Do you read tons of blog posts or articles that tell you how to be happy?
Do you try the things they say, but afterwards still feel crappy?
Well, fret not because happiness isn’t supposed to be felt all day, every day.
So stop beating yourself up over it.
Even the happiest people in the world have bad days. They just accept them as part of life.
True happiness results from accepting the full range of emotions, both good and bad.
So build this acceptance and also your inner strength to deal with the situations that cause unhappiness, and happiness will follow.
The following actions aren’t some temporary band-aids or quick fixes, such as telling you to go out and eat your favorite frozen yogurt or go hang out with some friends. (These are good, but they don’t last.)
Instead, they help secure true happiness — happiness built from within.
But like all things that are worthwhile, you’ve got to work at it.
Don’t doubt yourself. You can do these things. Keep consistently trying and they will become habit.
The following are six actions that secure your happiness:
1. Stop the Comparison Game
When you play the game of comparing yourself to others, you will always lose.
Defining yourself in relation to others is unnecessarily stressful.
You need to end this self-inflicted madness.
First, realize that your perception of others is a personal one.
It is not based on 100% reality.
You only see a small percentage of the entire truth.
Think of other people you perceive as actors on television or the movies, where what you see is only an act.
Everyone puts their best face and persona forward but not the depths of their soul or their finances.
You can control what you see within your own reality, but you can’t see everyone else’s reality.
Focus on your reality exclusively because this is the only truth.
Celebrate all that you’ve accomplished in your reality knowing the challenges you’ve overcome or conflicts you’ve resolved.
Acknowledge all your personal victories, whether small or large, every day.
Also, when comparing yourself to others, you are being extremely unfair to yourself.
For example, comparing yourself to people who have reached success is pointless.
They are at the apex of the success pyramid.
If you are just starting out in whatever you are doing, remember that others have started just the same as you — at the bottom.
We all have different paths to follow, and different ways of doing so.
Focus on your journey and yours alone.
2. Value Your Voice Above All Others
Not caring what others think is definitely easier said than done.
We all want acceptance on some level.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting acceptance, but don’t let this desire overrun all the decisions you make.
In the end, it is not other people who will be living your life; it is you.
If you base everything you do on what others think, you are not truly thinking for yourself and therefore not truly living.
Don’t be constantly haunted by what others think when you make decisions in your life.
Be strong and stand by your convictions. This is the only way you can be true to yourself.
Don’t risk regretting a decision based on what others might think when you know your gut feeling is telling you otherwise.
The haters may object, but you’ll get over it knowing you stand by your truth.
3. Run Into the Face of Fear
Fear protects us from harm.
It is necessary for our survival.
So you should feel fear to understand where it is coming from.
If you encounter a bear, venomous snake or threat of armed robbery, then obviously fear is real, important and legit.
Your life’s in danger.
But if you are feeling fear for things that aren’t life-threatening or may or may not happen, you need to feel the fear and then face it.
For example, the following are fear-inducing thoughts you must face:
- Looking like a loser
Don’t “run away” and avoid the activity just because you fear the possibility of these three things.
If the fear is so intense for these three things, this is the exact fear you truly need to feel.
Rejection, failure and looking like a loser are merely possibilities and not certainties.
The more you feel the fear, the more you are resilient to it.
Avoiding fear will prevent you from being mentally stronger.
Feel the fear, acknowledge it and push through.
If you flee any actions or thoughts simply because you feel a slight twinge of fear, you will never accomplish anything worthwhile.
Likely, many of the most meaningful accomplishments in your life have occurred because you pushed through the fear.
So push through and embrace the fear because you’ll amaze yourself.
4. Live Nowhere Except in the Present
Do you always ruminate on the past and look pensively to the future?
Then you are not living in the now.
You are not fully aware of your present reality.
You need to take full advantage of what you can do right now.
The only true situation that exists is what you are experiencing in the present.
Stop thinking about the What ifs and the If only I hads.
The present moment is the reality that you have total control over.
You can control how you feel, what you do and who you hang with.
Stop living your life looking backward or forward into the distance, never looking at what’s right in front of you.
Don’t waste your energy or time dwelling on things that have already happened or might happen, unless you want a life with lots of regret, grief and useless longing.
Instead, accept the following two things:
1. You can learn from the past, but you can never change it –
So don’t let it define you.
2. You can plan for the future, but you can’t plan for every detail –
So stop worrying about it.
Also, when you live in the present, you will stop looking or planning for the next thing that will make you happy.
Constant planning will never satisfy or be enough.
Stop the cycle of wanting more by living in the now.
5. Find Your Flow and Feel it Often
Have you ever done something so engaging that time seemed to not exist?
During this activity, you didn’t have an overflow of extreme emotions.
In fact, emotions played a small part when engaged in the activity you were doing.
What really defined the activity was that you were so engaged nothing else took away your concentration from this one thing.
Nothing else mattered or existed.
You were in a state of laser focus.
You were experiencing “flow.”
Many people find flow doing the following things:
- Playing basketball
- Working out
- Listening to music
- Reading a great book
Flow is when your concentration rests on one single activity.
In flow, you stop thinking about the past and future.
Your worries and stress subside.
Over-thinking doesn’t exist.
The more you carve out time to experience flow, the more you get a true sense of what really grounds you to be at peace.
6. Relish in Your Alone Time
Nurture the happiness within you by getting to know you.
Give yourself some alone time.
If you are not used to alone time, start off in small increments — a couple of hours or even just an hour.
Nothing is more rewarding than taking the time to slow down, shut out the world for a bit and have the alone time you need.
The greatest discoveries in life are within ourselves.
Become grounded with deep introspection.
Often, your individuality gets lost when you are on auto-pilot all day during your daily grind.
Living life in a constant blur of routine, work, schedules and social events can make you feel truly lost and out of touch.
Reevaluate or get to know your deep desires and principles.
Figure out what really motivates you.
When you really get to know yourself and value your alone time, you stop searching outwardly to find happiness, or relying on others to make you happy.
You find it within.
Will you take charge of your own happiness?
You have six new actions to help you.
Don’t just think of the possibility of true happiness.
Start right now.