You’ve probably heard the term “income streams,” referring to various ways to bring in money. Whether it’s salary, interest or dividends, selling items on eBay or Craigslist, the idea is the more income streams you have, the better. What if we apply the concept to happiness, too?
It’s just as important to have multiple “happiness streams” as it is to have multiple income streams (and a lot more possible, for many of us). The more sources of happiness we have, the happier we can be. And if one area of life isn’t going so well, having other sources of happiness to turn to can be comforting, and perhaps even keep us from becoming downright unhappy.
This blog is mostly about simple pleasures and everyday adventures and how they relate to happiness. I know, however, that there a number of common happiness streams, including:
Health/Vitality. Our health is one of our most precious gifts—to keep it a source of happiness, we need to care for our bodies lovingly, with nutritious food, adequate sleep, and movement that makes us feel good. At the very least. It’s hard to be happy if you just don’t feel well. I’ve noticed that when I feel ill or in pain, my mood often crashes.
Appreciation/Gratitude. When we take time to notice and appreciate the good things in our lives, our happiness levels rise and we tend to notice even more things to be happy about. (What we focus on expands.)
Relationships. Even for introverts (like me), the people we love play a huge role in our happiness. Our family and friends, co-workers, even the friendly lady at the checkout in the grocery store, can cause happiness to flow.
Accomplishment/Learning. Working on and completing projects, as well as learning new things, is a major happiness stream for many people. I notice a lift of my spirits when I do something as simple as check off an item on my list of things to do, especially if it’s something that’s been weighing on me.
Spiritual Practice. Whether we belong to an organized religion or pursue spiritual growth independently, many of us find comfort and joy in a spiritual practice.
So you see, we can boost our happiness by opening ourselves to many different happiness streams. I’m generally happy with how my streams are flowing, but in 2016, I’m spending more time cultivating health and accomplishment.
How about you? What are your happiness streams? Are they flowing freely?