happinessHow Do I make Myself Happier?

People sometimes ask me: “What is the one thing I can do to make myself happier?” That’s a hard question to answer because happiness usually doesn’t come from just one aspect of our lives. However, if we want to be happier then one of the best ways to do that is through self-improvement.

When something undermines our happiness or when we tend to dwell on negative thoughts too much or when we just find ourselves surrounded by negative people, we need to make a change. Now self-improvement can come in many forms. For some, it means becoming more active, eating healthier, or giving up smoking. For others, it could be going back to school, taking up a new hobby, or getting involved with a cause or a charity. Self-improvement can include a wide variety of activities: the common factor is that they somehow make you a better person.

The Feelings Will Guide You There

The important thing is not what the self-improvement you choose involves but the feelings it gives you. Ideally, your self-improvement will introduce you to more positive people, will help you find personal accomplishment, and will give you a reason to think mor positively about the world around you. It can also combat that feeling of stagnation so many of us run into when we feel like our relationships and careers have reached a plateau. We get into a rut: we get up, we go to work, we talk to the same friends, we go to bed, we start the same routine the next morning. By changing up that routine and by doing something that makes you feel good about you, you climb out of that rut and start climbing back towards happiness.

Sometimes self-improvement activities open up new doors for us, too. A colleague of mine secured her job (which she loves) after she met her supervisor at a photography class. The supervisor thought she was intelligent, well-organized, and extremely creative so she offered her a job. We can never predict what new opportunities might be waiting for us if we decide to make a change and break away from the status quo.

While the status quo can be comfortable because there aren’t any surprises waiting around the corner for us, it also doesn’t provide much enjoyment. Once you get stuck in that rut, you end up finding things you used to love boring. You take for granted everything that should be making your life happy and sometimes begin seeing those things as obstacles to your own happiness.

Avoid Getting Stuck in a Destructive Rut

By engaging in some type of self-improvement, you avoid getting stuck in that destructive rut.

That’s really one of the biggest secrets to obtaining happiness: never becoming complacent. We tend to take for granted those things that used to make us happy after we’ve had them for awhile. By shaking things up every now and then, we can be reminded to appreciate those things while also finding new ways to build our happiness.