I have been asked what are the joys in my life and what would I consider the essentials to living a happy life. While some answers come easy to me, I had to dig deep down into my skin and into my heart to really put into words what I would consider “The Essentials to Living a Happy Life.” Many might assume I would state materialistic things including makeup, technology, and high-end fashion, but that is so far from true. You may disagree, but according to my life and how I see the world, the following are my essentials to living a happy life.
Your Mindset (“Not Giving a Toot” About Others’ Opinions of Yourself)
I’ve learned that trying to disregard other people’s opinions about you can and does positively affect your outlook on life. You might post hundreds or even thousands of photos of yourself on Instagram because you feel extremely beautiful and that you are glowing inside and people might think that you are doing it for attention or that you are narcissistic, but if you don’t care about what they say and do as you please without hurting anybody, who’s to say? Do whatever you need to do to make you feel as though you are worth so much more than you may actually feel all the time. Show others that only your opinion of yourself matters. This may throw people off and some may continue to judge you, but at the end of the day, who cares? You have to live yourself for you because come time, you will be the only one left to support yourself so why not start now.
Being passionate about something can turn your life upside down and I have so many Internet colleagues whose passion did just that. I’ve watched from the sidelines as fitness and weight lifting has improved my friends’ lives and they can’t seem to live without it. I hear so many stories that music is one’s own way to cope with any negative emotion they’ve been feeling. And I know that poetry is one of my vices. Having such a strong passion for something or a plethora of different activities or mechanisms increases one’s happiness! You can be having a bad day, but if you put your passion for whatever it may be to use, the imaginary clouds and raindrops clear up and you are left with blue clear skies with just the right amount of sunlight.
Showing gratitude and giving back to the community goes a long way. I would always acknowledge my parents donations and respect they have for supporting causes and local charities around my hometown, but it wasn’t until I became a college undergraduate that I appreciated it. For instance, we bend over backwards for signed musicians, artists, etc., but we never value and appreciate those from our home areas. We run to iTunes or the local record store to pick up Drake’s new mixed tape, but we don’t even give one single dollar to the local musicians playing on the corners of streets or those selling paintings on Chestnut Street. By supporting those around, we gain happiness because we feel that our efforts help them nonetheless. These local talents feel appreciated and their happiness becomes your own.
Caring and Supportive Family
Above all, I believe that having a family who will be there for you no matter what the issue is all one can and should ask for in life. My heart aches knowing that some individuals have such broken relationships with their families and I cannot fathom the idea of undergoing such an experience. My family is my life and being apart for weeks at a time is a difficult process, even though I am only an hour and change away from them by car. The love and support I receive from my family is overwhelming and extremely welcoming and it is difficult for me to put into words how meaningful my relationship is with my immediate family and extended family. Without my family, I would be nothing. I wouldn’t know what the meaning of life is, and undoubtedly, I wouldn’t be who I am today. They create so much happiness and incorporate so much love into their daily lives. I am a true believer that family makes the world go ’round.
Trustworthy and Loyal Friends
Sadly, it is a process to find friends that’ll be there through thick and thin. In my eyes, you live and you learn. You become friends with fellow children at a young age, and while some stick around until their dying days, too often are childhood friends are left behind. People can be manipulative, depressing, rough, annoying, misleading, lying, hateful creatures, but there are those who are loyal, honest, caring, supportive, trustworthy, cordial, humorous, and wonderful individuals that you never want to leave your side. Surrounding yourself around the latter characteristics brings so much joy into your life! By being properly treated, you know what to look for in strangers that may ultimately become your soul mates, and you learn about the respect you deserve.
Okay okay, you might be one of those people who can hold in your feelings and the dreaded emotions you may be experiencing, but I on the other hand cannot. I need to write out my feelings on some form or another. Whether it’s a physical diary or journal, a post on a virtual diary here on the Internet, or a vlogging session on Photobooth, I pour my heart and soul into. I’ll write out or talk about what I’m feeling, both happy and sad emotions, and I feel almost instantly better and relieved to just release these feelings with the world! Keeping this diary or venting pad allows me to express who I am as a person and set my mind clear so I can go on and enjoy my life with no extra cares and lightheartedness.
A Sense of Humor/Laughter
This kind of goes hand in hand with what I mentioned about friendship, but just imagine talking to a stranger who has a great sense of humor and he or she puts your abdominal muscles to work because you are laughing so hard. Laughter brings so much happiness to the world. How could you possibly be upset or angry when you are in the middle of a comedic session? For me, laughing is a hobby. I could be feeling miserable, but if I am surrounded my people who constantly make me laugh, then I am in good hands and I know that within time, everything will be okay.