This article is the continuation of part 4, of 52 Ways to Be Happier. I recommend that you read this article from the beginning.
MORAL HAPPINESS HABITS
Moral happiness habits make us rethink the way we approach our lives. Are we living our life to the highest standards? Are we caught up in superficial things on our journey to a happier life? Are we living a life that we could be proud of? Are we taking into account not just our own happiness but the happiness of those around us who we know and love and even the happiness of complete strangers? Are we using our time in a fulfilling way (watching television and playing video games does not count as a fulfilling life no matter how many levels we reach or whether we get the highest score in the game)?
Happiness Habit #26: Stop Chasing Possessions
Material possessions may provide a temporary feeling of happiness but will not provide us anything in the long term. Learn to stop placing so much value on possessions. Chasing things that only provide us with a physical item is a waste. Remember that the best things in life are free such as spending time with friends and family. Wanting the latest and greatest technology will not make you happy on the same level as genuine happiness that comes from within. Spend your time as someone who instead chases happiness, goals and accomplishing everyday tasks. The advertisements for the latest and greatest cell phones, the biggest flat screen televisions and the newest cars omit one crucial detail- all these physical items are fleeting. Cars can be stolen and accidents happen, homes are burglarized and phones break. Don’t depend on total happiness from something that is created to only give temporary happiness. The shine and appeal of a new cell phone, for example, will fade away when the next latest and greatest version makes its hyped appearance in the market.
Instead of chasing the physical items that could give us the false impression of happiness, chase the people and the experience that put smiles on your face.
Happiness Habit #27: Content with What You Have Instead of Chasing What You Could Have
Learn to appreciate what you have and be okay with living the life you can actually afford. When you learn to create standards for yourself instead of trying to live up to someone else’s you learn that the material possessions that others value so much lose their meaning to you. Who wants a big house if it is empty of laughter and joy and you spend your life living alone in it because you were too busy to create and maintain a genuine relationship?
Live in the now. Realize that possessions are fleeting and that they are exactly that – just things you add to your life. Material things are not what gives meaning to our lives. Things don’t create memories – the people we share our things with and our experiences with creating memories. Appreciate what you have. The grass is not always greener on the other side. Stop peering over the fence and enjoy where you are and who you are with in order to truly enjoy life.
Buying luxurious items when you cannot afford them only creates a mountain of stressful debt you will spend your life trying to pay back. Don’t spend thousands of dollars on a new flat screen, only to confine yourself to your couch – put on your shoes and go outside and enjoy what the world has to offer. Hike the trails you have yet to see, take a drive to the beach and watch the sunset – do it alone or with a friend but either way don’t be afraid to experience something new and enjoy it. Don’t condemn yourself to a life where you only live vicariously through a glass screen in your living room. Look outside your window and put yourself on the other side of it and don’t be afraid to live your life.
Happiness Habit #28: Never Gossip
Participating in the toxic habit of gossiping is dangerous. We become the topics of hateful conversation and even after realizing how hurtful it can be we still do the same to others. We cannot and should not judge each other. Sit back, relax and better yourself if you feel unattractive – don’t bash others who are simply trying to live their lives the best way they know how to.
Happiness Habit #29: Never Judge Others
We are nobody’s judge. Whatever higher power you believe in will make those decisions. Judging others opens us to the same harsh judgments from others. Critiquing others can harm the self-confidence and pride of others. Strive to help others improve if they ask for help and focus on yourself. It is hard to pay attention to the judgments of others if we are solely focused on improving ourselves. Don’t stunt the growth of anyone else by placing judgments. Bringing others down also brings you down. Remember to uplift people if you can and if not, take a step back and remove yourself from the situation. Kindness goes much further than harshness.
Happiness Habit #30: Live Life with Integrity
Live a life of integrity. Follow simple rules in order to do this:
Be honest with yourself and with others. Don’t lie to yourself about how you are feeling or what material possessions you may need at the moment to trick yourself into happiness. Be honest with those who love you as they will appreciate the genuineness from you. Honesty can be hard and it is something that we fear because we do not want to face rejection or heartache. It is difficult to be completely honest with yourself and with others but it is very rewarding as our relationships with our loved ones become stronger and our relationship with ourselves becomes a happier one. We cannot improve upon ourselves if we cannot admit what the problem is to begin with.
Treat others with kindness
Almost every religion in the world perpetuates a version of this Golden Rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated. It is a simple rule that makes living a life you can be proud of. Be proud of the actions you take by asking yourself if you would want the same gestures done towards you. This rule, if followed, can eliminate toxicity in your life gathered through negative habits such as gossiping, judgment and rude behavior. Be worthy of others’ kindness by treating them with the same respect as you would expect to receive. Don’t lie to others. Don’t betray anyone’s trust and the same will likely follow its way back to you. Set the example for what you want to see in your life – build a life where honesty is the cornerstone of your relationships – a value that you can lean on in times of stress. Be kind to yourself and to others. Advocate kindness especially to young people whose world is filled with bullies and hate in an alarming way. Be kind to your body and body image- love yourself and treat yourself like the valuable person you truly are.
Improve upon yourself
Maintain your health and happiness by checking in with yourself to make sure you are doing everything you can do in order to be at your best self. Want to change for the better and find ways to do it. If you are not happy, have the courage to want to change and create the plan to get you there. Never be satisfied with “good enough” …want to be great at whatever you do and desire to improve upon the things which you are not good at. Nobody is perfect and this is truer every day – always find a way to stick to the plans that you have made and don’t be afraid to make new ones for your life.
Happiness Habit #31: Be Grateful
Be grateful for everything in your life: family, friends, job, experiences and even the material possessions you already own (the house you live in, the car you drive). If we appreciate what we already have we tend to crave fewer things from the outside world. If you are happy with the car you drive and appreciate it for its use (taking you to and from work and errands) you will feel less of a need to trade it in for a new car and a mountain of debt. Appreciate the people in your life before you lose them. Know that not everyone is blessed with the best of friends, family and significant others – when you realize who you have in your life, it is unique and amazing to learn to appreciate them. Don’t search for others who are better but instead appreciate what you have before you lose out to someone else.
Know that there is a sense of profound happiness that comes from giving joy to others. Seeing smiles on others’ faces can make you become more grateful for the one on your face.
Always realize that while you are sitting there and complaining about trivial things in your life that there is always someone out there in the world who needs your help, needs some attention and has bigger issues to worry about. Be grateful for even the simplest of things such as having a roof over your head, having food to eat every day and being able to speak freely, as many people all over the world are homeless or living in shacks and slums, millions are going hungry (children and mothers) and in many countries being able to speak freely is a dream more than a reality. It is sad to think that there is so much suffering in the world at hand but it is important to remember that we can help those who are in worse positions than us. We should want to help them. Help spread the happiness that we have come to know in our own lives so that others can then spread this happiness and create widespread joy that knows no boundaries between nations, cultures or sexes.
Happiness Habit #32: Seek and Welcome Help from Others
Since not everyone can be good at everything, welcome help from others and give it just as freely. We can all learn from each other’s life experiences and skill sets. If we share our knowledge with each other, we can all improve. Giving help to others perpetuates kindness.
Swallow your pride and have the confidence to ask for help when you truly need it. At the core of it all, we are a kind species and have trouble denying someone else help when they truly need it – most people are just afraid to ask for the help that they need. The easiest way to know that we would all welcome help from others is to offer it to a complete stranger – note the look of surprise on their faces as you offer to help them with anything you can. Why are we determined to be closed off to the rest of the world and not help each other out? Also know that it is okay to accept help from others as much as it is to offer it. Swallow your pride, because if you need help and have the courage to ask for it from someone else you are both benefitting from the situation. Giving and receiving help is like giving and receiving happiness from each other.
Happiness Habit #33: Know what You Believe in
Stand your ground. Know what you believe in and be proud of it. Don’t let society, peer pressure or the judgments of others sway your core beliefs. If you are afraid to voice your opinions with your friends and family than they are not worthy of your time and love. Your friends and family should respect your opinion. They do not have to agree with it all the time but they need to be the group of people to whom you cannot lie to – the ones who know the truest version of you. You should be able to share your beliefs and be passionate about them.
Know that happiness comes from within when we can be honest with ourselves and with others as well.
Happiness starts from within. Being able to smile, laugh and communicate in positive manners helps to create happiness within ourselves. Again, being dependent upon others for something we need to create within ourselves is bad. Learn to be the creator of your own happiness. Once you learn that happiness comes from within, it is harder for others to rob you of it.
Happiness not only comes from within, it cannot be bought. It is not tied to material goods – that new shirt from your favorite clothing store will not give you happiness. It may give you a new sense of confidence but not happiness.
Don’t hide who you are in order to win favor with others. If we lie to ourselves to create relationships we are only forging false ones that will not last. In order to create long-lasting relationships and reinforce ones that we already have, we need to be honest with ourselves and others. We need to be able to voice our opinions without fear of being judged or laughed at. Continue to read part 6 of this article here.
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