Something that I have been striving to focus on recently is happiness. Although beautiful (when snowing), winter can be a very stressful and gloomy time of year. The trees are bare, the sunlight is limited, and sometimes (quite frequently) I don’t want to get out of my cozy bed in the morning. I am so glad that Spring is finally here, we have more sunlight, beautiful trees, and lots to look forward to when summer comes in the following months. Every day that we wake up is an opportunity for us to make a change in our own lives or another person’s life. Happiness is not something that can be found, it is something that needs to be produced. Whether it is smiling at a stranger in public or complimenting someone you don’t know, kindness is something that produces happiness. No matter how different you think you may be from someone else, chances are, you probably have multiple things in common—so don’t shy away from being the reason why someone smiles today. One of the most important ideas to remember is that you never know what someone else is going through behind closed doors…so always remember to choose kindness.
Not only should you be kind to others, but you should be kind to yourself. As the New Year is in full swing, I encourage you to set some short-term and long-term goals for yourself. Psychologists have found research to support the fact that goal setting and subsequent achievement lead to increased levels of happiness. Even if these are small goals, accomplishing them can increase your levels of happiness and self-confidence.
It is important to focus on happiness for your own sake and the sake of others. Motivating others and supporting others through the ups and downs is another way of spreading happiness. Knowing that people care about you and support you is comforting and increases your likelihood to do something nice for others. If you surround yourself with happy people, you too will be happy. We all have the power to make others happy and to be kind…so do it!
One final note about happiness is to simply do things that make you happy. Whether this is painting, coloring, running, reading, or spending a little extra time with your family during the week, it is important to incorporate small activities that you look forward to into your life. Life truly is what you make it—so have some fun with it!