Everybody wants to be happy. Well, almost everybody.
Television commercials promote endless ads trying to convince you that a certain product will make you happy, everything from shampoo, to diet plans, to cosmetic surgery, to new automobiles, to medications, and on, and on.
Here’s the problem. ALL of these things are temporary fixes and they fail to put YOU in charge of your own life.
If you want to be HAPPY, REALLY HAPPY, or even a little bit happier than what you are at present, here’s a little bit of wisdom for you:
Dr. Jonathan Freedman, a Columbia University psychologist, interviewed 1,000 people to find out what made them happy. Drs. Frank Minirth and Paul Meier, psychiatrists, have worked with thousands of unhappy and emotionally unhealthy people. These three professionals reached the same conclusion: people become unhealthy and unhappy when their lives get out of balance.
Minirth and Meier suggest that there are four basic areas you need to strive to keep in balance if you are to have a happy, healthy life. Let’s take a brief look at each one of these areas.
Attention you give to your SELF. This is probably one area that the most people tend to neglect. Ask yourself: “How much time to I give to my own needs, wants, interests……to fulfilling my own goals and dreams….to enjoying even the little things in life that I like to do?” It’s important for you to love yourself enough to set aside time for personal growth and enrichement.
Developing relationships with OTHERS: It’s a fact that nurturing and maintaining quality relationships, surrounding yourself with those who will support, challenge and encourage you to be all you can be, spending time with people who accept you for who you are, and developing good relationships boundaries: these are the things that lead to a happier life.
Choosing work that is an extension of your own self — your interests and abilities — being able to express yourself in your work….these ae the things that lead to fulfillment and happiness. Keep in mind that if your work doesn’t offer you this fulfillment, you can, if possible, change careers, or choose an avocation (hobby), perhaps more than one, that meets this need andmakes it easier for you to find a sense of satisfaction in each day. Be alert to the fact that it’s easy to allow WORK to consume too much of your time and thus throw your life out of balance…..resulting in unhappiness.
Nurturing your SPIRITUALITY: attending to your own spiritual well-being, either in a religious context or in an inner sense of peace and centeredness or both is crucial for contentment and joy, and doing this through meditation, religious/spiritual practices, nature, or other meaningful spiritual involvement — these are crucial.