What makes you happy? If you ask someone what makes them happy, most people can’t give you an answer. Don’t worry because you’re not the only one. It is true, though, that understanding what makes us happy can help turn our lives positively.
People all want to cultivate happiness in their lives but often create barriers to keep them from it. Fortunately, there’s no time limit to working on yourself and finding out what makes you truly happy. The problem is finding time to dedicate to this pursuit is often challenging.
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They now have time to gather data and try out things that can take them closer to what happiness is, which is what this article is all about. With that said, below are five crucial steps and tips to help you figure out what makes you happy.
Determine Your Happiness Patterns
The first thing you need to do is to gather information. Learn about yourself and what makes you happy. Begin by looking at your patterns for happiness so you can create data and figure out your patterns.
There are various methods you can use to gather information about what makes you happy. One way is to start a happiness tracker. You can create a mood or happiness tracker in a paper journal or using a tracking app.
Using a paper tracker can be as simple as rating your day 1 to 10. Rate the day you consider the best ten and the worst one. It doesn’t need to be complicated. You can just rate your day based on how happy you are.
You can also make a journal to write down what you did on your day. Ideally, write about the things that made you happy or unhappy. If you’re using an app, try providing as much information as possible about what’s making you happy.
Both of these trackers help you build up data. The next step is to examine it, looking at the days you’re most happy. What happened during those days? What about during the days you’re most upset? If you look at it closely, you will notice your happiness patterns.
Figure Out Your Core Values
The next step to discovering what truly makes you happy is to figure out your core values. Your core values are the principles and beliefs that influence the many different aspects of your life. Examples of personal core values include kindness, integrity, compassion, and loyalty.
Discovering your core values helps you determine what matters most. Your core values will help you better understand yourself and live more meaningfully. They help you find purpose; when you have a purpose, you have one of the most important keys to a happy life.
You can figure out your core values in numerous ways. Below are some tips you can try:
- Find a list of values online, review them, and pick out the ones that resonate with you. Add them to your tentative list of core values.
- Write down a list of people you admire the most, like your role models, family members, or colleagues. Consider the values they embody and reasons why you admire them.
- Think back on your personal experiences, both good and bad. Think about the values that were important to you during those moments. For instance, compassion and empathy after a painful childhood experience.
Remember that identifying your core values is a personal process. Be patient, and know there is no right or wrong way to do it. Once you’ve figured out your core values, think about how you can reorganize your life to fit these values in a way that aligns your life with who you are.
Try Various Hobbies and Skills
Your next step is to explore new hobbies and learn new skills. Try some hobbies where you are actively doing or making things. Some examples include physical activities like yoga, dance, hiking, and art such as painting, sculpting, or even DIY projects.
Hobbies you actively participate in are better at making you feel good or happy because it feels like you’ve accomplished something when you’re done. They’re much better than passive hobbies like reading books, playing video games, or watching television.
Here are some suggestions to help you find meaningful hobbies:
- Consider things or pastimes you used to enjoy or love in the past
- Browse places focusing on hobbies, like sporting goods stores or craft stores
- Go to the library and read about different hobbies you can try
- Join a local club or class through the city’s parks and recreation department or the library
- Consider everyday activities, like cooking, reading, or home decoration, as a hobby
Once you’ve found a hobby, work on it gradually daily. Try doing it regularly, even for 30 minutes a day or a couple of hours a week. One of the things that can help increase your overall happiness is making time to do the hobbies you enjoy.
Pursue Your Happiness Factors
Numerous factors can make you happy. There are at least five of them – social relationships, society, culture, money, temperament/adaptation, and positive thinking styles. Part of your goal to find happiness is to try new things based on your happiness factors.
You can do this in many ways, like volunteering or going out with friends. If you volunteer in your community, pick one that suits your skillset or that you’re passionate about. For instance, you can volunteer at a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen.
Socializing has many incredible benefits, even for introverts. You don’t need to go out with lots of people. You can socialize with only one or two close friends or even hang out with family. It also helps to adopt an optimistic attitude, approaching things in life from a fresh perspective.
Seek Professional Help
Last but not least, seek professional help. Talking with a therapist can provide numerous benefits, especially if you have trauma. They can help you muddle through the dark and discover who you are, especially when you can’t do it yourself.
Therapists can help you evaluate the things that make you happy. They can also give you the tools and techniques to pursue happiness. With a therapist, you won’t have to struggle alone, develop correct coping mechanisms, and improve your quality of life overall.
Discovering what makes you truly happy in life requires a willingness to explore and experiment. By paying attention to your feelings, trying new things, reflecting on your past experiences, identifying your values, and practicing gratitude, you can gain insight into what brings you true happiness and fulfillment.