When people are asked what they want in their lives, it’s always more happiness.
Then as a society, why aren’t we happier?
According to research, happiness levels in industrialized countries have stagnated since the 1950s and are now actually declining.
And it isn’t about needing more stuff, earning more money or having a bigger house.
As many of you know, I’ve been actively studying happiness since 2011 when I became a certified happiness coach. Since then, I’ve taught workshops on happiness as well as continued to dive into the practice of daily happiness on a deeper level in my life.
And here are the 5 biggest blocks to happiness.
1. I'm Too Busy
Have you filled your time and energy with events, bookings, appointments, and jobs, in other words, tasks that keep you running and “busy” all day everyday so that you don’t have to be alone with you?
If you just answered yes, here’s your solution:
Schedule an afternoon with yourself. Check in with you. Be willing to go within and ask:
~What does happiness mean to me?
~When do I feel happy?
Sit down with a pen and paper and ask yourself these questions.
Even though we all say we want more happiness, how many of us have actually sat down and thought about what makes us feel happy?
The first time I answered the question, when do I feel happy? My immediate answer was, when I ski! Guess what I schedule once a week during the winter and early spring?
2. There's Not Enough
Does it always feel like there’s never enough time, money, friendships, love?
The easiest way to shift out of that deep well of lack, is to practice gratitude.
AND, it turns out that gratitude is the shortest short cut to happiness!
Why not start a gratitude practice today?
It’s really easy.
All you have to do is make a list of 5 things you’re grateful for. Do it right now, even if it’s in your head.
At this moment,
- I am grateful for my reliable computer that allows me to create and communicate easily and effortlessly with countless folks across the world.
- I am grateful for my healthy body.
- I am grateful for my loving family who support me, protect me and nourish me with their kindness and devotion.
- I am grateful for the nutritious, wholesome food I am able to put into my body everyday.
- I am grateful for the countless opportunities – in business, marketing, creativity, wellness, friendship and on and on- that I have in my life right now.
I love to do this activity at night, right before I go to bed. It’s a positive review of the day and brings happiness, peace, satisfaction and love to me to fall into dreams.
3. No Reception
Often times we forget to open up, to receive because it might mean we have to do two things: Ask and then listen.
God or the Uni-verse or whatever word you like to use for the great mystery that surrounds us, is always trying to support us.
Our task is to help God by allowing ourselves to open up and receive all the love, goodness, kindness, prosperity, and health that it has for us.
Here’s an easy exercise: try asking for something you want more of in your life (like creativity) then lie down with your arms over your head and feel that creativity raining down on you.
4. Lack of Intimacy
Are you spending more and more time interacting with people online, on Facebook and Twitter and less time talking face to face?
Well, you’re not alone. But you might feel lonely.
One of the best ways to feel happier and more fulfilled is to have meaningful, deep relationships with real, live human beings.
Reach out to people you genuinely care about – friends, family members, cherished loved ones.
Schedule time to be with them. We are all social beings. The love, generosity and support you get will pay off in dividends.
5. Pursuit of Happiness
We are taught that happiness is some elusive thing that we have to chase, and I did this for years. I’d already figured out that stuff didn’t make me happy. Yes, it’s pleasurable, and enjoyable but my new bottle of perfume isn’t going to sustain my happiness day in and day out.
Instead, I went seeking for happiness, learning everything I could, working with different teachers, traveling. I thought, if I kept looking, eventually I’d find it.
And what I found was that I had it all along!
Because joy is who we really are. It is our innate nature.
And the ONLY thing that keeps you from experiencing joy all the time, is you.
We all tune in and out of joy.
It’s so easy to forget happiness and get consumed with emotion or worry, allow fear or anxiety to crowd in. Even when that happens, joy is still there. It waits patiently for you to return.
Think of joy like the radiant sunshine. Even when it’s raining or the clouds have covered over the sky, that sun is still there above it all, beaming down, right?
Joy is the same way.
Sadness, stress, or worry might crowd in and narrow the view, make the winds tremble, the rain fall. But above it all, beams happiness, waiting patiently for us to clear away those clouds.
Take a self inventory and scan how many of these happiness blocks are preventing you from accessing that bright sunny joy.
Happiness is there – waiting patiently for you.