‘Do more of what makes you happy!’ You have probably heard this phrase often, and perhaps you are wondering why it is good to do what makes you happy. And, the OBVIOUS answer is that you will have increased happiness levels, something nearly everyone wants. But there are many additional benefits of doing more things that make you truly happy.
While it may sound simple enough, doing what makes you happy is not easy, and sometimes, it may even be a terrible idea.
Some people also misunderstand this phrase thinking that doing what makes them happy means doing just anything or that they should always be happy. But no one can be happy all the time, and such advice is considered toxic positivity.
In this post, we shall discuss some of the reasons why you should do what makes you happy in order to motivate you to start doing so. We will also give some tips on how to do more of what makes you happy. But before we begin, what does doing what makes you happy involve? Read on.
What Does It Mean to Do What Makes You Happy
Doing what makes you happy means you will try to engage in MORE activities that bring you joy. However, it is not about only focusing on the things that bring out positive emotions and trying to block out anything that does otherwise.
While doing what makes you happy, you should ensure you don’t harm yourself or anyone else through your actions. Additionally, you should be realistic when choosing the things to do to be happy.
For example, if you are like most people, your job probably doesn’t make you happy. But that doesn’t mean you should quit. Your job is the source of your livelihood, and quitting could worsen your situation. However, it is okay to leave if you get a better opportunity.
In this case, where your job doesn’t contribute to your happiness, you can still do what makes you happy by taking control of any extra time you get away from work.
Take advantage of your free time and engage in activities that bring you joy, such as hobbies and quality time with family and friends.
Reasons Why You Should Do What Makes You Happy
- Tomorrow is not guaranteed
Imagine spending your entire life working at an unsatisfactory job, spending time with toxic people, or living up to the expectations of others.
That would not be a good way to live. You will have wasted a lot of the precious little time we have here engaging in activities that don’t make you happy.
One of the reasons why you should do what makes you happy more often is that tomorrow is not guaranteed. We must accept the hard truth that life is too short and unpredictable; hence we should make it sweet and worthwhile.
Instead of trying to please others and putting aside your happiness or postponing it to some later date, you should engage in more activities that bring you joy while you still have the time and chance. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to live your best life.
READ ALSO: 10 Ways to Seize the Day and Get Things Done
- Your happiness is your responsibility
Some people spend their whole life chasing happiness in vain. But happiness is not bought; it doesn’t come from some physical location or thing, and no one can give it to you.
Your happiness should come from within. As such, one of the reasons why you should do what makes you happy is that it is your responsibility to make yourself feel this way.
So, instead of attaching your happiness to people and things, you should take responsibility for making yourself happy. Sure, you may feel positive emotions due to your achievements, the people in your life, and the things you have. But these people and things won’t always be there.
YOU are the only one you are stuck with for the rest of your life. So, take responsibility for your life and create your own happiness by doing things that make YOU happy.
The things you have and the people in your life are supposed to ADD to your happiness, not BE your happiness.
- Improved health
Feeling unhappy not only affects your emotional and mental health but your physical health too.
Besides feeling sad, anxious, or stressed, you will also have sleeping problems, get sick more often, lack the energy to do your tasks, and be at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases. Better mental, emotional, and physical health is another good reason why you should do what makes you happy more often.
Doing things that bring you joy will result in better sleep, an improved immune system, less stress, lower risks of cardiovascular diseases, reduced anxiety, and lower blood pressure.
When you are happy, you will also be more likely to break or steer clear of bad habits and develop healthy ones.
Doing what makes you happy is important because it will not only improve your health but it will also increase your lifespan. Studies found that happy people are at a lower risk of death than their unhappy counterparts.
READ ALSO: 10 Simple Ways to Live a Healthy Life
- Better chances of success
Your performance and productivity are usually affected by your mood while engaging in an activity, with better results when you are happy. As such, one of the reasons why you should do more of what makes you happy is that it will improve your chances of success.
Since positive energy attracts more positive energy, you will probably also be surrounded by people with the same attitude, leading to even more success. These are just some of the benefits of happiness.
- A healthy relationship with yourself
But you deserve to be happy, and it is time you realize that if you want to become the best version of yourself.
One of the reasons why it is good to do what makes you happy is that it will improve your relationship with yourself. Since you will be doing the things you love, there will be no internal conflict, and your sense of self-worth will not be negatively impacted. Additionally, doing more things that make you truly happy is an act of self-love.
- Satisfaction with your life
This point is related to the first one. One of the reasons why you should do more of what makes you happy is that it will enable you to live a fulfilling life. You will do the things that bring you joy, and hence, you will not have any regrets later in life when it could be too late to do these activities.
Doing the things that make you happy often involves risks many are too afraid to take, for example, leaving a bad job, going on adventures, or even getting out of toxic relationships.
People may choose to stay in their comfort zone because they fear what would happen if they tried to change their situation.
But the fear of failure and fear of taking risks may result in an unsatisfactory existence. You will also fail to discover the unique purpose you are supposed to fulfill.
If you want to make your life more fulfilling, dare to take risks and do what makes you happy for your own good.
- Improved relationships with others
Have you ever noticed that when you are unhappy, you tend to be surrounded by other unhappy people? Misery loves company, after all.
Your mood influences the kinds of people you attract into your life and also impacts your existing relationships.
When you are happy, you will likely spend time with people who bring out positive emotions, for example, your loved ones and optimistic people. But when you are unhappy, you may try to lower other people’s moods and push them away by being closed off, being irritable, or hurting them.
Improved relationships with others are another good reason why you should do what makes you happy more often. Additionally, you may form new meaningful relationships with like-minded people while engaging in activities that bring you joy.
- To set a good example
Imagine your kids seeing you come home stressed and in a bad mood every day because you hate your job.
What example do you think this will set for them? What lesson are you teaching them? That they should accept situations that don’t bring them joy, try to please others before themselves, and settle for mediocre lives?
One of the reasons why you should do what makes you happy is that it helps you set a good example for those who look up to you, whether it is your kids, mentees, or followers on social media.
Through your actions, these people will know it is okay to prioritize their happiness over everything else, even money.
READ ALSO: 7 Ways to Make Your Life Extraordinary
How to Do More of What Makes You Happy
‘Do what makes you happy!’ They say. It sounds like an easy thing to do, but learning how to do more of what makes you happy can be really hard.
But now that you know the benefits of doing what makes you happy more often, you have something to motivate you to take these next steps so you can enjoy them too.
Here is how to do more of what makes you happy;
- Identify the things that make you truly happy
What makes you happy? This question often makes people pause because they don’t know what makes them truly happy. And it is the first question you will have to answer as you learn how to do more of what makes you happy.
Take a moment, reflect, and write down the things that make you happy. It could be the people around you, the experiences you get, your hobbies, the environment, your achievements at work, or anything else that brings you joy.
- Determine the thieves of joy in your life
What makes you unhappy? After identifying what makes you happy, your next step is to determine what doesn’t.
Determine the thieves of happiness in your life, which could include things like comparison, dissatisfaction with your job, toxic people, health problems, envy, fear, and the bad habits you have, among other things.
When you identify the thieves of your joy, you can then decide what to do to eliminate or manage them so you can be happier.
- Focus on what you can control
As you learn how to do more of what makes you happy, the above two steps are not enough; you need to take action. Engage in more activities that make you happy and get rid of the thieves of joy.
But unfortunately, you can’t always control what makes you unhappy, for example, illnesses, the past, the future, or other people’s opinions and decisions. Additionally, changing some things may worsen your situation, for instance, quitting your job with no new one lined up and no alternative source of livelihood is not a good idea.
You should learn how to do more of what makes you happy and focus on the things you can control, i.e., your response and actions.
For instance, say ‘No’ to things that don’t contribute to your happiness, let go of the past, set boundaries with toxic people, make time for the things you love, and remove yourself from situations or environments that make you unhappy as soon as you can.
- Focus on long-term happiness
‘Life is short’ and ‘You Only Live Once (YOLO)’ are good slogans to live by because they encourage you to do what makes you happy and live your life to the fullest. However, these slogans could make you engage in activities that will only bring you short-term happiness and negative long-term consequences.
‘Do what makes you happy’ doesn’t necessarily mean do what makes you happy RIGHT NOW or AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE! Also, just because something makes you happy doesn’t mean that thing is good for you.
For example, eating unhealthy foods, overindulging in alcohol, making fun of or abusing other people, getting high, or watching adult videos, could be the things that make some people happy. But these are not good things.
While you may feel happy engaging in these activities, they may result in self-loathing, guilt, emptiness, health problems, and even legal issues.
As you learn how to do what makes you happy, you should focus more on long-term happiness instead of only instant gratification.
- Do it in small steps
If you decide to do what makes you happy immediately, that would probably involve quitting your job, booking a ticket to your dream destination, breaking up with your partner, and going broke as you do a lot of activities at once.
Although it is good that you want to learn how to do more of what makes you happy, you must avoid taking drastic actions. Instead, do what makes you happy, but in small steps, until you achieve overall happiness.
You could break big goals into small ones and celebrate your wins along the way, so you don’t have to wait too long to be happy.
You can start doing what makes you happy by enjoying simple everyday pleasures such as going outdoors and feeling the sun on your face, taking on a lighter workload, getting a little more sleep, eating cake sometimes, doing small acts of kindness, spending time with loved ones, being a tourist in your own town, and using your leisure time wisely.
- Stop worrying about what others think
Fear of judgment usually holds people back from doing what makes them happy. They worry about what others will think about their actions and choices.
But by doing this, you give other people power over your life and will have their opinions and expectations at the top of your mind while making decisions. Doing what others expect of you could make you feel lost in life.
Since you are here to learn how to do more of what makes you happy, you should stop worrying about what others think about you and your actions. Recognize that your life is your own; hence, only your opinion on how you spend it matters.
If something makes you happy, it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else.
- Track your happiness every day
Do you ever check in with yourself to assess your happiness levels? If you don’t, you should start doing so. Checking in with yourself helps you increase your self-awareness, sort out your emotions, and understand yourself better.
As you learn how to do more of what makes you happy, make a habit of tracking your happiness by checking in with yourself every day. It will enable you to know your happiness level over time and determine what you need to do to be happier.
You can track your happiness by rating how happy you feel every day on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the least happy and 10 being the happiest level.
As you check in with yourself, remember to write about the things that made you happy or unhappy in a journal daily.
Doing what makes you happy is not easy, but it is not impossible either. The many benefits you reap when you do what makes you happy should motivate you to start as soon as possible.
Nonetheless, as you learn how to do more of what makes you happy, you must consider the consequences of your actions and be realistic.
Remember that doing what makes you happy is not about getting immediate gratification and not caring about tomorrow. As such, you should avoid doing anything that could risk your life, have you arrested, make your situation worse, or harm others.
Now that you know why you should do what makes you happy and what not to do, it is up to you to take the necessary steps to achieve overall happiness and fulfillment.
Read more articles from Aisles of Life here.