The mindset of waiting for happiness is a never-ending cycle. Have you heard yourself or friends say, “If I were to get a better job/nicer house/new partner/more money things would be better, I’d be so much happier?”

But then, you get the job and start thinking about what your next promotion will be. You get a nicer house and start looking at how you can improve it. You try to change certain things about your partner, and you find other things about them that you feel need to be changed too. It keeps going and going.

Instead, what if we learnt to be more content now, to feel some gratitude for what we’ve got without any external changes?

How do we do this?

  1. Take a moment to be grateful for something. Maybe it would be a good idea to write a gratitude diary, jotting down 3 things each day that you feel grateful for.
  2. If you catch yourself thinking, “This is rubbish, this is unfair” Find a way to be thankful for the situation. “My husband is a good & caring person — maybe I should give him a hug.” “My house might be messy but at least I have a roof over my head.”
  3. Find the little things that can give you simple joys. What do you need, to feel happy? I love simple things, like walking by the sea, spending time with loved ones, reading a book, drinking tea. These cost very little, and require very little effort, and can make me very happy.
  4. Find the things about yourself that you’re happy with. We tend to criticize ourselves easily, but what if we turned it around and asked, “What do I do right? What am I good at? What is loveable about me?” Make a list. Start to focus on these things rather than what you’re unhappy with.
  5. Do the same with others in your life. Instead of criticizing them, ask yourself, “What is good about this person? What do I love about them?” Make a list and focus on these things above all else.

The moment we are living in is not a stepping-stone to something better — it is exactly as it is and can be wonderful, it can be difficult and challenging, but everything changes all the time and we need to focus on the now.

We can choose to be happy now.