The funny thing about happiness is that everybody wants it, but most people think that it’s elusive.

Some people think that happiness has to be earned, that you have to do something special to get it, perhaps earning a higher income, finding the right relationship, or winning some degree, award, or contest.

Others think that happiness is only temporary. For instance, the happiness of traveling to an unknown part of the world to explore it is only fleeting happiness because you will eventually have to return home.

But here’s the thing: happiness is a choice, and you can always choose to be happy. In fact, the notion that it takes time to be happy is just an ingrained belief. You can be happier right now if you decide.

Here are some ways of leaning into happiness to dispel the myth that it’s a rare and elusive emotion: 

Appreciate Your Abundance 

We now have so much abundance available that we have made the mistake of taking it for granted. Instead of apologizing for your clutter of possessions, perhaps it’s time to celebrate your plentiful life.

One excellent way to do this is to take better care of your stuff. This will deepen your appreciation for all the things you’ve bought with your hard-earned money. Curiously enough, taking care of all your stuff will boost your self-esteem and give you a jolt of energy.

You can start by keeping your home clutter-free and clean, by taking your hard-working and neglected vehicle to a seasoned mechanic for some car tuning, by ironing your crumpled clothes, and by wiping the dust off your computer monitors. In short, express your gratitude for all the wonderful things that have improved the quality of your life.

Practicing acts of appreciation will help you notice and feel grateful for your abundance.

Free Your Inner Tiger 

If you have little freedom where you work because you’re told when to come to work, what to do there, and when you can go home, a small part of your love for life dies every day.

A regular job, a dull and predictable job, may give you the security of a regular paycheck and benefits, but it’s rather like the security a tiger at a zoo feels within its spacious cage. Although it doesn’t have to hunt for food anymore and can walk from one end of its cage to the other, its wild heart still longs for the freedom to roam the jungle and to feel the sun on its back and to fall asleep in the glow of the moon.

Fortunately, we now live in a world where you can earn a good living by using the Internet. This means that you can work on what you want when you like. If you feel your creativity is ebbing away, receding like the tide from the shore, then it may be time to ponder resurrecting your buried passions and remembering your abandoned purpose.

If you’re not happy with your job, feeling constrained by an artificial ceiling on your income, irritated by the hoops you have to jump through every day to achieve petty corporate goals, then seriously consider the benefits of becoming a digital nomad and setting up your base in the perfect location. 

Perhaps it’s time to let your genius express itself and change the world.

Take Better Care of Yourself

It’s hard to feel happy when you’re tired, stressed out, hungry, or lonely. Ironically, nobody may have imposed these distressing conditions on you. You did it to yourself, all by yourself.

In your quest to earn more money, you may have worked long hours and reduced how much rest and sleep you need to recuperate. In your quest to improve your performance at something, you may have stressed yourself out trying to get better at it. In your quest to manage your weight, you may have starved yourself. And in your quest to be more successful in life, you may have spent less time with friends and family.

Of course, you don’t have to give up on your aspirations–just take some time to practice self-care. Get more sleep. Take an hour or a day off. Get a professional massage. Go to a health spa.  

Happiness Here And Now

Happiness is easily available to you. You don’t need to scale a mountain to find happiness. You don’t need to wait for a sequence of lucky breaks. All you have to do is change your perception and make different choices about what things mean.