(WellnessPursuits.com) – People often pursue successful careers, committed romantic relationships or stable financial situations in their quest for happiness. While these types of accomplishments can positively impact your mood for a short time, they don’t guarantee long-term happiness. The secret to happiness lies within you, and you can harness your power by being kind to yourself — and to others.
Help Others Whenever Possible
Many venerable religious, spiritual and philosophical doctrines emphasize the importance of helping others. Christians encourage followers to provide assistance to anyone in need, and Buddhists believe you can achieve happiness by creating a meaningful life. To do this, you must serve your community and others, instead of focusing on monetary goals or material items.
Small actions, such as holding doors for others or bringing a neighbor some fresh-baked cookies, can brighten someone’s day, but you can also exhibit kindness on a larger scale by paying a struggling friend’s rent or embarking on a mission trip.
Helping others without expecting anything in return and sincere acts of kindness help your body release oxytocin, an emotion-enhancing hormone that can boost your mood. Kind people feel good about themselves because they know they are taking small steps to improve the world around them. Sometimes kindness also triggers a ripple effect, so you may experience less stress as the people around you become happier, more compassionate versions of themselves.
Treat Yourself With Kindness
Dedicate your days to helping others, but don’t neglect your own mind and body during this time. Be mindful of what you consume, make sure you get plenty of sleep each night and set aside some time for meditation or gratitude exercises to encourage the flow of positivity in your life. Participating in just one hour per week of loving-kindness meditation (LKM), which focuses on positive thoughts, can improve the symptoms of depression and migraines, while also potentially slowing your body’s natural aging process.
Set Personal Goals
Another key to happiness is achieving goals you consider valuable. Set reasonable goals for yourself, then tackle them. Make sure your goals are things you truly want, not things others feel you should achieve. The best goals are realistic aspirations that can help you improve your life and the lives of others. Create a plan to address each goal, and set multiple milestones along the way if you’re working on a big one.
The Dalai Lama believes that genuine happiness stems from inner peace. Since ancient times, happiness has been less dependent on material gains and more dependent on meditation, gratitude, self-love, genuine acts of kindness, and self-accountability. You really do hold the key to happiness within you!.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Pursuits!
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