“It is not that we have a short time to live, but we waste a lot of it…Life is long enough and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well-invested”.
This is what Seneca said around 2000 years ago and what is probably more relevant now than ever before. In a world inhabited by ambitious “go-getters”, everybody wants to be as multilateral and as multitasking as possible. We make our lives so crowded that we do not have time left for what makes us happy. We think we are being productive because we do a lot of things, but only few of them really bring us success. And if you ask me, I am definitely saying that happiness IS the success. This does not work the other way around, I am sure that it is not success that makes us happy, but our happy state of mind that ultimately brings us success. So, “well-invested” means nothing else but making yourself happier. Wasting time means investing it in activities that do not bring us any advantage, be it spiritual or material (because like it or not, money may not buy happiness, but it buys freedom, which is a huge if not the only component of happiness). Now since I took your time and made you read this (hopefully I did), I cannot just leave it theoretical, so here are five simple ways to bring yourself happiness:
We are being influenced by all those perfect Instagram bodies and are being authoritatively told that we have to workout to be in line with those perfect people (do they even exist?), which makes us even more depressed and forces us to place ourselves into totally disadvantageous comparison positions. But what should really make us exercise is the happiness hormones that we can get out of it, not the perfection. And science has proven that even 7 minutes a day are enough to make us feel better. And even if your appearance will not really change, you will change your perception of it, and this is a big win!
2. Spend more time outside
Spending time in fresh air is proven to enhance happiness, especially if you are lucky to enjoy a good weather (which is rarely my case, but brings me a double boost of happiness when it happens). When being outside, take your time to admire the nature, to observe people passing buy, or simply enjoy by doing nothing and by not thinking of anything.
Tip: exercise outside and voilà!, you got a double dose.
3. Help others
Psychologists often stress that helping others makes us feel happier, because it enhances our perception about ourselves. And this is a huge resource, as there will always be someone who needs help. If only you want, you can take your happiness level to heaven.
Meditation literally clears your mind and calms you down, making you feel so much better. I know it’s hard, I know you need to make a huge effort to keep your thoughts in place and prevent their jumping around your mind, but it is definitely worth it. Just try to take a few minutes a day, and even if you cannot get into that state immediately, practice and it will come.
5. Spend time with your beloved ones
It should have been the first one. I know you don’t have the time, but find it! You may think that just relaxing and telling family stories for the 100th time is a loss of time, but trust me, it is not! It is actually the most wisely spent time, it is the most happiness-enhancing time, it is probably the only time- when you are totally, head-to-toe yourself! This is happiness!
Bonus one: We know that money cannot buy happiness, but what if it buys shoes- isn’t it the same thing?