If you’re like most people in this world, you're waiting for that special thing to come along in your life that you think will grant happiness.
It could be the perfect job, the perfect partner, the perfect house, the perfect family, etc., but they all have one thing in common.
They are external acquirements that will not give you lasting joy.
Why? Because as you've heard before, true happiness can only come from within yourself.
The wonderful thing about finding happiness in your own soul is that once you achieve it, no one can ever take it away from you.
You could lose all those acquired “things,” and you would still be content because you understand the true meaning of happiness.
The problem is, it’s a lot of work to get there.
In the meantime, here are 10 simple and quick ways to begin the journey:
1. Take time to meditate.
It isn’t as difficult as you think. Once you realize it’s about the journey, not some ideal meditative state, you can let go and relax. It’s okay if your mind is busy.
Even if you have a hard time focusing at first, meditation is still beneficial, and brings feelings of calmness, peace and relaxation.
Try it out.
2. Volunteer with animals.
If you have hesitation about volunteering with humans, start with animals first. It’s easier to jump into, and usually involves a smaller time commitment.
Once you realize how awesome it feels to help another being, even just by petting a cat, you gain motivation to do more.
3. Do yoga.
Strengthening your mind and body at the same time? Yes, please!
I personally prefer hot yoga because I feel like I sweat out all my toxins, and I think the heat adds to the peaceful after-effects.
But, it isn’t for everyone. Find a type of yoga you enjoy, and stick with it.
You will stretch yourself physically and mentally, and there isn’t anything wrong with that.
4. Perform small kindnesses at every opportunity.
It really does make you feel instantly better. Pick up an item for someone who dropped it. Let someone pull into the street ahead of you.
Take a picture for someone struggling to take a selfie with a scenic background. Just do something, for someone, every single day.
You’ll never be sorry you did.
5. Take a moment to remind a friend how special he or she is.
No one will ever get mad at you for praising him or her seemly out of nowhere. Think about how good it would feel for a friend to send you a message to simply remind you you’re wonderful.
Pretty great, right? Do it for others, and bask in their surprise and happiness. It reflects back upon you, and it feels just as good!
6. Give hugs.
In this age of technology, online dating, iPhone addiction, etc., we simply don’t experience human touch enough. Obviously, you can’t go around physically accosting strangers, but it’s okay to be friendly with those in your life who are receptive to it.
A good hug feels great for both people, and sometimes, you don’t realize how much you need one until you’re getting it.
7. Smile more.
Just smile. It makes the world a better place for you and everyone around.
8. Be kind to yourself.
Would you ever speak to a friend the way you do to yourself in your own head? I didn’t think so.
You can't be kind to others when you're being unkind to yourself. You’re creating unhappiness in your soul by turning so much criticism on to a person you should love: you.
Be gentle with yourself the way you would be with your closest friend, and be as mindful of your thoughts about yourself as you would be with him or her.
Give yourself a break.
9. Get outdoors.
Nothing is more instantly rewarding than being out in nature and witnessing the beauty of our earth. Take a walk in the woods, hike a mountain trail or go visit the beach.
I know the minute I put my toes in the sand, something within me loosens up and relaxes.
10. Remember every moment is precious.
Pause as often as possible throughout your day, and take a second to appreciate where you are, the opportunities you have and your life in general.
Yes, sometimes, things get rough. Life isn’t perfect for anyone, but it could be a lot worse.
It can be as simple as looking around you and realizing how good you really do have it.
None of us know how long we have on this lovely planet, so let’s all make the most of it.