What’s Your Happiness Recipe? And How To Create One
When I feel frustrated, anxious, or fearful, sometimes I’m tempted to look at my horoscope, hoping that it will tell me I will have a better day tomorrow. But the truth is that no matter what is going on in the skies above, it is my responsibility to make tomorrow good.
That process of making tomorrow better than today is not down to luck or chance. It’s actually a product of thinking the right thoughts, and then — most crucially — executing right actions. The wonderful thing about this is that these thoughts and actions are not random. They are individual for each person, but they are consistent. I believe that each of us has a unique happiness recipe that we need to follow every single day, and I think of this as essential mental health maintenance.
While every happiness recipe is unique, they all fulfill specific needs that we have as humans. A true happiness recipe takes into account our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs, and ticks the box in each category.
Here are some examples for each category.
Reading, setting goals, being creative, making (and upholding) boundaries
Journalling, gratitude practice, seeing a therapist, expressing your feelings, spending time with friends
Working out, stretching, rolling out muscles, orgasm, sleep, spending time in nature
Meditation, energy practices (grounding etc.), ritual, prayer
You will have your own ideas and additions to this list, of course!
My personal happiness recipe includes daily meditation, working out (or stretching), speaking with or seeing a friend, and working on something creative. If one of those boxes goes unchecked, my emotional tank will not feel full. I might even move into feeling a toxic mixture of anxiety, sadness, and apathy, which makes my day so much harder!
We all have a different happiness recipe, and it’s essential to know what yours is. Once you know that, you can assess things more easily. You can instantly tell whether you’re really having a problem or crisis, or if you’re simply not doing your mental health minimum.
Being in tune with your needs and then doing what has to be done is an imperative (and learnable) skill, and it’s also a way of taking radical responsibility. When we take ownership in this way, we are reminded that we are in control of how we feel. This makes it impossible to shift the blame or pretend that we are simply at the mercy of a cruel universe. Sure, some events cannot be predicted, but how we respond to them is our choice, and that has serious knock-on effects.
I want to encourage you to consider what your needs really are, and then write your own happiness recipe! Write it on a Post-It Note and washi tape it to your wall. Following the steps of your happiness recipe is its own reward, but you’ll discover that when you make your radical self love practice non-negotiable, you simultaneously raise all of the standards in your life.
It’s a wild world, and we all crave a sense of certainty that will never arrive. The only thing we can control is who we choose to be and how we choose to live amongst all the chaos. Doing what you need to do to stay happy and healthy guarantees that no matter what is going on around you, you have a stable foundation. That way, you can springboard into life with joy.
Love and happiness,
P.S. James Altucher talks about this concept too, only he calls it a daily practice. Have a read on his take!