Just think of your grand parents, and their grand parents. Chances are they labored much harder than you do, with limited resources and virtually no luxuries at all. Believe it or not, life back then was not an agony. Our ancestors still found joy and passion for life in what matters most – loving family and gradual overall progress for the generations to come, including us. The feeling of humble gratitude was cultivated in different cultures and religious systems around the world.
That’s what we need – the awakening change of perspective! Once we acknowledge the importance of all the things we take for granted, our happiness levels will soar. The secret which shows how to be happy with what you have is to value these things as precious resources which will help you attain more and prosper further.
Daily Gratitude Routine
We also need to understand that feeling happy with what you have develops from being grateful. As all big changes, adopting a gratitude mindset takes daily work and practice.
Start as soon as you open your eyes in the morning. If it makes it easier or more familiar to you, thank God for your life, health and the very fact you woke up and got another day of life as a gift. Otherwise, thank Nature or the Universe. Just make sure your gratitude is truly heartfelt.
It will work like magic, because gratitude feels good, it is heart warming and sends good vibes to over 90 percent of your mind which is subconscious. It’s simple: the more you appreciate all the good and loving people around you, the more such contacts will you make in future. If you’re grateful for your job, no matter how poorly paid it may be, you’ll attract better and better job offers over the years to come. The simple practice of feeling and expressing gratitude reveals how to be happy with what you have.
Definitely Not a Cliche
Oh yes, it’s the little things that build up happiness: a hug, a smile, a cup of coffee, sunshine and even an episode of your favorite TV show. How would it feel without these tiny gems? They sustain us until something really big happens, like getting a promotion or meeting a soul mate. So don’t be lazy to practice saying thanks for each moment of goodness.
For instance, I enjoy my morning walks to work. Every now and then I notice a facade or a roof I hadn’t paid attention to before. Then I spontaneously think: “Wow, how cool this place really is!”, and I learn to appreciate where I am. I also feel grateful for my amazing partner, daily, and I really do not need a reminder for that one. Gratitude comes naturally when you nurture it. As the time goes by, my relationship is getting better and better, with no effort.
Happiness for Your Generation
Every generation has its special happiness boosters, and different small things to celebrate. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you can figure out how to make your kids happier while savoring every precious minute spent with them.
There definitely is something that would make the little ones jump up and down with joy! Maybe there’s an undiscovered sport or a new hobby like keeping pets, joining a scout camp and playing an instrument. You can change kids’ entire world for the better if you help them meet just one friendly peer from the neighborhood to play with.
Middle-aged ladies have a whole new world of opportunities for exploration and self-development once kids leave the family nest. If you are one, consider enrolling a course in your field of interest which will not only develop a new skill, but help you meet new friends to bring fresh perspectives into your life. For example, yoga or pilates would also enhance your wellbeing, while a course in web-design could bring new professional opportunities.
This is the most fruitful period of life when you’ve had enough wisdom and experience to finally start harvesting all the life’s goodies. With your kids independent, all of a sudden there’s an increased budget, which is perfect for travel! You’ll feel so refreshed when you see all the new places, exotic cultures and meet exciting new people.
If you’re finally retired, and don’t know what to do with the long days ahead, just think of all the good books you’ve never had the time to read and all the epic movies you said you’d watch some day. Also, pets will bring much joy while a dog will make you go out for healthy walks. Keeping your mobility and flexibility is a huge happiness factor now.
Reward yourself with a therapeutic qi gong course and bring your partner or a neighbor to share the new experience. As a special treat, book a trip of your dreams with an agency specializing in senior tourism. This way you’ll meet new friends and enjoy medical support along the way if needed.
Charity Work Brings Joy!
If you’re still wondering how to be happy with what you have, I have a final piece of advice. Open your eyes and reach out toward a good cause you are especially attracted to. Use what you already have – a little time and good will to make your community a better place and help other individuals be happy. Why? This will also make you a happy woman.
Years ago, I joined an NGO which protects stray city animals, providing them vet care, food, shelter and in many cases, new loving homes. It makes me genuinely happy to see each of the cats and dogs saved. This intense feeling of joy motivates me to get all the other things in my life done, so I can invest more into this cause.
This is just an example. You should follow your own talents and interests. Maybe you’d be great at teaching a local group of the unemployed to develop a skill they could live off, like crafts or cooking. Or you can start a campaign and organize your neighbors to brainstorm suggestions for improving your area, and then ask the local authorities for the funds.
Volunteering inherently feels good, bringing meaning and fulfillment to our lives. Happiness is what follows.