Taking Control of Your Happiness

Taking Control of Your Happiness

What is happiness? It’s kind of an unanswerable question, but it’s something we’re all constantly striving to find for ourselves. How much of happiness is in our control and how much of it is inherent/genetic? I thought we could end the last Mental Health Awareness blog talking about happiness and what we can do to take control and try our best to find happiness or create it for ourselves. 

At the end of the day, I think a lot of what I write about on this blog is in some way contributing to the pursuit of happiness. Working on our physical and mental health often means improving our lives, and ultimately finding some satisfaction or happiness once we hit our goals. And the good news is, all of these things–eating healthier, getting more exercise, strengthening your mental health–are things that you have complete control over. 

So how can you try to take control of your happiness? Here are a few ways you can set yourself up for success: 

  • Choose to do things that align with your personality, values, and interests. Do things for you and not because someone else wants you to. You tend to feel your best when you’re doing activities and in environments where you feel comfortable just being yourself. 
  • At the same time, mix things up and don’t slip into the same old routine. If you’re doing the same workout routines over and over, you’ll inevitably become complacent. Doing something different (like going to a different class/trying a different sport) will engage your brain in new ways and keep things interesting. 
  • Don’t obsess over doing things that purely make you feel good. Retail therapy, for example, is one of those things that tends to never end. You can keep buying stuff because you think it’ll change your life or make you a different, better person. And you might feel good in the moment, but eventually that goes away and you’re left looking for the next thing to buy to somehow enhance yourself. 
  • Instead, do things that are meaningful to you and don’t just make you feel good in the moment (although yes, there are times for that too). Meaningful experiences are what usually stay with us. 
  • Do things that require commitment and hard work. When we have to put a lot of effort into something, the result is usually an accomplishment worth being proud of and happy about. Investing in yourself will always pay off. 

For me, putting in hard work every day makes me happy. I might not really appreciate that in the moment because hard work is not always fun and it’s almost never instantly gratifying. It’s often not something I really get to enjoy or be happy about until much later down the road. But now that I’m reflecting on it, seeing progress every day and wanting to continue improving and becoming better every single day, I guess, is how I’m trying to take control of my happiness.


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