Couple of days ago I happened to read this article about happiness, where people were asked to tell what truly, deeply, really makes them happy.
I thought it would be fun to play along and write a post about what makes me happy. I totally agree with first three factors that came up in this survey. Then I listed five more things that play a very important part in my life and definitely make me happier person.
So, the first three things that make people happy were…
1. Family and Relationships
Sure thing, your loved ones are great source of happiness. I live abroad from my closest family, so we don't see as often as I would like. But I always look forward going to my Mom's house and spending time with her and my closest family.
Me and my husband have also spent a lot of time apart. We met in the US when I was studying there, but I wasn't able to stay once my scholarship ended.
Before I was finally able to get back to California, we spent months without seeing each other. It meant a lot of traveling, long hours in the airplane, long phone calls and lot of missing each other. But it has made us stronger as a couple.
I must say that I'm not too good being social with people. I'm probably something that is called “social introvert” – a lot of times I like to have people around me but I'm totally okay with not talking to anyone.
For example, I love doing my translation or writing work in a coffee shop with having peoplearound me but where I can still be on my own. Know what I mean? But with my closest ones I don't have to think how to be or what to say. It all just comes very naturally.
2. Meaningful work
Couldn't agree more.
For a long time, I didn't enjoy what I was doing for work. I was constantly trying to convince myself that I like this job. There were people who told me that I'm good at it. I didn't think how I felt myself but wanted to please others.
I finally realized that I can't keep doing it. I have always enjoyed writing, so I contacted some of the health and fitness magazines in my home country to ask if I could write for them.
They told me to send them a test work. After writing my first article about my sleep disorder and getting a lot of feedback from readers, I felt that I had actually done something meaningful. I had touched someone. I had helped someone. People could actually relate to my story.
But that was just the beginning. About a year ago I decided to get my personal trainer certification through NASM. After all that thinking, concerning and hesitating I finally gave it a go. Now I'm thinking, what took me so long?
I studied, passed the exam and started working as a personal trainer.
I enjoy moving, teaching my clients and helping them to become better versions of themselves so much. I can't imagine myself back at the academy again. Never say never, but right now I'm sure this is not my thing.
3. Positive thinking
We all have days when nothing seems to work out and all the negative things just seem to happen to us. Here's the thing: Because most of the times we can't help them happening, we should find the best way to react on those negative things.
I have been working on trying to change my reaction on not so good things. I try to stay positive, no matter what happens. But it's not always easy. However, trying to smile, tackling things step by step, being nice to people (that's not the same as pleasing everybody!) will pay off.
I have learnt that the more positivity and happiness you give, the more you get. It is hard, but I'm taking baby steps.
So, these were the three things that people had listed as the most important factors of their happiness. Among the next seven factors were couple of more things that I find important; however, finding watching TV on top 10 was totally surprising for me. I don't own a TV and don't miss it at all (Netflix is all I need), so this is something that definitely doesn't play any role in my happiness.
Five things that I added to My Happiness List
Here you have them, in a random order:
4. Working out
Obviously. Moving at least a little bit every day is something that I just need to do. I aim to work out five days a week and it really, truly makes me happy. On my rest days I take at least a little walk outside. I just can't stay in all day!
Running a race of lifting a heavy bar from the floor gives me so much confidence that also carries on to life outside of the gym. Yoga calms me down. Hiking gives me time to dream. I just love moving.
5. Good health
Too many times we remember the importance of good health only when we get sick or injured. Even a small cut in finger is annoying enough and a good reminder of how good it feels to be healthy. We should be grateful for our and our friends' and family's health every single day.
Think about it the next time when you go for a run, next time you dance, next time you do a push up, next time you get up from bed. Having a good health is so important.
6. Good sleep
I can't stress that enough. I have had, and time to time still have, problems with my sleep. Being sleep deprived is just terrible. It affects your ability to be present, to focus, to work, to work out and so on. It makes you moody, it makes your body numb so that you can't listen to it – you just won't hear what it's saying.
Having had serious issues with sleep, I am really happy when I get seven hours of sleep at night and wake up fresh and ready for the day.
I love exploring new places. It's all so exciting, from the anticipation of the trip to getting there and seeing all the fun places. I have been lucky to visit quite many amazing places in my life. My favorites are San Francisco, O'Ahu, Crete Island, Barcelona, London, New York…
And there is so much else to see! Still haven't been to Asia, Australia and South America. There are things to look forward to!
I have lived the majority of my life in Northern Europe where the winters are long, dark and cold. Oh yes, too cold. Autumns are not too much better, but there are some nice summer and spring days when I'd do my best to soak up all that sunshine. But the time when the sun is out is really short.
I never realized how much the sunshine and warmth affects me me until I moved to Bay Area for one year.
Being in the sunshine was awesome.
I felt so energized, I could work better, I could focus so much better. People around me were like this, too, which created even more positive energy. I was really so happy, I had all the positive thoughts in my mind, new projects I wanted to do, new paths to take in my life. The sun had a lot to do with it!
Luckily, I have the chance to have it all now as I'm back in California. I've been here for three days and already feel the difference.
What are the things that make you happy? Let me know!