Being an adult in the modern world has a lot of perks: the wonders of internet and ongoing technology, the possibility of love and starting a family and the overwhelming pride (and sometimes fear) in leading a successful independent life.
But what about happiness? In sacrificing the mundane, have we also given up on the little things that could make us happy? The answer is probably a little more complicated than we’d care to admit.
At least this may be the case, according to Peter N. Stearns, the author of Satisfaction Not Guaranteed: Dilemmas of Progress in Modern Society. He identifies a gap between varying levels modernity and of happiness. “Modern societies are a bit happier than many societies that aren’t yet fully modernized.”
Let’s get practical about happiness, in the truest modern spirit.
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1) You can’t always be happy:
Like Adam Smith argues in the case of the economy – there are both booms and slumps and there is an invisible hand that regulates the market. So sometime if you feel the down and under, let it be and maybe time is all that’s needed to sort it out.
2) Look after yourself:
Studies show that in an age where we are working more than ever, we are prone to being fatter than ever. And in the 21st century, we care about how we look a lot more than we used to. So why not – as ancient wisdom has often endorsed – we take care of ourselves? This includes the usual: getting enough sleep, eating the right foods and knowing our bodies well enough to be able to care for it.
3) Invest in your happiness:
Author of Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert says, “Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.”
4) Know what you want:
In our fast-paced lifestyles, we are blessed and cursed with too many choices. And sometimes it is a little overwhelming. This coincides knowing when to say no for yourself.
5) Enjoy the moment:
This is especially hard because we’re constantly rushing. We rush to wake up on time, only to get to work on time, only to rush through the work day, hurry home to do the needful only to go to sleep on time, setting several alarms on our multiple smart phones so that we wake up at the cost of sleeping well and repeat the next day.
When was the last time we stopped to smell the roses?