If we want to be happy we need to stop craving more all of the time. It is good to have dreams and aspirations, but we must always be happy with what we have right here, right now. If not, then we race through life always expecting the next event to bring us happiness; the next promotion, the next purchase, the next relationship. I say no! This is not the way to be happy. To be happy we must learn to value what we already have. Here are 7 ways to open you up to this way of being:
1. Take Pleasure in the Simple Things
There really is no component of happiness that says we need to live an extravagant life. Actually, it is the simple things in life that often bring us joy, so learn to appreciate them. It can be a walk in your favorite spot, a cup of tea at a cafe, a meal at home, or some nice music. It can be the sound of laughter, or a knowing glance from a stranger. Many simple pleasures await us every day, if we can only learn to become aware of them, and give them value.
2. Stop Thinking You Always Need More
I am not going to lie, the idea that we always need more can be a difficult pattern to break. We are constantly being told that we need to buy, buy, buy, and that the latest product can bring us what we need, that it will plug that gap in our hearts. A consumer driven mindstate, as sad as it is to say in a society that constantly promotes it, will never bring happiness. Desire only breeds desire and when what we think will make us happy is obtained, we only find ourselves wanting more anyway. We can think this of our career, our income, relationships, children, objects, house, car, the list goes on. We should aspire for more, but we must learn to appreciate every step along the way. Life isn’t all about physical “progression.”
3. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
One of the leading causes of thinking you always need more, is constantly comparing yourself to other people. This breeds jealousy and envy, and makes you feel that there are things missing in your life, things that other people have. “Such a person has a better job, or a better car, or a new phone.” If you say, or even think like this, then you need to stop making those comparisons. Life is not a race against other people, it is a personal journey which is different for everyone. So find happiness in what you already have.
4. Make A List
Its a classic technique for awareness, and there is a reason it always gets a mention; make a list of everything you can think of that you appreciate in your life. Every possession, every person, everything about yourself, pets, experiences, interests, activities, everything you can possibly think of that you have which adds value to your life. In a lot of cases the list will be far longer than you intially thought it would be.
5. Value Life and People Over Objects
In order to appreciate what we have we must drop our preference for objects, and adopt a preference for relations, interactions,knowledge, and for life itself. When we can value less material aspects of life then many of us realize that we actually live in abundance. We have everything we need around us, people who care about us, and the very fact that we can enjoy life itself becomes a gift.
6. The Best Things In Life Are Free
I have to admit, life costs money. It is one of those things isn’t it? We all have to deal with it to varying degrees. All too often it can drag us down, especially if we are struggling financially. But no matter what your situation never forget that the best things in life are free. If you are broke you can still smile, laugh with another person, look into their eyes, take a walk in the park, watch a sunset, and sit by a river. This lesson is equally important for people who have a lot of money, and revolve a lot of their activities around spending it. Remember money does not buy love or life.
7. Learn To Appreciate Life For Life’s Sake
We should understand how incredibly lucky we are to be in this position, to even be alive. For us to live now took millions of years of evolution, a journey through nature to a position of self-awareness. Now we are here, and more than any other individual species on the planet we are able to survive. So much are we able to survive that we have managed to free up a lot of leisure time for ourselves, compared say to an ant. We can contemplate life and look at the stars, dream our dreams, and live them. We can all find happiness in something that we all have; life itself.