These are extreme examples, but the general point here is that we make hundreds of decisions a day, and sometimes those decisions, especially when under the influence, have really terrible results. I believe that when we slow down and focus on each day as they come, we’ll crack the code to unlock our happiness.
Practicing A Positive Mindset
But things are always easier said than done. Happiness takes work, effort, and a positive mindset. The last ingredient, a positive mindset, is oftentimes the most difficult to maintain. It’s easy to let our mindset be affected by external factors like the news, our work, our relationships, etc. People who develop a positive mindset practice every single day to maintain their happiness by watching their thoughts, changing their thoughts if need be, and controlling their reactions. Over time, maintaining that mindset becomes easier, and leading with a positive mindset becomes their first instinct.
Ultimately happiness is based on a slow and steady pace throughout life. When we rush into things, we find ourselves in trouble. When we pause, take our time, and reflect on the pros and cons before us, we’re better equipped to make smart decisions. We want to channel our inner tortoise, not our hare. This not only helps us make better decisions, but it can help us slow down our pace, savor life more, and enjoy the in-between moments that often get looked over.
Maintaining Habits That Bring You Joy
In my experience, those who focus on living life at a slower pace put a greater emphasis on developing healthy habits like meditating, exercise, eating well, and limiting their alcohol intake. These practices create overall health, and it’s easier to create these practices when we’re already in a happy place.
I travel pretty frequently. When I’m not at home, I do my best to maintain the same practices — meditation, exercise, eating well, maintaining my positive attitude, and practicing gratitude. Of course, there are exceptions, but I place a very high value on my happiness, so I do my best to engage with activities that I know will bring me joy.
Happiness is not about impressing other people. In fact, it can have the opposite effect. From the outside, it might seem bizarre to place a higher value on family time vs. working towards that promotion or spending time alone meditating vs. attending a party.
It’s important to maintain the habits that bring us joy. People who are in good shape frequently work out. It’s the same idea when it comes to happiness. We must practice our habits regularly to feel that consistent feeling of joy.
And we may not seek the thrills of life as much, like drinking, or gambling, but there are other thrills we’ll choose to partake in — listening to the birds, watching a sunset, or going for a walk.
There are so many ways we can find beauty and peace in life. When we develop a liking for a slower pace, we’ll notice more, engage more, and make better decisions. We’ll learn to appreciate taking a pause and weighing all of our options before we decide on something.
It’s important to remember that when we practice our happiness habits every day, it’s a form of self-care. We’re putting time into work on ourselves and improve our overall lives, which is a beautiful thing. It will take work and patience, but eventually, we’ll win the happiness race.
Written by: Robert Puff
Originally appeared on: Psychology Today
Republished with permission