The Simple Secret to a Happier Life
You'll be happier, not to mention more sane, if you focus on the
relationships in your life that are reciprocal — the friends and loved ones you
can rely on, says Robinson. "Your peace of mind ultimately doesn't depend
on the closeness or distance of one person," she explains. "The more
healthy relationships you have in your life, the better."
If you've had a long standoff with a relative and you're aching for some
closure, consider writing that person a heartfelt and compassionate note, she
adds. "Make it simple, not a rehash of past events," Robinson suggests.
"Tell them what you appreciate about them and that you look forward to
hearing from them on their time and terms." Mail it and let it go, telling
yourself that you've given it your best shot. Or write the letter and
don't mail it — instead simply use it as a way to release and sort
through your feelings. That process alone will make it easier for you to find
If you want to get it all done — and perfectly — at work...
Museum educator Nikki Manning used to feel compulsively driven to complete
all her work by the end of the day — and when she couldn't, she carried her
anxiety home. "I'd wake up in the middle of the night and begin to write
down things I needed to do the next day," says the 27-year-old from
Columbia, SC. "My bathroom mirror was covered in sticky notes."
Sure, being a productive and valued staffer is a good thing, but knocking
yourself out day after day — whether to achieve perfection on a project or feel
"done" — doesn't make sense, since at any well-structured job there
will always be fresh deadlines to meet, more paperwork to do, and the like.
(It's sort of like the laundry at home — you're never completely caught up.)
Plus, if you're consistently working late, you're likely neglecting your
well-being, health, and relationships, notes Robinson. Ultimately, the
satisfaction that you get from being "on top of things" is fleeting and
not a true source of happiness — and it simply isn't worth the steep personal
price you're paying.