If you’ve ever thought
‘I’ll be happy when I get x or have y’
or something along those lines - you’re not alone!
Sadly it’s not how happiness works.
Happiness is not a constant. The happiness we get from ‘stuff’ (whether that stuff is more money, a new partner, a new job / house/ car; is fleeting.
It runs out!
Try and remember the first time you bought a big ticket item with your own money. Maybe your first car. Remember how excited you were when you first sat in it and drove it home.
Really let your memory replay the scene and notice if a little smile has appeared on your face as you enjoy that memory.
And now think about how you felt as you hoped into your car this morning. Maybe you were too busy rushing to even notice any appreciation for your car, or maybe you are already looking for an upgrade because its a bit old and things are starting to go wrong.
Notice how that initial happiness is long gone. It fades.
So, how do you get happy for longer? It’s not in stuff. It’s not in acquisition. Happiness is a choice. It’s an inside job.
It requires actively seeking out things to choose to be happy about. (Finding as many half FULL glasses as you can throughout your day).
Poor old gratitude has become so clichéd in the last few years. Even though there is a large amount of research to prove it’s efficacy in creating positive mood, less anxiety and stress and better sleep, it can still feel a bit woo woo to take the time to fully invest in some daily gratitude practices.
So here is an alternative to help inject a little more happiness in your day.
Savouring is a fancy pants words for remembering!
Just like the example I mentioned above - remembering your first time driving your brand new (or brand-new-to-you second hand) car, remembering all of the factors in that moment - the smell, the place, the time, the music playing or the journey you took to get home;
savouring that memory fills your mind and body with happy hormones.
You can do the same thing with ANY positive experience you’ve had in your life. Relive it in your mind. Remember all of the aspects of it. Focus on the who, what and where of that experience and notice how happy you feel.
Look at old photographs and feel transported to that happy time.
Listen to favourite old songs that instantly create nostalgia for you.
And then SAVOUR it. Soak it all in and FEEL it in every cell of your body.
Happiness lives in the experiences you create and enjoy. Not in the stuff you think you need or want.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally fine to want new things, to aspire to have more, be more and do more. There’s no harm in desiring more from your life. The mistake that many people tend to make, however, is that they tie their happiness to the achievement or acquisition of those wants / desires.
And here’s the rub - if you’re a very unhappy person before the acquisition, it’s almost guaranteed that once you get the thing your chasing, you’ll still be unhappy.
Try finding reasons to be happy right now, and then continue to dip into your happiness as often as you like as you go through life acquiring whatever it is you feel like acquiring.