To me, happiness is one of those things that doesn’t have a universal definition. It varies from person to person, constantly changes, and can’t always be explained. There are countless things in life that make us happy for no reason other than that they make us happy. There really isn’t a logical way to explain them.
While I don’t believe there’s one specific definition of happiness, I do think all of the forms of it have one thing in common: they frequently get overshadowed. Life makes it hard to keep happiness as a priority. Compared to all of the other things we have going on in our lives, happiness can easily tumble down our hierarchy of priorities. But it’s crucial to our mental health that we keep our happiness level in our thoughts. These are a few things that I like to do to focus on prioritizing my happiness.
Identify things that don’t make you happy
This sounds like a really simple concept, but I’ve found that it can actually be pretty difficult. One thing that I think we can all agree on is that we are constantly changing and evolving. When you look back on the person you were a year ago, you probably don’t see the same person you are today. It’s important to keep in mind that as you evolve, so do your likes and interests. A hobby that brought you a lot of joy and happiness at one point might not necessarily do the same for you now. In fact, it might be causing you unhappiness. You could be unintentionally forcing yourself to do something that you don’t even enjoy anymore, which detracts from your overall well-being.
Every now and then, I think it’s critical to sit down and evaluate the different aspects of your life. Are the things you do on a daily basis making you happy? Is there something you’ve been doing over and over for so long that you haven’t stopped to consider whether you actually still enjoy it? One of the most effective ways to prioritize your happiness is to be completely honest with yourself. Don’t be afraid to admit that something no longer makes you happy. Honesty is everything.
Try something you’ve always wanted to try
We all have that list of activities that we want to accomplish at some point in our lives. Some could be learning to knit or taking a cooking class or traveling to a faraway country. A great way to put your happiness first is to set one of your lifelong goals in motion. Obviously we all don’t have the luxury to drop everything and jet off to a foreign country, but smaller opportunities are constantly available to us. For a long time, one thing that I always wanted to do was develop a consistent workout routine that I enjoyed. I ended up giving running a try and quickly realized that I loved it. This was a goal that was both practical and attainable for me. It wasn’t as glamorous as some of the other things on my bucket list, but accomplishing it definitely made me happy.
Putting forth the time and effort to achieve something will make you feel significantly happier in the long-run. It’s the best way to put yourself first and live feeling more fulfilled.
Give yourself a moment to breathe
There are a lot of times when life feels like it moves at a constant, never-ending pace. With everything you have going on in your life, it can be difficult to find the time for yourself. For me, one of the most important components of prioritizing your happiness is knowing when you’ve reached your limits and being willing to admit it. Working yourself to the point of physical and mental exhaustion will do nothing but make you miserable. You should never be afraid to challenge yourself, but you should stay conscious of difference between testing your boundaries and totally trouncing them.
After a long stint of work, you need to give yourself a reprieve. Part of being a human is having to recharge with rest. You’ve got to allow yourself that time if you want to continue on happily and healthily. Even if it’s as simple as giving yourself an extra hour of free time or napping when you get the chance, it can make a massive difference.
Happiness is such a valuable aspect of each and every person’s life. If we don’t make it one of our biggest concerns, we can lose sight of things we really care about. Being aware of your own personal definition of happiness makes it much easier to maintain. It’s important to focus on yourself and the things that bring joy to your life.
How do you prioritize your happiness?