it out, but if you expose yourself even slightly to social media or mainstream news, you already know this assessment is spot on.
Is this a tragic situation? No…… It is what it is. History is filled with tragedies – any fellow history buffs reading this are already nodding their heads in agreement. The Boston Massacre, the Trail of Tears, Slavery, the Civil War, Concentration Camps, and on and on. Those were unspeakable, unimaginable, and gut-wrenching tragedies.
History is also filled with protests, marches, anger, and the other situations we are seeing on an almost daily basis. These periods come and they, eventually, go.
One of my mom’s favorite quotes was, “This, too, shall pass.” Eventually, the anger, raging, fighting, and lashing out will die down. In the meantime, I want to encourage as many people as I possibly can not to “lose” yourself in the ugliness. If that means removing yourself from it – as in getting off of social media or cutting back on the news – do it. Do whatever it takes.
I, personally, (as a web publisher) have to stick it out. Sometimes it feels like I’m standing out in the rain without an umbrella. My main social media activity is on Twitter and, within just the past two years, the rain has felt more like a raging storm…
As I said earlier, the emotional climate in the world isn’t what I’d call tragic. However, I’ll tell you what IS tragic – seeing people lose who they are and what they stand for. It’s tragic to see individuals become so consumed with hate and anger that they cannot even carry on civil conversations. People have lost the ability to civilly disagree with others. They’ve lost the ability to accept that others have opinions that may be different from their own.
People today have the mindset of, “I’m right and if you don’t agree with me, you are wrong.” But they don’t just stop there… they will unload on anyone and everyone with name-calling, belittling, accusations, and venomous anger.
Simply for having a different opinions.
So where do we go from here? In addition to praying (day and night!) for things to change, we have to be on guard. We have to make sure that we don’t allow others to steal our joy. We also have to be on constant guard for something else – we have to make sure we don’t turn into them. Think of a zombie movie for a minute. What’s the worst possible thing to happen in a zombie movie? For the hero or heroine to become a zombie – for them to become the vile, cruel, and.. let’s face it… downright ugly zombie.
If we give the bitter, angry crowd too much of our time, our hearts, and our thoughts… we will slowly become more and more like them. What a revolting thought!
Who in their right mind would want to spend so much time angry, bitter, resentful, and mean-spirited – all while being constantly on the prowl for something else to get upset about.
A few nights ago, I saw a young man (who, a year ago, was one of the calmest, happiest people on all of Twitter) – within a span of 30 minutes – verbally attack THREE different groups of people. Not one, not two.. but three. He hurled accusations and made a bitter little spectacle of himself. I instantly thought back to who he used to be and felt kind of sick to my stomach. Slowly but surely, he lost himself.
I hope that hasn’t happened to you and, if you’re close to “the line,” I hope this will serve as a reminder.
Life is short and we aren’t going to get a second shot in this life. Please don’t spend it worked up about things that are beyond your control. It isn’t good for your family, your mind, your happiness, or your health. Don’t let anyone or anything steal your joy.
Ironically, after typing out well over 1,00 words, I think we can sum it all up in two: Choose happiness.
~ Joi (“Joy”)