Happiness is often thought to be a journey, not a destination. Or at least that's what people say when they want you to enjoy the here and now and not try to project too much or worry about what's going to happen in the future. But how do you even know if you're happy? Is it because you're meeting the goals that you set out for yourself? Because you're showing the world (and social media world) a perfect image instead of the real you? Because you eat healthy and actually like kale and have amazing friends and family and a great boyfriend? Of course, you know that you can have all of those things and still be miserable and wondering why you're just not smiling all the time. Life is full of ups and downs, the good and the bad, and if you can accept that and take it all in, then you're going to be happier than you ever were before. And sometimes, you're happier than you even realize, if you just sit back and take the time to realize why. Here are 15 reasons you should be happy.
15 You Have A Career
There's a huge difference between a job and a career. A job is something that pays the bills (well, hopefully, at least) and it honestly just means that you have somewhere to go day after day. You have to keep showing up, even if you love or hate it. And usually, when you have a job and not a career, you do kind of loathe it. You wish that you could get somewhere further along and that you could actually have something that you love. If you have a career, then you should be happy, even if you do have some low moments (like anyone else, of course). Having a career means that you're in a field or industry that you supposedly love, since, well, you tried your very best to get in there in the first place. You strive every day to be successful and learn and grow. You enjoy what you do and look forward to work when you get up in the morning.
14 You Love People
If you have people in your life that you truly love, whether that's a lovely boyfriend or nice group of friends or caring parents (or all of those people! Lucky you!), then you should be happy. Truly and honestly. Not everyone can say the same. Of course, if you're single but still have a lot of people in your life that you love, then that still counts and you don't have to feel like a total loser just because you're not in a relationship. In fact, you should never feel that way because you've done nothing wrong and there's nothing the matter here. This is just the way that it goes and this is just your path in life right now. Take stock of the cool and amazing and sweet and funny and compassionate people that fill up your world and spend time with them and enjoy it. Why not?! You don't really have a reason not to be happy if you love people and are loved in return.
13 You're Healthy
Everyone has ups and downs when it comes to health. Sometimes you're in bed with the most epic cold ever, watching yet another episode of Friends and drinking your weight in peppermint tea and wondering why you can't get better already. Other times, you're crushing your barre classes, having the best time ever with your friends at happy hour, and being insanely productive at the office. You won't be in perfect health every day of your life, and that's okay. As long as you're generally healthy -- and yes, if you've had some kind of health problem and have fixed it, then that still counts -- then you should be happy. Be proud of yourself for eating properly and working out and sleeping enough and looking after yourself. The fact that you're in good health should honestly make you super happy because a lot of people don't have that. They suffer from all sorts of diseases and problems and wish they had the energy and health that you have. Sure, it may sound cheesy, but you should never take your health for granted.
12 You Take Care Of Yourself
Taking care of yourself totally means sleeping a good amount each night, knowing when to say no to something, knowing when you're getting too stressed, and oh yeah, eating some fun food sometimes. Eating french fries once or twice a week totally and completely counts as self-care. If you don't agree, then you're not living. Simple as that. You should be glad that you care about yourself and understand that self-care is a really, really important thing. There's also a whole cause and effect thing happening here. If you don't take care of yourself -- you barely sleep, you drink too much coffee and not enough water, you don't eat anything green and you stress out on a daily basis -- then you're going to feel horrible. And when you feel horrible, you don't feel happy. See how that works? So the next time you feel guilty for watching TV all day on a Sunday, just remember that you're taking care of yourself. And you need to be happy about that.
11 You're A Good Person
If you try hard to be a good person every single day, no matter what's going on or how you feel, then you should be happy. You should always treat people the way that you yourself want to be treated, and being compassionate toward others is never going to be a bad idea or the wrong move. Being a good person also sometimes can mean knowing the right thing to say most of the time. Sure, sometimes you just strike out and you feel like you're rambling and not helping the person that you want to help -- like when your BFF gets dumped and you fear that your conversation with her is just making the pain worse. But hey, you're trying, and that still makes you a good person, because at the end of the day you have really good intentions. If you can say the same, then a.) congrats, you're the best and b.) you should feel good about yourself.
10 You Travel Sometimes
It's not possible to travel a ton, of course, unless that's your job. And in that case, you might kind of loathe travel and wish that you could stay home forever and ever. Funny how that happens. But otherwise, you probably travel every once in a while. You might go on one or two vacations a year along with some smaller trips, whether it's a weekend road trip or small getaway. If you travel sometimes, then you should be happy. It means that you're in good health because you can go places, you have the cash to pay for your trip, and you just have the opportunity to see the world (or, okay, at least a small portion of it). You should appreciate the fact that you can go anywhere at all, instead of complaining about all the stuff that goes wrong on trips. Because things will go wrong. Just a rule of travel and there's nothing you can do about it.
9 You Can Deal With Stress
If you can handle stress and not absolutely freak out when something goes wrong, then you are honestly the greatest, and you should be happy. You should celebrate the fact that you can handle anything that comes your way. There are so many people that can't deal with stress at all... and you've probably come across more than a few of them. That's why sometimes, you have a fight with a friend and you don't get it at all. They don't seem to be making any sense at all, so why are they so mad at you? Then you realize that, oh yeah, they're super stressed out right now thanks to their job or a relationship issue and they're just totally taking it out on you. If you can deal with anything, though, you're a much happier person because you have even more moods, you're calmer, and you generally know that you can survive almost anything. That's pretty amazing.
8 You Have Hobbies And Interests
When you geek out over a certain TV show or love podcasts that no one you know has ever heard of, that doesn't make you weird. Nope, not at all. It means that you have hobbies and interests and that makes you a really cool person. And that means that you should be happy. Generally speaking, when you're interested in something, you're pretty excited about it and you feel much happier. So that's a logical reason that having these interests would make you feel good on a regular basis. But you should also feel good about the fact that you honor how much you love the things that you love. You don't feel guilty about doing things that you love and if you want to listen to podcasts every waking hour (on the subway, at work, walking around your neighborhood, getting ready in the morning...), well, you do that. You listen to yourself and don't feel bad about it for a single second.
7 You Can Save Money
Saving money is definitely not the easiest thing in the world... as you have probably figured out the hard way. Hey, sometimes that's just how you learn life's most important lessons. No shame here. If you can save money, you should be super proud, and that should make you incredibly happy. Because guess what? You are not going to have to struggle to pay rent, buy groceries, pay your bills (ugh, those annoying bills...) and hang out with your friends. You can even afford to treat yourself sometimes, whether you want to check out the latest clothes at Urban Outfitters or buy a new book. Yup, you really can, because if you save money and watch it carefully, then you can afford those types of things without freaking out or feeling guilty. You will be secure in the fact that you are doing okay and that you are supporting yourself.
6 You Do What You Don't Want To Do
Sometimes -- okay, more than sometimes, more times than you want to admit actually -- you have to do stuff that sucks. You have to go to the dentist. You have to talk to a friend about something that's really bothering you. You have to stop talking to a relative because they're being super toxic and really hurting your feelings these days. You have to talk to a colleague and you're dreading it, you have to spend too much money on something important, or you have to break up with your boyfriend. Yup, you do things on a regular basis that you just really don't want to do, but hey, you do them anyway. Because you have to, sure, but also because you're taking responsibility for your life. And that's really awesome. Anytime you suck it up and do something difficult instead of just letting it go and ignoring it, you should be proud, and you should be happy that you can own your crap.
5 You Don't Feel Guilty
When you feel guilty about choices that you're making or things that you're doing, then that's pretty lame. It means that you're not confident enough and that you have way too many insecurities. Sure, you can't be happy and confident all the time, because you're not superwoman over here (even if you want to be). But you shouldn't feel guilty because you should trust that you're making the right decisions and doing the right thing for yourself and your life. So if you never feel guilty when you have to say no to something or break up with a friend or end a relationship, then that's really awesome. You should be happy about that because that means that you can truly and honestly survive anything in your life. That's a great sign because it just means you're going to be healthier and happier as time goes on. Not many people can say that.
4 You Have Guilty Pleasures
Okay, so you don't feel any guilt over anything that you do or think or feel, but hey, you still have some guilty pleasures. Except, of course, you don't feel guilty about them. They just tend to fall into that category. They just do, nothing you can do about it, that's just the way that it goes. You love your guilty pleasures, from The Real Housewives (literally any city, you don't play faves) to chocolate to red wine to french fries (and especially sweet potato fries). You know that life just isn't worth living without them and that you should just enjoy them and not think twice about it. Sure, you might get some flak from your friends and family for your cheesy guilty pleasure shows, but you're just honest about them. They totally have their own but they're just not going to tell anyone. And you should be happy that you're never ashamed of anything that you do or love.
3 You're Mature
You know that maturity is a super important thing... especially because as you get older, you can't believe how many people still aren't mature at all. You're thinking about a few ex-boyfriends right now... You should be proud of your maturity because it wasn't an easy road to get here. You've struggled and suffered and had to deal with lots of things that weren't fun at all, and you had to learn to move on super fast from stuff that wasn't too great. You should be happy because you're exactly the kind of person that people want to be around. You're mature and you're a better friend, girlfriend, sister, daughter, cousin, niece, and coworker because of it. You can help people out when they're in need, you can talk to people about any problem that they're facing, and you can handle the cold hard truth, even when it totally sucks and hurts.
2 You Show Emotion
You already know that not showing any emotion at all doesn't make you cool, calm and collected. It actually makes you a total and complete loser. You've dated enough people who couldn't show any emotion at all or even really tell you how they felt about you. Ugh. You don't want to go down that road, even in your mind, so let's just move on from that fun topic. You have absolutely no problem showing emotion on a regular basis. Sure, you're not exactly having big sobbing sessions at the office (that would be pretty lame and horrible) but you let yourself feel your feelings. And even when you're sad or feeling down, you should be happy about that. Because you're doing the healthiest thing that you possibly could for yourself. You're not hiding how you feel or what you think, and that's going to help you be even happier in the long run. Go you.
1 You Have Something To Look Forward To
When you have something to look forward to, whether it's a new season of your absolute favorite TV show, a big beach vacation, or just a coffee date with a good friend, you're bound to be much happier. Everyone needs something to look forward to, whether massive or tiny. When you have fun stuff on your calendar, you can feel good about the passing days and where you are in your life. You just enjoy things so much more because, well, you have enjoyable things on your agenda. It's pretty simple but it's something that a lot of people forget. Never take your life for granted. If you have stuff to look forward to on a regular basis, then you should always be happy. You have so many good things, gifts, and blessings, you might not even totally realize it. So take a while to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. You totally deserve it.