According to studies millennials are the most stressed and depressed generation yet. With headlines full of economic hardships, natural disasters and terrorist attacks we don’t seem to have many reasons to be happy right now.
But the truth is we’ve never lived in such peaceful times. This excerpt from ‘The World Is Not Falling Apart‘ sums it up really well:
“The kinds of violence to which most people are vulnerable – homicide, rape, battering, child abuse – have been in steady decline in most of the world. Autocracy is giving way to democracy. Wars between states – by far the most destructive of all conflicts – are all but obsolete.”
Clearly it’s not the actual state of affairs in the world that’s getting us down more than previous generations. Is it the media? I don’t know about you but I doubt it was less of a fear-mongering propaganda machine in past decades.
I think the reason for our unhappiness partly lies in procrastination. Procrastination is something our generation is very good at – how could we not be with all those cute cat videos and personality quizzes clogging up our newsfeeds? It makes me wonder if modern-day technology distracts us from being happy.
So instead of scrolling aimlessly through Facebook and wondering why you’re not happy, sit down and spend the next five minutes reading these twelve reasons to be happy right now. I promise the mindset shift will be well worth your time…
Reasons To Be Happy Right Now
1. You’re alive. Let’s start with the basics – you’re alive and that’s pretty damn amazing.
2. The only time that truly exists is now. The past is behind you, the future is far ahead and you can only live in the moment. That is not just a line, it’s also the truth.
Sure, you can learn from past mistakes and take steps toward a brighter future. But actual living happens in the moment – as John Lennon sings “ife is what happens to you while you’re making other plans”. So don’t just let life happen to you… happen to life!
3. Your life could drastically change. I don’t mean to be a wet-blanket or to downright scare you, but the truth is that there are forces beyond our control that can completely alter the trajectory of our life in one fell swoop. Reflecting on what your life would be like without certain privileges is an effective way of making yourself feel grateful for what you do have.
4. You can lose yourself in a daydream. Wasting your life dreaming would be a mistake. But wasting your life not dreaming would be even worse! Daydreaming makes you more creative and it helps you set ambitious fulfilling goals.
Not sure what to do with your life? Close your eyes and imagine what you would do if money wasn’t an issue. Get absorbed by that daydream and make note of everything that comes to mind. This simple exercise will not take long and really help you get to know yourself better.
5. Every day is an opportunity to change your life. The past is the past and it’s never too late to completely start over. Unhappy with your career? Set aside an hour today to figure out what you’d rather be doing and then take steps every day toward that goal. Unhappy with your partner? Have an honest conversation and figure out if your relationship is worth saving.
In Shantideva’s words, “why worry if you can do something about it, and why worry if you cannot do anything about it”. Whatever it is that’s making you unhappy, there are things you can do to change it. If there aren’t it’s not worth being unhappy about.
6. Every day is also an opportunity to change somebody else’s life. It’s your life but it would be pretty dull if you made it only about you! When you help other people they are not the only ones who benefit – you making somebody else’s day better will make yours brighter too.
7. You have the power to make the world a better place. There are other ways to make the world a better place besides helping other people. Something as small as recycling makes our planet a better place to live and keep it habitable for future generations. Don’t underestimate the power of the little things – they definitely count.
8. You can fall in love. Whether you’re single or taken you can always fall in love. No, I’m not condoning infidelity! All I’m saying is there are more kinds of love – according to the Ancient Greeks exactly four. Eros refers to romantic attachment, storge is all about friendship and family, philia is platonic love and agape, well, agape is the most beautiful of them all.
Agape describes unconditional love that is all about giving without expecting anything in return and accepting fellow human beings regardless of their flaws. Although you may not even like someone, you decide to love them just because they’re a fellow human being.
9. Failure is a stepping stone to greatness. If you feel like nothing in your life is going according to plan just think about Thomas Edison, the inventor of modern-day light bulbs. He went through more than ten thousand prototypes before getting it right.
Was that failure or success? Edison was pretty clear on that. “I have not failed 10,000 times,” he said. “I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” Try to approach your next perceived failure with that attitude.
10. You don’t owe anyone anything. Now, don’t get me wrong. If you owe your friend £10 from last Friday night I am not hereby absolving you of that responsibility. What I mean is that you don’t owe anyone an explanation for the way you live your life. Your life belongs to you, nobody else, and – unless you’ve purposely hurt other people by doing so – you shouldn’t apologise for the choices you’ve made.
11, You are enough. I don’t mean clever enough, beautiful enough or successful enough. I simply mean enough. It’s important to strive for improvement, but knowing you are enough will help you love yourself for who you truly are. And loving yourself is one of the best reasons to be happy right now.
12. No one except you can control your happiness. At the end of the day, what is happiness? Is it something you can touch? Is it
something you can be force fed? Is it something another person can steal from you? Although it often doesn’t feel that way, you are the only person in charge of your happiness levels.
Life often makes it difficult to see through the emotional clutter of everyday life, but feeling happy is nothing but a decision. If you decide to be happy and make a concerted effort to do things that make you feel joy, you will be unstoppable.
I think we like to complicate things when it is really quite simple. Find what it is that makes you happy and who it is that makes you happy and you’re set. Promise.
What are your favourite reasons to be happy right now? Are there any accomplishments you’d like to share, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant? Let me know – I’m always inspired by you!