Six steps on our journey to happiness

May 24, 2017 8:41 am Published by

I recently read a post on social media suggesting you cannot be happy if you have a superior intelligence. Of course, I know this to be untrue, but it did get me thinking about our perennial pursuit for happiness and joy. The following steps seem to do it for me.

Build relationships
The Zulu proverb, “Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu” roughly translates to a” person is a person through other people”. We are wired to connect with others. Nurture the connection with family, friends and community members who add value to your life. Find the time to connect and take an interest in the people whose company you enjoy. If you have any doubt about the connection between relationships and happiness, watch Robert Waldinger’s TED talk on Harvard’s research on happiness.

Be present in the moment
Fear of what might happen or disenchantment with the past often occupies our minds. We can spend so many hours on thinking about what we need to do, we forget how to just “be”. We need to bring ourselves into the present moment, experiencing joy in what we see, smell and hear around us. There really does seem some sense in stopping to smell the proverbial roses.

Connect with our wonderful world
A beautiful sunrise is enough to lift our spirits. A beach walk or mountain hike can wipe out negative emotions. Connecting with the natural world often helps with depression.

Mind/body connection
It is difficult to feel joy while experiencing physical pain and there will be times when it is hard to focus on the good things. However, we can start to notice what improves our physical condition. It has been proven often that exercise and nutrition is essential to both a healthy body and healthy mind. Find the exercise routine that makes you feel good while maintaining a level of fitness. Notice your reaction to certain foods and tailor your diet accordingly.

Outward focus
Develop an interest in the world and its inhabitants. Find an activity or interest which will take you away from yourself. Caring for others or working towards changing our world for the better can bring a greater sense of purpose to our lives.

Focusing on what is good in your life can be uplifting. Focusing on what is good in others can change your relationships. Letting other people know what you appreciate about them can change the way they see themselves.

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This post was written by Merridy Edgson

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