It’s 2018 and the resolutions are pouring in. The New Year can be a time of reflection, and for some, it can mean hunting for happiness. I’ve definitely done my share of “hunting,” but I’ve come to realize that when it’s happiness you’re searching for, you need to find it for yourself. However, there are a few changes I’ve incorporated into my life that I believe have helped me bring more happiness into it. Taking the time to find which hobbies, foods and overall lifestyle choices you enjoy can ultimately help you reach a higher level of happiness in your own ways.
1. Listen to Your Needs and Wants
Hiking is an activity that I’ve only become passionate about over the past few years, as growing up in Chicago didn’t lend itself to spending much time in the great outdoors. After moving to Arizona and exploring local mountains, I truly discovered my love for nature. The everyday work grind and other stressors can wear on a person, and I am certainly no exception, but I’ve found that committing to spending time outdoors every weekend gives me the dose of fresh air I need to reset for the days to come. If the outdoors isn’t your thing, that’s totally fine! Take time, though, to do something you love to do. Try a new restaurant, take a pottery class, visit a friend or walk your dog. Hunting for happiness begins with committing yourself to your needs and wants, and once you find out what those are, listening to them will undoubtedly bring you great joy.
2. Fuel Your Body Right
Becoming vegan has been a work in progress. I’ve been on this journey for five years now and I could probably go on all day about the benefits I’ve seen from making changes to my diet. Now, I’m not here to sell you on why you should go vegan, but I am here to remind you that at the end of the day, you probably have the most control over your diet. Fuel your body with foods that will propel you to go further. On the trail, I love bringing Power Snacks in my pack. I find that they’re the perfect dose of energy (and chocolate!) that I need when hiking. Take the time to fuel your body with the foods that will make it happy and you’ll relish in the dividends.
3. Build New Friendships
Some of my favorite times are when I’m alone. Having a handful of meaningful relationships I can always count on, though, goes a long way. Over the past year, I’ve been able to connect and adventure with friends I’ve made through outdoor communities – both on and offline. I’ve started openly sharing more of my writing and photography work with a public audience, which has also brought some great people into my life. Making friends can be hard, but the friendships that last a while can go a long way. I’ve found that taking the time to meet new people has allowed me to share my interests and learn from their experiences.
Hunting for happiness is a journey that most will probably partake in at some point in their lives. No matter who you are, you deserve happiness and a joyful life. Remember that and remember that the journey will not be easy, but it’s worth it. Happy hunting!