We all want to be happy, and, like most things in life, the journey there is more important than the destination. If you’re looking for a reason to smile, there are some common places of happiness we all share, although each is for a different purpose. If your life is getting dull, these are the options. Use each responsibly, and at your own risk, though, because too much of anything is usually a bad thing.

1. The Past.

clock_by_farnk05 lifehack versability

My alarm clock got tired of being hit…

The past is filled with happy times if you know where to look. You can get a quick smile refresher from looking back, but if you dwell too often on the past, you’ll miss a lot of what’s going on around you in the present. Keep in mind that thinking about the past won’t bring it back; enjoy what you have left instead of lamenting what you lost.

2. The Future.

Joon and I were talking about this the other day; your dreams can become reality, but whether it’s because they’re premonitions or because you’re driving yourself toward your dreams is debatable. It’s OK to dream about a perfect future, but it’s more important to take actionable steps toward building that future – otherwise it becomes a carrot on a stick, and your life becomes a revolving treadmill.

3. Fairy Tales.

clock_in_the_cup_by_ann_nick-lifehack Versability

Think Midas has problems…Ever hear about Bastet’s Chronos Touch?

Every so often we all fantasize about the alternate reality of our lives. Maybe you imagine sleeping with a co-worker or friend you’d never make a move on in real life. Perhaps you pretend you’re a secret agent instead of an accountant. Whatever you’re into, it’s OK to have your head in the clouds, no matter what anyone tells you. Dreamers built this world – never forget that!

4. Home.

Home is where the heart is. Some days you want to just bury yourself under blankets and relax at home. We all need time to ourselves, and your home is the place to do it. Just make sure you wander out every so often. It’s easy to connect to the real world while disconnecting with everyone else around us.

5. Stuff.

Many people seek relief from material possessions, but they aren’t always a bad thing. A stuffed animal or body pillow, for example, is a perfectly suitable temporary outlet for emotions or when you just need to cuddle. Inanimate objects can cheer you up, but don’t depend on them entirely. It still takes human connection to find true happiness.

6. Friends.

Sadness with Friends

Women…don’t fall asleep in public…it doesn’t end well IRL…

Friends – how many of us have them? It’s important that your friends keep you happy. It’s not that you don’t occasionally need a reality check (and it’s OK to be around people who are sad), but you don’t want to fill your life with people who are constantly bringing you down. Just remember that you’re ultimately responsible for yourself, and don’t throw away your own goals and dreams for your friends.

7. Family.

a_woman_s_touch_by_huggybear lifehack

Yes, honey…I’m aware you’re used to being the controversial one in a mixed-race relationship, but times have changed…

Blood is thicker than water; your family should always be your main source of happiness. If something’s wrong with your family, it’s a good idea to look into it. These people provide comfort, and, unlike everyone else in your life, your family will always be your family, no matter what. If you can’t talk openly and honestly with your family, you’ve got problems.

8. Romance.

Sometimes you need a confidence boost. If you’re already in a relationship, it’s OK to lean on your partner for happiness every now and again, but you need to be happy on your own as well. Single folks are worse off; investing emotions into intimate or romantic encounters when you’re single can cause some major crashes.

9. Pets.

a_dude_and_his_rad_dog_by_lonefirewarrior-lifehack versability

Get a dog, they said…women will think he’s cute, they said…

The only thing that can possibly make you happier than family is a pet. Pets don’t care about any of the dumb things going in your life, or how much money you make, or about any of the random things people judge you by. Pets are as close as you’ll get to unconditional love. Just treat them right, because if you don’t, I’ll hunt you down (and so will many other people on the internet).

10. Consumerism.

Buying something for yourself or other people is a great way to perk up with a quick smile, but don’t go overboard and directly tie your happiness to what you can buy. Tying your sense of self-worth to your financial situation is never a good idea, because when you’re unstable financially, you end up unstable emotionally at a time when you most need happiness.

11. Nature.

monument_valley_i_by_matthieu_parmentier-lifehack versability

Babe…why did we walk out into the middle of the desert to look at the sky? I can see the sky from my room…

Sometimes what you need is to get away from the rat race. It’s possible to spend so much time working that you forget what it is that’s really important to you. When things get to hectic, don’t be afraid to pull out and head out into the woods. Backpacking, hiking, and camping are some of my favorite ways to get in touch with nature and remember life’s not so bad after all.

Love this article? Share it with your friends on Facebook