10 Questions To Make You Think – March

This one comes a bit late because I was away in Brazil having too much fun but I haven’t forgotten my promise so here are the 10 questions for March:

  1. How could today have been better?
    Today’s just one day but it might represent your everyday so your answer can help improve not only today but your life in general.
  2. If you could add one hour to your day, what would you do with it?
    Maybe you can rearrange things and find time to do it anyway.
  3. In three words, describe your spirituality.
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  4. What new activity have you tried?
    It’s very important to try new activities whenever you can. They give meaning to life and make you feel empowered.

  5. What do you daydream about?
    Sometimes this can say a lot about you, what you want and how you are feeling.
  6.  What makes you laugh?
    Laughter is the best medicine. It boosts your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain and protect you against the effects of stress. Therefore, you should do it as often as possible. Read more about it here.
  7. Who do you aspire to be like?
    And what can you do to achieve that?
  8. When was the last time you felt like you were on top of the world?
    Reliving good memories boosts your happiness. Plus this might help you figure out what you can do to go back to that moment or have more moments like that.

  9.  What do you want to remember about today?
    Every day has something good about it. Sometimes we forget to appreciate the little things that happen in our everyday life.
  10. Write down a few lines from a song or poem that you identify with at the moment.

 

 

 

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Happiness Is A Choice

“People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you’re fortunate enough. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.”Eat Pray Love

I really love this quote because it explains the whole point that led me to research about happiness and consequently the reason why I have this blog. I think you need to fight for happiness and not just wait for it to fall into your lap. Sometimes that means you have to make changes. They might be big changes: quitting your job, getting a divorce, moving to another country , travelling the world. Or small changes: sleeping well, waking up earlier, taking up a course, going out more. But sometimes that fight for happiness doesn’t necessarily mean you have to actively do something. Sometimes the effort you have to make is to actually practise acceptance. Instead of fighting against your present situation, you have to accept it and make peace with it in order to find happiness.

I don’t think it’s a choice in the sense that you can just decide “I’m happy now” and you automatically become happy but I think it’s a choice to go after it.

I have been striving for happiness, reading about it, trying different things, making changes. And you might ask me: is it helping? Absolutely! I did go through a rough patch even though I was looking for happiness. I felt like giving up but I didn’t and now I’m finally reaping the rewards of my efforts. I believe that this is the meaning of the quote. You need to try hard to find happiness even if it’s not something you do consciously. Most people don’t wake up one day and think “I’m going on a search for happiness.” However, happy people have decided at some point in their lives consciously or unconsciously to go after what they want, to practise acceptance, to find contentment, etc. I believe it’s more difficult for some people than it is for others. That can happen for various reasons. Maybe your brain, your family or your circumstances don’t help but it is there for you to find. We can all get it if we try hard enough.

Stay Away From Negativity

Obviously being positive is very important in the search for happiness. However, this post is about external negativity not internal.

Negativity is everywhere. People complain about their lives and the world all the time, even on social networks. The news tells us about all the bad things that are happening. There are many movies and TV programs displaying horrible situations.

I understand the need to be informed about the world problems. However, we also need to be informed of the good things. When you’re fighting depression in particular, it is better to avoid these negative reminders. When we are depressed, the smallest things can trigger unhappy feelings.

Some people might disagree with this but there were times in my life when I decided to not read/watch the news. I was too overwhelmed by my own problems and I found myself crying over something that happened to somebody else on the other side of the world. There was nothing I could do about it and me reading that wouldn’t help it in any way. Sometimes we just need to take a break from all the negativity out there. You have to help yourself to be able to help others.

Find Out What Makes You Happy And Sad

Sometimes we feel down for long periods of time and we feel that we don’t know the exact reason.

In this case, it is very useful to keep a record of what makes you happy and sad each day. When you have to write it down and think about your day, you will notice more clearly what is getting you down. You become more aware of yourself and your needs.

Write everything down. Don’t worry if they are silly things. They might seem silly at the time but they are obviously meaningful to you. Maybe you felt sad because of some news you read or because you missed the bus. Maybe you felt happy because you ate a cookie. When you are feeling depressed, some problems might look bigger than they are but how you felt at the moment is still real and you shouldn’t ignore it. You can gain deep insight into yourself. This record is for you not anyone else, so be honest.  What really made you happy today? What really made you unhappy?

After keeping this record for some time, you can read back and take notes of the recurrent things. You might notice there is a pattern and the same things are making you unhappy again and again. Then you can make changes and also try to do more of what makes you happy.

4 Things You Don’t Have To Do To Be Happy

Many people believe that these four things are part of life. You can’t escape them. Everyone must follow this pattern. It’s just the way it is.

Yes, all the items in this list can bring happiness. However, you don’t need any of these things to be happy. You can choose to follow this or not and it’s your decision. Don’t let society convince you to do any of those things. Think carefully about them and decide if they are for you or not. Because one things is true: they are not for everyone. People are different and they have the right to choose a different path. No one’s path is the same.

1. You don’t have to have a religion. 

But whatever you decide to do, there are some things to consider:

Don’t judge people because of their (lack of) religion.
Don’t let someone else (not even your parents) choose your religion or what you believe in. It’s something very personal.
Don’t be arrogant about it and don’t try to convince others that you’re right and they’re wrong.
And most importantly, don’t hurt people in any way because of your choices.

2. You don’t have to get  a job. 

This might sound crazy. How can I survive if I don’t have a job?

Fortunately, there are many ways to make money that don’t involve getting a job.

Steve Pavlina wrote a great eye-opening article about it and you can read it here.

3. You don’t have to get married.

For some people, a wedding is a dream come true. But sometimes people get married for all the wrong reasons.

It’s tempting to get married because everyone you know is getting married or you are afraid to be alone or it’s an ‘easier’ and sometimes cheaper way to live.

However, getting out of a marriage is much more complicated than getting in.

It’s not only about love. You can love each other and even live together and be happy but not get married.

If marriage is really important to you in a deeper way, fair enough. If not, think twice.

4. You don’t have to have kids.

This is one of the most important ones. Having kids is a huge responsibility and there are so many people that should never do it.

This is different from getting married. Here you should not only ask yourself if this is what you really want but also ask yourself if you’re ready and if you have what it takes.

You’re responsible for raising, educating and loving a person and depending on the job you do, you can either make this world a better place or a worse place. So if you do decide to have kids, make sure you’re raising them to make this world better.