While living in an urban setting comes with many perks, city dwelling may also take its toll on individual happiness. Keeping up with the pace of city life can be exhausting, and when you live among millions of others, it’s no surprise that you might find yourself feeling envious of those around you.
Dr. Mithu Storoni, physician and author of Stress Proof: The Scientific Solution to Building a Resilient Brain and Life, used Hong Kong as an example in a South China Morning Post article. Though the city enjoys wealth, long average lifespans, and mild weather, it has been falling in rank on the United Nations’ World Happiness Report for years.
In response, Dr. Storoni shared six steps to nurture happiness in any environment.
The first of the six steps is to take a balanced view. “If you want to be truly happy, it may be important to occasionally remember what unhappiness feels like,” Storoni writes in the South China Morning Post.
The next steps are managing negative emotions, aligning with your authentic self, and challenging yourself. These all involve being in tune with your own thought processes and forming cognitive narratives that help you to understand, deal with and grow from your feelings.
Lastly, Storoni encourages people to “go for the flow” and find social anchors. This means intentionally focusing on a specific task that holds your attention, and then finding people who support you in your endeavors. As always, support systems are key.
The next time you’re feeling unhappy or overwhelmed, consider trying these steps. It may help you to realize that no matter where you are, you are in control of your own happiness.