Happiness is like the air we breathe; it’s all around and in abundant quantities, but can feel very elusive and is hard to grab onto. When you aren’t feeling happy, it may seem like everyone around you is having the best day in the world and you have no idea how to harness the power for yourself. Happiness is a state that you can live in every day; read on for the guide to finding yours within.
The Complete Guide to Gaining True Happiness
Most of the goals and resolutions we create for ourselves often have to do with increasing our happiness, but knowing where to start can be like taking a shot in the dark. Here are some signs that it’s time to invest in your own happiness.
6 Signs You Should Invest in Your Happiness
- You Feel “Stuck”
Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut while everyone else is moving forward? Instead of belittling or feeling sorry for yourself, you should use this as an opportunity to take stock of your life and try and pinpoint why you feel that way. Maybe your career isn’t going forward like you planned or maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been on a date. Use this feeling to propel yourself into seeking true happiness instead of remaining stuck.
- You Feel like Bad Things Are Attracted to You
When it rains, it pours. Bad things and negative events have a way of piling up and seeming to attract more negativity to one another. When you feel like things can’t possibly get any worse, this type of thinking can unfortunately lead to them getting worse. Try and focus on positive things, however small, and take this feeling as a sign that it’s time to make an investment in yourself and your happiness.
- You Worry What People Think About You
Constantly comparing yourself to others, whether in person or on the internet, can have negative consequences on your happiness. Stop daydreaming about your friends’ recent vacation photos or your co-worker’s new designer handbag and take a look inward. You’ll realize you are a confident, beautiful person who is worthy of happiness and your unique talents and abilities will shine when they aren’t being compared to others.
- You Aren’t Proud of Your Achievements
Chances are you’ve done loads of interesting and exciting things in your lifetime, but when you’re feeling down it can be hard to remember any of them. Keeping track of your achievements and celebrating them often can help you regain happiness and feel more proud of yourself. A good way to remind yourself of successes is to keep a journal.
- Your Life Isn’t Going the Way You Want it to
Maybe you’re stuck at what you feel like is a “dead end” job and that life isn’t going the way you had envisioned. It’s important to remember that no path in life is ever a dead end, and when one door closes, a window opens. If you feel like you’ve come to the end of your current journey, look for creative ways to transform it into what you want it to be.
- You Feel Like You Have Untapped Potential
If you feel like you’ve always been meant for great things but have yet to realize your success, it’s time to start focusing on your happiness. Feelings of untapped potential are common when you aren’t living life to the fullest. Reach for your dreams in any way you can; a good way to start is by making an action plan or a vision board.
What Happy People Do Differently
As you can see, achieving happiness is a frame of mind, not a quick fix. You have been given all of the keys to unlock it, but putting it into practice takes work. Instead of spending your life waiting for happiness, you can be living it today! Here are some habits, tips and tricks that routinely happy people have learned to master.
They Eliminate Grudges
Holding onto the past is not productive and can negatively impact your happiness. So what if someone cut you off in traffic or stole your parking spot at work? It isn’t the end of the world. Resist the urge to exact revenge and urge yourself to take the high road. Tell yourself that the offending party is probably having a bad day and is unable to take control of their emotions. You’ll find pride and confidence in being the bigger person and letting go of grudges will help you find true happiness.
They Focus on Gratitude
While a recent study found it is true that some people are naturally more grateful than others due to a variation on the gene CD38, focusing on gratitude can help anyone feel instantly happier. Keep lists of what you’re grateful for and always thank those around you when you appreciate something they do. How does it work? Researchers found those who act happy are more likely to be happy, giving credit to the old saying, “Fake it until you make it.” Gratitude is contagious and you could help impact those around you to feel happier as well.
They Clear Their Minds
Sometimes your brain can become jumbled or locked in a state of chaos due to wandering thoughts and excessive responsibilities. Clearing your mind and achieving a state of active meditation helps chronically happy people find peace and confidence from within. Here are four tips to do so.
- Daydream: Daydreaming is not just for kids; slowing down, taking a break and even doing some cloud watching are all great ways to organize your thoughts. Let yourself stare off for a few minutes and you’ll be sure to feel more calm, cool and collected.
- Smell the Flowers: When walking to and from locations, there are always many things to see that can help make you happy. From a colorful building to some inspirational graffiti, try and find the beautiful things in life around you. It really can help to take time to smell the flowers every chance you get.
- Start a Journal: Freely penning your thoughts, whether in the form of a writing prompt, dream journal or daily diary all have the ability to release mental energy and help clear your mind from distractions. Start one today!
- Try Meditation: When all else fails to calm your chaotic thoughts, meditation is the way to go. Carve out 10-30 minutes either in the morning or evening and just sit and think, free from distractions. This can help reduce stress and negativity.
They Focus on Self-Love
Self-loathing is like a poison; it can not only take away your happiness, but it can make you feel physically ill. Self-love on the other hand, is like an antidote. However, this is different from your self-esteem. While self-esteem can change from moment to moment depending on your current circumstances, self-love is something that never wavers. It is deep and internalized and has the power to bring you up out of the darkest times and into the light of happiness.
They Forgive Easily
When people wrong or harm you, forgiving them is a hard thing to do. While you should let go of grudges, forgiveness is something that does not come as easily. I have struggled with forgiveness over my lifetime, but have found that it is the greatest teacher that can be the most rewarding. Truly letting go of the past can be a lifelong process and it’s a mistake to seek instant results. Read this story here for details on how I walked the path toward forgiveness.
They Focus on the Positive
In general, it takes three positive thoughts to counteract one negative thought, so those who focus on the positive have a stronger potential to get over bad circumstances when they occur. Try and identify positive things, no matter how small they are, regularly and you will feel happier overall.
They Don’t Complain
Complaining about your life can cause undue stress and stress can literally kill you. When your brain is focusing on processing anger and negative emotions, it can impact your immune system, making it more likely that you come down with viruses and succumb to bacterial infections. Keeping track of gratitude, focusing on the positive and forgiving others can all counteract this type of stress and eliminate your need to complain.
5 Best Blogs to Follow About Happiness
- TED Blog: TED is a global set of conferences, speeches and talks with the motto, “Ideas Worth Spreading.” Here there are thousands of videos with scientific discoveries, insight into the human brain and inspiration for leading a better life.
- Mindful: Filled with personal stories to help you approach the world in a present, composed and calm manner, Mindful can help you bring greater focus into your life.
- Tiny Buddha: This blog is about reflecting on small pieces of wisdom and learning to incorporate them into our own lives. Told through personal stories with inspirational quotes, Tiny Buddha will help light your way in the darkness.
- Zen Habits: Zen Habits is a site based on finding simplicity and mindfulness in everyday life. It helps you cut through the chaos and focus on the little things that can help you achieve happiness.
- Abundance Tapestry: This site helps you turn your dreams into reality through self-awareness. Told from the point of view of a successful author and life coach, Abundance Tapestry will help you turn your struggles into strengths.
For more tips on finding inner peace and power from within, read additional articles on my blog today and check out my latest book, Exuberant Women Don’t Age – No Time To Waste! How have you found happiness in your life?