Happiness is such a simple concept, but can actually be a difficult thing to work towards in reality!
There are many reasons why we might start to feel unhappy in our lives, and these aren't always problems that have simple solutions. Often, when we are living through a situation that is impacting our happiness, it can seem much bigger in the present moment then it really is. And, once some time has passed, we can look back at this time with a fresh perspective.
Finding ways to nurture our own happiness — and to work towards feeling content and satisfied — is an amazing way to lead more fulfilling lives. But, how do we get started with this and how do we maintain this state when we begin to achieve it?
What Is Happiness?
At the very core, happiness is when we feel positively about ourselves and our lives. This is a concept that sometimes appears complicated to define because it is something we feel within ourselves. We know when it is there, and we also know when it is not.
The things that make us happy vary wildly for each of us. For example, you may find that spending time alone is something that brings you great joy. You may use this time to take yourself on walks, to read books, or simply to sit with your own thoughts. On the other hand, you may feel as though too much time alone is actually a drain on your happiness, and you feel much more content when you are in the company of others.
Another example is that some people find that travelling to new and exciting destinations is something that makes them feel really good. However, other people take great comfort in being in familiar surroundings, and would prefer to spend most of their time close to home.
What Makes You Happy?
Discovering the countless things that make you happy is such a worthwhile exploration to undertake.
If you can't list ten things right now that make you feel good, then I absolutely urge you to spend some time thinking more on this!
The things that make you happy can be literally anything. They can be places, people, experiences, foods, books, films, activities — the list goes on and on. You might feel as though the things on your list should be consistent or similar to each other in some way, but the truth is that these things may have nothing in common at all.
Nurturing Your Happiness
When you start to get a deeper understanding of what it is that truly makes you happy, then you can begin to make these things a more integral part of your life.
As you start to give more importance to your experience of happiness, you may feel as though you just don't have the time to keep this up.
One of the best ways to work through this is to transition to a way of living that is based on the things that make you happy, as opposed to trying to find ways to squeeze these things into your existing routine.
This can seem like a lengthy and complicated thing to do, but can actually be achieved over time by making one change at a time.
For example, if there is a part of the world that makes you happy, then finding ways to spend more time in this place can do wonders for your soul. Similarly, if there is an activity that you really love doing, then exploring ways to turn this into a career can be a fantastic choice. If you work, then it is normal that your job takes up a great deal of your time. So if you are in a job that doesn't make you happy, then this can become the default setting on your mood.
That old saying really is true — “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Allow Yourself Acceptance
One of the biggest things that can hold you back from living a happy life is not feeling good about certain parts of yourself. This is totally open to interpretation, and could apply to your physical body, your mental health, your attitude, your personality, your history, and so much more.
Making the conscious decision to accept yourself in your entirety is one of the most wonderful things you can do for yourself.
There are several ways to work towards this place of total acceptance, and it is certainly not a quick journey. Making a consistent effort to tell yourself that you are a wonderful person who has a lot to give the world is a great basis for conquering this.
Encourage yourself often and always remind yourself of the ways in which you are a positive part of the world. Try not to let self-doubt seep into this process, and always work to replace negative thoughts with more positive ones.
A Word About Stress
Stress can be one of the biggest drains on our happiness, and can cause all kinds of emotional struggles. It can be a very difficult thing to overcome entirely, but is always worth working to overcome.
Last week, I was talking on the topic of Eating To Soothe Stress And Anxiety. If you are surprised to hear that your diet can have an impact on your stress and anxiety levels, then I urge you to give this post a read — you may just discover how easy it is to start making positive changes!
Having additional support as you embrace these ideas is always helpful! This is something I aim to provide every week with my newsletter.
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