Whether you are in a relationship or not, being happy is something that we all want! If you can be happy on your own as a single person before becoming involved in a relationship, you will be happy in your relationship. However, if you think you need someone in your life to make you happy, you are getting into a relationship for the wrong reasons.
What is happiness?
Do not confuse moments of joy with happiness. Happiness is not a fleeting feeling. Happiness is more than what you feel in the moment. In fact, you can be overall happy even when you are having a bad day or when you face setbacks in life.
Happiness is when you have your act together and have set realistic goals areas of your life – family, social, financial, personal development, career, spiritual, and physical – and are making progress in each area. Happiness is feeling good about yourself as a person and having activities and relationships that lead to self-fulfillment.
You could have a physical health crisis, for example, but still be a happy person because you understand that setbacks are a part of life but your overall outlook is positive and you have other areas of life that are going well for you right now. You could have a financial crisis and fall on hard times but still be a happy person because the other areas of your life help pull you through your current crisis and you don’t lose your overall happiness as a person just because you are going through a hard time in one area of your life right now.
Tips to help you in your pursuit of happiness
- Gratitude Journal – Make a daily habit of writing down three things that you are happy for every day. These don’t have to be big things. In fact, being grateful for the everyday small things that are often overlooked will help you be more mindful of the blessings in your life. When you are feeling down, look back over your daily lists for a reminder of all the good you have. DO NOT journal the negative things in your life. All this does is make you dwell too much on the bad things. Focus on the positive.
- Acts of kindness – Do something nice for someone for no reason other than to do something nice, not because you expect to get anything out of it. Practice the “pay it forward” philosophy. Doing something for someone else lifts your mood and the mood of the recipient. Try doing something nice for someone anonymously, so you can be sure you are doing it for the reason of brightening their day rather than for the accolades you will receive for doing a good deed.
- Maintain relationships – It takes work, but keeping in touch with those you are close to will greatly improve your mood. Take the time to jot off a text, email, old fashioned letter, or phone call to stay in touch. Spend time with friends and family as often as you can. Don’t be the shut in who gets too nervous going to a party and meeting new people.Those with friends and family surrounding them show the highest levels of happiness. Be sure to continue to keep in touch with the people who matter to you even after you enter into a romantic relationship. Many times people focus too much on their significant other, especially at the beginning, and end up isolating from everyone else. Maintain healthy relationships with a wide variety of people in your life for a healthy balance.
- Exercise – The positive benefits of exercise on your health, sleep, and mood are astounding! You will look better, feel better, have an improved immune system, and alleviate depression if you exercise. Don’t know where to start? Just add a 30 minute walk to your day and make this a part of your regular routine. Exercise is one of those things that people say they know they need to do but for some reason never make time for. The positive benefits of exercise are too good to be ignored, so start today!
- Let go – If you are holding on to the past, a grudge, or some wrong that has been done to you, you will not be happy until you can let these things go and move forward. If this is you, talk to a therapist about ways you can begin to let go and begin living the fulfilling and happy life that is waiting for you and that you deserve.