Hitting milestones along society’s prescribed path is over-hyped, IMO. We’re told we’ll be happy when we achieve them — when we get that job or raise, meet a new boyfriend or girlfriend, hit our goal weight, buy that hot ticket item we’ve been eyeing — but they’re often kind of underwhelming. The happiness they can bring is often temporary. “Happy” is not a final destination. There is no one thing you can buy or have in this life that will do it for you forever.
I think the path to happiness varies by person. Like, the idea of getting married, having kids, and living my life in a suburb full of McMansions does not appeal to me. But I have friends living that life and they seem content with it.
Generally speaking I’d say the follow things help everyone with happiness when done in a way that is authentic to the individual:
– Feeling socially connected (having a sense of community, maintaining/building relationships)
– Taking care of yourself in a general sense (eating balanced meals more often than not, prioritizing sleep)
– Having meaningful experiences
– Treating yourself with compassion (giving yourself grace when you mess up, letting yourself be “lazy” in our hustle culture society, speaking kindly to yourself, etc.)
– Seeking optimism (and I do not mean toxic positivity… I hate that shit)
And yeah, please do speak with a therapist if you’re not already.