The quest for happiness can often feel like a continuous climb. Even after completing a significant stretch, there always seems to be more ground to cover— whether it’s to conquer a new workout regimen, adjust career plans or boost your parenting skills. There’s comfort in knowing “I’ll be happier when… [insert desired life change here].” However, that pursuit to find happiness often compromises our ability to be happy in the moment, even if that moment includes loads of laundry and a crying child. Here are five ways to remain present as you make conscious life changes to become your best self in your own pursuit of happiness.
5 WAYS TO REMAIN PRESENT IN YOUR PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
Rather than making a habit out of searching for happiness, be aware of it. This requires you to look past dirty dishes and a lengthy errands run. Instead, find happiness in what often causes that to-do list to add up. Perhaps your child wanted an extra hour of playtime with you, or maybe a productive day at work leant itself to a power nap. Sure, we all fall behind. Avoid getting so weighed down by catching up, that you miss the joy in between it all— a feat that proves especially hard for mothers. Remain aware of the belly laughs and the “I love you’s,” rather than the messy house or a failed checklist.
EMBRACE SMALL STEPS
Often times, we assume the greatest happiness is achieved through accomplishing our biggest dreams. A major promotion, a cross-country move, a marriage proposal or the birth of a child. Of course, those changes do produce joy. However, in your quest to reach those milestones, embrace the smaller steps— the odd jobs, small living spaces, even the bad dates. Life is a series of mostly “boring” moments. Happiness lies within those moments, rather than merely around them.
TRACK YOUR JOURNEY
Technology makes tracking your life incredibly convenient. Keep notes in your phone, your computer, your tablet— wherever is easiest. Make a point to record who or what made you feel something, whether it’s happy, accomplished, disappointed or angry. I personally love documenting the twists and turns of my journey on my website – blogs can be a great way to both track your steps and share with others. Documenting your journey toward becoming your best self promotes reflection and rejuvenation, which is especially important amidst a busy schedule.
HAVE A GOOD CRY
Allow yourself to get emotional. Life is hard and often confusing, and sometimes a strong cry has the power to provide clarity. Tears don’t mean you’ve failed at finding happiness in your surroundings. Instead, tears indicate you’re processing life, absorbing it, and recognizing change. A strong cry also has the power to keep you sane, and quite frankly, we all need our sanity.
Go ahead, give yourself a gold star. Your accomplishments— big or small— are worth celebrating. Avoid wanting more before recognizing what you’ve already achieved. Whether you lose a few pounds, redecorate a room or wrap up a work project, congratulate yourself. Recognition works as a means of encouraging gratefulness along life’s infinite climb.