10 Simple Ways To Be Happier At Home

Happier-at-Home

How Do We Become Happier At Home?

After dedicating a year to The Happiness ProjectGretchen Rubin is now following that up with a guide to one of the most important elements to a happy life, a happy home. Happier at Home is focused on making your home a place of greater simplicity, comfort, and love.

This book chronicles Gretchen’s personal journey to reconnect with her home. It is a fun read and reminds us of the commonality of the human spirit. It’s not preaching a particular solution but instead, it gives us some ideas to inspire us to become happier at home.

Reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire readers to find more happiness in their own lives.

Here are ten ways to get you started on your journey to be Happier at Home!

1. Simplify

Striving to simplify her surroundings allowed Gretchen to clear her view and unburden herself of the things that weighed her down. Only then could she really feel in control and focus on what really mattered to her most: her family. Lesson: people before things!

2. Spend Money on Experiences, Not Possessions

Things are fleeting but experiences and the memories that come from them are not. Gretchen admits that there is not always a clear line since you need certain things to have certain experiences (i.e. you need skis to ski) but her advice: Shine a spotlight on the things that really matter to you and free yourself of the rest.

3. Make Time For What’s Important To You

Like many of us, Gretchen suffered from feeling hurried all the time and wanted to create a calmer atmosphere at home for herself and her family. Slowing down gave her the time to notice the ordinary pleasures of each day. She stopped making excuses (as many of us do) and resolved to make time for the things that were important to her. Begin by thinking about what you really value in life and don’t let anything get in the way of making time for that—you’ll be glad you did.

4. Control the Cubicle in Your Pocket

Gone are the days when our workday ended at 5pm. Computers and cell phones have made us accessible 24/7. Add to that our insatiable need to connect with each other and you’ve got a recipe for a time-management disaster. We can all benefit from Gretchen’s resolve to be in control of her electronics rather than letting them control her.

5. Experience the Experience

Stay mindful of what is actually true for you and don’t give in to other people’s theories. Gretchen tries acupuncture for the first time (on a friend’s eager recommendation) and decides that one visit was enough. Well-meaning people are always handing out advice but it’s up to us to figure out and decide what’s good for us personally.

6. Embrace Here

It was Gertrude Stein who said, “Anything one does every day is important and imposing and anywhere one lives is interesting and beautiful.” She recalled research showing that ones who remind themselves of the beauty in their lives have a greater sense of meaning and happiness. This appreciative mindset is the greatest gift we can give ourselves.

7. Enjoy Now

Gretchen explains the “arrival fallacy”. It is the tendency to believe that “once we arrive at a particular destination, then we will be happy.” If you don’t have time now for the things that are important to you then you need to make the time. Enjoy what is happening in your life in this moment because this moment is all that there is.

8. Practice Non-Random Acts of Kindness

“Do good, feel good.” Don’t leave it to chance to do something nice for someone. Going through the drive-through? Offer to pay for the order of the vehicle behind you. Just think about how that person will feel when he/she drives up and finds out there order was covered. I bet you’re happier just thinking about it!

9. Be Yourself

Gretchen resolved to “Be Gretchen.” In other words she embraced what was true about herself instead of trying to fit into a certain ideal in her mind of what she or anyone else thought she should be. She quotes Thomas Merton who wrote in his Journal, “Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am.”

10. Dig Deep

Like Gretchen, we all struggle with certain negative personality traits. A quick temper has been a daily struggle for Gretchen. Admittedly, achieving a happier life means digging deep within ourselves to head off and control these tendencies so that we can be part of the loving, peaceful atmosphere we all desire. Whatever your struggle, get in there and be the person you want to be!

Reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire readers to find more happiness in their own lives.

By Leah Leitch


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