How to be happy with your present life.
More money. A better job title. A bigger home. A car. Better clothes. More marathons. More friends. The perfect partner.
Natural it may be, but living in a constant state of eagerness for more, or a “better life” can be tiring and stressful, and it comes with risk.
They say it’s the little things in life that make happy moments. I agree, but I also think that when we only focus on what we don’t have yet, we barely notice the little (and big) things we already have.
Is it possible that the more we search for happiness, the harder it is to find?
I believe that doing the following can help us slow down, stop over-thinking and appreciate what we have right now, whilst working towards our goals.
Get out of the comparison trap
I was coming to terms with starting again at age 32, in a small apartment with none of my old things or life luxuries. That was until I became aware that my Facebook feed was filling up with babies, holidays and nice homes. I felt depressed about my own life. I felt like I’d fallen behind, I had nothing, and was not where I should be at my age.
Everyone’s lives are different, there is no right way or right time, and social media never tells the whole story.
I’ve deleted Facebook app altogether which is easier for me. Whether you like to use the app or not, don’t fall into the comparison trap; stay focused on your own path.
Reduce screen time
I wake up at 6am every day. I immediately respond to messages from my family in England, then I get onto work messages. When I get to work I’m at a computer all day. Then on the way home I respond to friends and family, check Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter. I often feel tired from my constant screen usage, I’m not present and my attention span drops. I wish I could get better at this.
Currently my rule is to leave my phone alone after 7pm and take at least two breaks from my screens during the day. I don’t always succeed at it, but I try.
I feel so much more fulfilled and present when I am away from screens. I can run, meditate, read and cook. I can enjoy my present life.
Focus on quality relationships
Personally, I enjoy having a few close friends instead of lots of acquaintances. Before I moved to Australia I collected lots of friends and struggled to say no, which was hard to manage. Since moving to Australia, I have enjoyed spending time with a few people who I am close to. It allows me more time to be the best person I can be for them, and for my own self-care and hobbies.
Start each day feeling grateful
This small change can make a big difference. Every day I think of three things that I am grateful for so that I can start the day feeling positive.
Today I’m grateful for:
- Living in a beautiful part of the world
- Being able to work from home today
- My Dyson heater is keeping me warm
Doing this has made me remember that not long ago my previous self worked really hard to get the job I have today.
Work hard and do what you love, then the job titles will come.
Run when you can, the marathons will come.
Save what you can, the holidays will come.
Enjoy the ride.