How Does One Live A Happy Life?
I posed the above question to my Facebook (FB) friends using the “Looking For Recommendations” section of Facebook. I knew that I had the most brilliant friends on FB (don’t we all?) and wanted to crowd source their wisdom.
Sometimes on social media, sincerity and seriousness get misconstrued, or worse – mocked. In “real life” I’ve often been teased for being “so serious”. However, seriousness comes in handy as a therapist! (I’m glad that I found my calling).
Generously, my FB friends took it seriously and gave wonderful recommendations. They offered wisdom garnered from books, life experience, spirituality, and above all, from thoughtful response to my question – How Does One Live A Happy Life? I want to share them with you. I hope that through these recommendations, you find something new to catalyze change, enhance your personal growth, and help you to live a happier life.
- My personal strategy is in an attitude toward what’s happening in the moment and looking for pleasing things. Life is everywhere I look and every stage is awesome. Noticing that seems to work for me.
- What he said. Also laughing. Find the fucking funny side of life, it’s almost always there.
- Never be less than yourself.
- Humans have evolved to be unhappy – sometimes we have to accept it. But:
Remember that you are loved.
- Connect with nature – hug a tree (when no one is looking if course)xoxo
- For me it helps to look at the whole planet, the sick, the old, the impoverished, the oppressed, the fallen, the underemployed, etc and then ask myself “how much happiness do I deserve? more than that child? More than that man? “. Am I happy enough? Am I happy enough? Can I settle for content with moments of happy and sad that are decent in quantity. Am I making anyone else happy? If I keep my gaze turned outwards rather than inwards it works best for me. I also try to do the things I want to… Not put them off. And being outside as much as possible.
- Gratitude and goals work for me. Creative outlets are necessary. Dogs are also excellent.
- I’ve found as I get older I have to be more deliberate about doing what I consider to be ‘fun’ things. Life is so full of shit you can’t do anything about, so do your fun things as often as you can, whatever they may be. Prioritize them, whatever they are. Dancing, friendships, something on your creative side, maybe learn something new like a craft or an instrument or skill you’ve always wanted to master? Curiosity will also always make your heart lighter.
- Yes – making things is a great distraction for me. Buy an old chair and renovate it – focus your mind on whether synthetic or natural fillers are better etc. Helps take your mind off the horrors in the world.
- Calm your mind (a little), open your heart (a lot), be yourself and be kind.
- Go for joy, skip happiness
Yes, kind of what I was going for with my comment. :)
- One simple fast way to do this, and it’s been proven to work chemically in your brain to promote health, is to watch videos that make you squee. Kittens, baby goats, whatever. Releases endorphins and all those other happy chemicals in your bean.
- Make the most of what you can control, make room for the joy and humour, be open to connection, embrace the sensual, and be kind to yourself. And eat chocolate.
- Nap. dance. eat chocolate. and visit friends!
- This works for me…
- Finding the beauty in everything.
- Don’t worry about what the other bald apes think
- It has been said that the mind holds onto bad experiences with velcro and the good ones slide off like Teflon, so deliberately change this by remembering and reliving good ones and good feelings and really just put the bad ones in the fuck it trash. Gratitude practice, good friends, good books, etc.
- Try not to work with or for the wrong people (I’m being polite).
- Make art. make everything you do a way to facilitate making art.
- You know I really think that its good to do creative stuff that’s not your thing – writing or making “art’ can be totally painful and stressful.
- Let the creative juices flow! Be it art or music or whatever floats your boat.
- Something I’ve been aware of, but only recently am trying to make a daily practice of : is expressing gratitude. I wake up every morning and take stock of the many awesome things I am grateful for. And this even works when you feel like absolute shit.
- Plus it really helps turn the ship around when your crabby with your kid. spouse, boyfriend, lover, coworker.. or whatever. :)
- lol. I do my ‘gratitude list’ (5) each morning after I park my car and do the 8 min. walk to work. Even when I forget, I remember! That’s the thing about habits…..:) I’m grateful for this Fbook conversation.
- Your question is coming at a difficult time for me, Mary. That Wheel of Responsibility is helpful. Good question btw. My general approach is to be playful and grateful; to seek things that inspire wonder; to be kind, to exercise, to eat well and to be mindful. To socialize frequently and to debates issues. And to make things. That should do it.
- Find the sun. Find the spot or window facing it. Cherish the moments you’re in it (if it’s there). When it’s beaming down on you, you will want to smile.
- In my personal experience, expecting and searching for happiness causes the problem. Accepting the ups and downs, finding the happy spots in the dark patches works better for me. I also agree that practicing gratitude with intention, fills me with light.
- People often mistake happiness as a destination instead of seeing it as the journey it is. Collect little moments of bliss, gratitude, awe, fun, and contentment each day and you have a happy journey. Hug trees when everyone can see you…set the example! Dance like everyone is watching, and you don’t give a fuck. Stop taking the world and yourself too seriously.
- Mary, you love movies. Ever watch any of Henry Jaglom’s? Your question got me thinking too of Someone to Love, wherein the director invites his old friend Orson Welles ( shortly before his death) to weigh in on the subject of happiness. His response has always stuck with me:
“Oh, well happiness I don’t know about. I’ve always been deeply suspicious of that line the Founding Fathers wished on us. “The pursuit of happiness.” I’m not very much in favor of that. I think we should be full of joy whenever there’s a reason to have joy. But I think happiness is not our right. It’s an achievement. It’s a bit of luck.”
- Try to acknowledge and appreciate it all; joy, pain, sadness, boredom, happiness, sorrow. All have their lessons, all have their purposes and moments. Acceptance of what is, is the shortest path to happiness (or even better, peace of mind) for me these days.
- I find happiness follows in all corners if I have fewer expectations – of others and of myself. And of course music, dance, and laughter are always a guarantee of happy (euphoric) moments!
- Massage. Compassionate touch .
- Mary Cross – Giving or receiving?
- Actually both. Of course receiving is always nice but giving is also a form of gratitude. I always feel blessed knowing I made someone feel better. That makes me happy. So Maybe giving in general makes one happy. ❤
- For me … giving but expressions of love and support fill me up
- We are all already living happy lives but for our thinking that we are not.
- ….and don’t forget to laugh!… from Tim Minchin, Australian comedian, writer, musician. https://youtu.be/yoEezZD71sc
- So much great advise from your friends Mary. Thanks for asking such a thought provoking question. XO
- This has been a wonderful thread to read. You are all so very lovely.
It’s interesting to note that no one mentioned money or material goods or health – maybe it’s because although we all know that financial stability and good health are helpful, sometimes those things are beyond our control. Or maybe we know that those things are not enough and not even necessary to live a happy life.
To summarize: There were recommendations to do external things – dance, read books, walk in nature etc. and recommendations to do internal things – to check your expectations for happiness, or to consciously cultivate gratitude or joy. According to my FB friends, living a happy life is helped by personal reflection and conscious effort to both tame your expectations of happiness, and generate experiences that give you good feelings.
With Gratitude, Mary.