I like to believe that happiness is a byproduct of having your priorities straight.
And I think it’s because not understanding what matters to you the most creates leaks in your energy. Causing you to care about the outcomes of situations you have no control over.
For example, getting caught up in petty dramas. Or goals that you only strive for because you think you have to.
From mindless to mindful, I’ve come to the realization of what truly matters through a long process of trial and error.
To save you some time, I’d like to share them with you!
Here are 9 things that people prioritize when they want to live the happiest lives.
Authenticity is a huge buzz word these days. People will tell you that X, Y, Z traits make up an “authentic person.”
But the truth is, It’s not the presence of certain traits, but rather the absence of over analyzing your existence.
Which happens when you stop trying to be perfect and start getting to know yourself by making mistakes.
The art of making “good mistakes” is all about thinking for yourself and acting in reflection of it.
Because there’s nothing like being able to look back and say you did what you believed was best for yourself.
Nor is there a point to anything if you can’t be yourself.
2) Stable sense of self
Also known as confidence, but I also like to think of this as a practice where a person values having a mind of their own.
I used to believe that to be happy I had to please everyone but myself in an effort to control my environment.
But as time passed, I realized I had the choice of choosing my environment depending on what I was okay with. Even if it takes time, it’s more worth it that way.
So naturally, valuing my own thoughts came with learning how to be alone and not needing external factors to determine my circumstances.
And that’s where discipline came in and taught me how to be patient enough to see what worked for me and what didn’t.
And like a waterfall down a staircase, a healthy blend of authenticity and dedication to one’s self will lead you to having discipline.
Valuing discipline is like making a promise to yourself and keeping it like a trusted friend would.
There’s also a thing called decision fatigue which happens when you are constantly put in positions to make tough calls.
It puts stress on your body to constantly be on the move, and even though it’s important to take risks, discipline will help you create a system to help you pick and choose your battles wisely.
So the power of consistency is having a sense of structure will lessen your stress levels by giving you an opportunity to expect what happens in your life.
Helping you build positive habits that listen and respect your body’s limits.
4) Physical health
You can do a whole lot of things to help your perception and emotional well-being.
But it won’t matter if the vessel that contains these parts of you aren’t doing well. Happy people understand this and prioritize their physical health.
I’ll admit, when I’d hear internet psychologists tell me how I need to drink more water and sleep like a normal person I’d get annoyed.
Then I realized a lot of their suggestions were for preventative measures so I could maintain the health that I do have. Instead of helping myself when I was on my final straw of sanity.
There’s also a lot of power in understanding how your body works and being able to regulate yourself that way.
So along with better moods and brain power, you’ll have improved self-esteem.
Beyond how you function, valuing your physical health will allow you to connect with like-minded individuals, leading to healthier relationships.
5) Reciprocity in relationships
As someone who struggled with staying healthy, I didn’t realize I was engaging in unhealthy relationship patterns until I hit rock bottom.
Rock bottom in this case being so drained that I had to isolate myself to seriously self-reflect on what I needed in a connection.
I over complicated things for a while and created restrictive boundaries surrounding what kinds of people I wanted to be surrounded by.
But as the word “restrictive” suggests, I was only keeping myself from being myself. So I came to the conclusion that I just needed to meet people who also valued reciprocity.
That’s all it takes to build a healthy foundation without overburdening yourself to be the one that keeps it together for the both of you.
And you may ask: how did this bring you happiness?
It allowed me to be myself by exploring who that could be! Without feeling like I had to be perfect or enough for everyone else.
I got the chance to be creative.
I essentially freed myself from all these false expectations I had of myself by prioritizing all the things above.
And in the space I had given myself, I was able to be creative through new hobbies, but also in the way I perceived life.
Of course there’s a sense of freedom and peace, but I also experienced happiness by having more fun. Because that’s really what creativity should be about!
I feel like it’s such a conundrum to be an adult sometimes because logically we should have more fun now because we have so much more power to do so!
But along with power comes (great) responsibility – there’s an element of having to actively create space for ourselves to have that fun.
Don’t do it as a side hustle or applause, but to expand your outlook on life.
7) Travel and expansion
Creativity will grow your curiosity and tolerance for those that are different to you by inspiring you to become more open-minded.
We all live in a bubble of what’s around us. It’s common for you to want to snap out of it and see what else is out there.
Traveling can seem like a financially daunting task, but you don’t need to do anything extravagant to satisfy this desire for expansion.
It’s all about meeting new people and unlearning the idea that you have to do everything alone.
And if I may give a practical suggestion… If you do decide to travel, get into the backpackers scene and couchsurf to have a true “locals experience” while saving some bucks.
Along with itchy feet, this can improve your overall happiness because you’re listening to your soul’s desire for what’s real.
Instead of what’s available to you.
Spirituality for me isn’t anything that requires you to believe in something specific.
I think there’s just 2 components to it: finding your own answers, and discovering how you can be more compassionate to the world around you.
As you expand your worldview, these questions will come up and get answered organically. Embrace the change they bring and watch your understanding of yourself deepen.
I for one felt like I discovered a sense of purpose as I made learning about life outside of myself a consistent practice.
It really gives you a unique perspective where you realize that many different things can co-exist at once if you just let go of the need to make sense of things logically.
Another component that is a blend of the 2 I mentioned will be an increased sense of gratitude because you’ll find value in the little things.
Noticing them, as well as creating them by increasing your awareness of the magic that already exists in the world around you.
9) The simple things
This is coming from someone who at one point couldn’t stop beautifying my space and wardrobe in order to feel connected to myself.
And there’s still nothing wrong with that – I still make it a priority to be fashionable as a way to creatively express myself.
But going back to the idea of these “leaks” in your energy, a fast-paced life will do just that because your mind is functioning from a place of wanting more.
So take the time to appreciate what you already have and the things that don’t require you to bend over backwards to feel enough.
I’m still learning to do this because unfortunately living in a capitalistic society means you have to meet deadlines and such.
But starting off small and working on not comparing yourself so much to others to create space for yourself will get you started on the right foot.
Better yet, go outside and look at the nature blooming all around you.
We could all learn a few things from them – don’t you think?
These are all just intricate ways of saying that you should prioritize yourself because everything else sort of follows suit
What that exactly looks like is something that you get to decide as you go. So don’t be afraid to change your mind on what works best for you as you discover yourself.
In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that prioritizing yourself is all about getting comfortable with changing your mind responsibly.
It takes time, but luckily you have your entire life ahead of you.
And as corny as it sounds, it all starts with you being yourself.