Make Your Soul Sing
Whenever someone asks how you are, how do you reply? “I’m great!”, “I’m fab, thanks!” or something else equally as positive and enthusiastic? Or is it more often the case that you reply with “I’m ok”, “I’m getting there”, or “Not bad”? If we’re being honest with ourselves, many of us tend towards the latter. Why? Because we’re settling for lives that are less happy than they could be.
What is happiness?
Happiness doesn’t necessarily mean long-term fulfilment – you might be a long way from feeling fulfilled in life, but you’re fully capable of happiness along the way. In fact, happiness is just one of the things that fuels us during this journey, and it’s something that can be found absolutely anywhere. You could find it in a song, a social interaction, an activity, or an achievement. It’s an emotion that makes us better, more positive and more satisfied people. It shouldn’t be considered a luxury, or an elusive thing – rather, something that we’re entitled to, and should therefore pursue.
So how do we find the things that make us truly happy, to the point of making our souls sing? And how do we keep that momentum going in our day-to-day lives? Here’s how:
• Finding your passions: Whether it’s volunteering at a dog shelter or taking part in charity events, it’s commonly agreed that the happiest people do things that give their lives meaning – but that isn’t a concrete rule. When was the last time you felt on cloud 9, just by doing something you love? It could be as simple as watching your favourite movie with a takeaway, or sitting in your garden with a good book, or taking a walk somewhere new and inspiring. Or dancing. Or running. You don’t have to be doing something extraordinary to feel extraordinarily happy – as per the old adage: it’s often the ‘little things’ that count. Whether it’s big or little, dig deep into your mind and find out what your true passion is (and if you’ve got more than one, even better). Absolutely everyone has something they love doing.
• Don’t be scared: Fear is something that holds us back in many areas of life – but only if we let it. Sometimes, our passions turn out to be things we haven’t tried before, so it’s important to be open-minded and willing to experience new things. The majority of times our fears are unfounded, so don’t let them stand between you and potential elation. If you don’t go for it, you’ll never know.
• Immerse yourself: So many of us make our passions take a back seat, using that all too common excuse: a lack of time. Granted, when you have a busy lifestyle it can feel impossible to ‘indulge’ in the things that make you happy. But this is the problem – being happy shouldn’t be viewed as an indulgence. Your happiness should be as much of a priority as your physical health. No one lies on their deathbed wishing they’d spent more time cleaning their home, pulling weeds, or working. In fact, they usually wish the opposite: that they’d spent more time enjoying the things and people that make them happy instead, passions included.
• Commit to your happiness: It’s very easy to immerse yourself in your passion for a brief period, before letting life take over again and pushing it back to the side-lines. Instead, make a solid commitment to yourself. Schedule your ‘you time’ and make any necessary arrangements in advance – even draw up a contract for yourself if you think it’ll help. Make your passion a permanent fixture in your life for as long as you feel that it makes your soul sing.
• Listen to your soul: Humans have an innate need to pursue the things that not only keep them happy on a physical level, but on an emotional one too. So long as they’re not detrimental in any way, it doesn’t matter whether your passions are productive, profitable, worthwhile in society, or even a ‘sensible’ use of your time. All that matters is that they leave you feeling satisfied, glad to be alive, and glad to be you.
Enjoying ‘me time’ and immersing yourself in what you love isn’t just a momentary fix either – it has long-term benefits too. In time you’ll feel happier, more positive and more optimistic – and when life does become testing, you’ll always have that passion to retreat to, and an opportunity to remind yourself that life can feel absolutely wonderful.