I was recently asked this question on Quora so I thought I would share this response with you. It is short, sweet, and to the point. Give it a quick read and then share with the 5and2Guy some things you practice daily for joy and happiness.
I believe the easiest way to be happy is to live in the present moment as much as you can. Don’t waste time living in the past, holding grudges, and remembering who has hurt you. Don’t waste time living in the future, worrying about what could happen or where you will be tomorrow. Spend your time in the Now. Don’t spend the current moment stuck in the past or wanting to be somewhere in the future. Enjoy what you are doing right now and be grateful for what you have.
Simple Daily Practice for Happiness and Joy
1. Write in a gratitude journal.
3. Read at least 30 minutes of a self-improvement book.
4. Force yourself to smile. Smile at yourself in the mirror. Smile at your family. Smile at people on the street.
5. Meditate at least 10 minutes a day.
6. Perform a selfless act for someone. This can include something as simple as washing the dishes for someone who was going to wash them.
These are some simple things I do each day that help me be happier and more joyful.
One other approach that comes to mind is called Mental Subtraction. This is where you imagine your life without something you really need. You could imagine you lost your vision, lost your hearing, or maybe a limb. For about two to three minutes, really feel as if you have lost it. Imagine all the things you can’t do because of this loss. Then, bring it back. Be grateful for all the things you can do and take for granted.
I have not tried Mental Subtraction yet, but thought it was kinda interesting. I will be giving it a whirl soon. The main point I wanted to share was that you have to be grateful for the present moment and what you have. Really experience the moment as if it was your last moment. I believe this will bring you joy.
Too many times we search for happiness and joy in external, material things. We hope that these external things will bring us inner joy. I try to look at it differently. Why try to fix an internal thing like joy by looking externally? Why take the long way around to joy and happiness? Why not take the direct route and look internally first. Look at how you can bring yourself joy and happiness by positive changes you can make in your life. This may be a little harder to do than just buying something, but the effect will last longer than any material thing you buy.
What Do You Do?
Let me know what you practice daily to find happiness and joy. Do you do any of the things I spoke of here, or do you have other things you practice daily? Maybe it is something weird you do, but it works. Don’t shy away from being a bit weird. Be yourself and help others find a better path.