A new car. A big and beautiful house. Straight As. A college degree. A husband or wife. Children. Lots of money. The perfect body. Youth, or the illusion of youth. A fancy title and a successful career. A solid group of friends. Which are the biggest contributing factors to happiness?
It’s Not the Societal Norms
Marrying by a certain age, having 2.5 kids, owning your own home, looking just right, and being a “good” student in school. Those are just a handful of the societal norms most of us feel pressure to conform to, but unless these things truly bring you joy, they will contribute minimally to your happiness. Endlessly chasing these expectations may do the exact opposite.
You Define Your Happiness
Ultimately, happiness is defined by the experiences that make you happy, and this will vary from person-to-person. Yes, you need to make enough money to have a safe and comfortable place to call home and to meet your basic needs, but being financially wealthy is not the key to happiness. You define your happiness, which is most often achieved by:
- Fulfilling work
- Having a support system
- Spending time in nature
- Making the time to pursue your hobbies and passions
- Being part of a larger community
- Giving back to others
- Giving and receiving love—with friends, family, and pets
- Accepting your body just the way it is
- Making time for self-care
Happiness is easier to achieve than you might think. With just a few changes to your daily routine, you can live a happier and healthier life. You can start right now!