Elation and excitement come and go, but happiness can be a state of being.
For those of us lucky enough to have healthy levels of happiness chemicals in our brain (namely: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins), we actually have a tremendous amount of power over our attitudes, outlooks and overall mood. Let’s take advantage of that, shall we? Here are some ways in which you can empower yourself with your own happiness.
This is the simplest and arguably most important thing we can do for ourselves. So often, we’ll get caught up in the needs of others, of our loved ones. Equally as important as checking in with our friends and family is checking in with ourselves. At the end of each day, reflect on your mental and emotional status. This introspection helps us see patterns and teaches us about our baseline.
All of our lives have a certain level of drama, but seeking it out is a recipe for instability. We’ll manage to find a high and are soon after navigating the low. While that turmoil can be addictive, fight the urge. Instead, chase away boredom with laughter, the ultimate positive distraction. Rewatch Friends, call your best friend from high school or read The Onion.
Good days and bad days are inevitable, and we can’t always be on. We must remember that stress, heartbreak, anger, disappointment and loneliness are part of the human condition. We’re allowed to feel those things, and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for it.
This can be tricky, especially for those of us who may be shyer or dislike confrontation. But choosing transparency over passive aggression is not about instigating conflict. It’s about honesty. Being open with ourselves and the people around us is important in maintaining healthy relationships and getting what we need.
So say you’re regularly checking in with yourself, and you notice that for the past month, you’ve been in a bit of a slump. Take action—go beyond the recognition and analyze the things in your life that are bringing you joy versus the things that pull you down. Make a list, and vet out the negativity. We lead crazy, nebulous lives, and our lists will reflect this dynamism. So revisit often, and don’t ever settle for autopilot.