People say, “Happiness starts from within.”
Nothing could be truer.
We can’t expect anyone or anything to give us the fulfillment we crave. We have to find that for ourselves.
But what about when tackling our whole emotional well-being feels like too daunting of a task? What if we just want to feel a little bit more motivated more energized and all-around happier, right now?
I found I could radically adjust my internal state by simply making a few adjustments to my environment and the way I interact with it. These tricks work for me every day, and I’d bet they can work for you too.
1. Clean up your living space.
The cleanliness of our living spaces can have a huge impact on the cleanliness of our minds. When your space is clear, your mind will be clear. As someone who has spent 18 years defending her messy room in the interest of “creativity,” I feel like I’m allowed to say this.
Having a clean room and a clean mind has increased my creativity and made me a much happier person.
2. Get rid of old stuff and unnecessary knickknacks.
Seriously, do it. I know it’s hard, but you will feel so much freer once it’s done. You’ll probably realize the only reminders of the past you really need are the memories.
Only keep the things that are either extremely meaningful or add to the character of your living space, like pictures you cherish or a sixth grade art project that always seems to lift your mood.
3. Be selective about the people in your life.
You know those people with whom you’re your full self? Keep them close. You don’t have to banish the people who don’t fit this bill from your life, but don’t pay them as much mental energy or let them affect your mood.
This will help you to retain a lot more of your positive energy and you’ll have more to give to the world as a result.
4. Honor your passions.
Whatever you do, always make time for your passions.
Not only are they guaranteed mood-lifters, but focusing on what you love could be the start of the career of your dreams. Even if we don’t think our passions will take us anywhere professionally, we should always prioritize them because of the way they make us feel.
We deserve to feel good, right?
We should get used to believing that for ourselves. But that’s not the only benefit of engaging in our passions. They shift our mental state from task-oriented drudgery to one of inspiration and fulfillment. This helps to increase productivity and harmony in the other areas of our lives, even if we don’t end up becoming famous musicians or scrap bookers.
5. Clean out or fill in your calendar.
Having too much or too little to do can be detrimental to our mental health.
If we’re filling our lives with endless tasks and events and never stop to take it in, we don’t have time to get in touch with ourselves. This can lead to intellectual and emotional suicide. It prevents us from learning about ourselves, developing our ideas about the world, and growing as people.
Conversely, when we have too little to do, we human beings are prone to start overthinking everything. That definitely won’t help us blossom.
We should strive to create schedules that make us feel balanced, productive and inspired. Sometimes, we’re going to be overwhelmed, and sometimes, we’re going to be bored. That’s okay.
We need those extremes to know when to stop and reflect and when life is urging us to get up and make a move. Even if an extremely busy life is unavoidable for you right now, just remaining aware of your internal state and checking in with your thoughts and feelings can help you maintain the most important thing (and the only thing you can really be sure of in life): your connection to yourself.
6. Fill your life with things that have meaning to you.
The other day, I was passing through a farmer’s market and saw a stand with African violets for sale.
I also kind of wanted to buy a necklace, but I ended up buying a violet.
I love to garden, and I knew nurturing the small life of that flower and watching it grow would make me consistently happy in a way a necklace couldn’t.
The point here is not to bash a little healthy self-indulgence. I love necklaces and probably have one too many. The point is, in general, our happiness comes less from collecting things and more about enjoying and appreciating the world around us. When appreciation becomes second nature to us, we pretty much have happiness on lock, no matter our circumstances.
Author: Joelle Nanula
Image: Padurariu Alexandru/Unsplash
Apprentice Editor: Aga Wyrzykowska; Editor: Emily Bartran