There is one thing that we all have in common. We all just want to be happy. Some people spend their entire life trying to discover what brings it about. Some people travel the whole world seeking to fill an emptiness in their spirit, and failing to ever do so. Some people work 70+ hours a week, trying to earn enough money to bring about a sense of ecstasy and elation. But what if I told you that happiness is easier to find than you think?
I think I’ve found it.
You may find that this answer is unsatisfactory. You may respond by saying, “Are you kidding Allie? That’s it?”. And I’m here to reply, “Yes…it’s that simple”.
Happiness is directly a result of allowing yourself to feel grateful.
Yesterday I visited the pharmacy to pick up my acid reflux prescription. As I was fishing out my credit card to pay for my $1.50 pills (thank you insurance), I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the low cost of my daily pills. I smiled to the clerk who was helping me and made a remark like, “A buck fifty? I guess I can do that”. She then proceeded to tell me that earlier that day she had witnessed an elderly man pay $470 for his Alzheimer’s medication, which he needed monthly. I took a moment to think about that poor man. Not only is he suffering from a debilitating and horrific disease, but he is also forced to continue paying for the ability to simply function in his day-to-day life. In that moment of compassion, I felt selfish to even feel grateful for my situation in comparison. I was lucky to be young and healthy. I was lucky to have good coverage by my insurance. Heck, I was even lucky to have access to the medication I need. The moral of this story is that we are lucky. Luckier than we may think sometimes. Luckier than we might even deserve in some cases.
When you really take the time each day to allow yourself to be grateful, happiness floods in. I am thankful every night for the opportunity to sleep in my warm, safe, and clean bed. I realize that what I have today, may not be what I have tomorrow. Each day I allow myself to feel grateful all over again. Feeling grateful for even the smallest of things makes the largest difference. Noticing the world around us, and mindfully taking the time to acknowledge it is something that a lot of people miss. Stop and smell the flowers, feel the sunrays warm upon your skin, gaze up at the stars in the sky, and watch the ants carrying each other on their backs. Be mindful. Be gracious. Be happy.