Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Happiness is a choice. We can choose to be happy or we can chose to be unhappy. That’s up to you. If you decide you want to be happy here are 5 steps that you can take to ensure your own happiness.
1. Stop comparing yourself to others
“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” ~Unknown
You are an expert at being you and no one else. From time to time we all compare ourselves to someone else. When we do this we usually wind up feeling badly about ourselves because we feel inadequate or unworthy. Comparing yourself to others is an inaccurate measuring tool. We are not all meant to be or do the same things. What makes someone else happy may not make you happy, so why compare? Also, we may think people are happy or have a great life only to find out it isn’t true! Stop focusing on others and start focusing on you. What accomplishments do you have? What would you like to strive for because it makes you happy? It is just so counterproductive to waste your time and energy thinking about someone else.
2. Stop living with regrets
“Stay away from what might have been and look at what will be”. ~ Marsha Petrie Sue
The past is the past and that’s where it should stay. I believe everything happens for a reason. Instead of thinking back on something with regret try and change your thinking to ” what did I learn from that experience?” The worst relationship of my life changed my life in such a positive way. I learned so much about myself that I can’t possibly regret the relationship because if I never experienced it I wouldn’t have learned so much for my future.
3. Start treating yourself kindly and with gentleness
So many of us beat ourselves up and speak badly to ourselves. You know, you do something silly and call yourself a “moron or idiot”. Would you say that to someone you care about? Of course you wouldn’t so why is it ok to say it to yourself? We need to show ourselves love, compassion, gentleness and affection and protect them with the fierce protectiveness we would for our loved ones. We need to learn how to nurture ourselves and make us a top priority. We need to show ourselves as much loving kindness as we show others. You are your best asset. Protect it!
4. Stop being a “victim”
Do you play the “poor me” role? It is very easy and satisfying (so we think) to play the victim in situations. Trust me I did it for years and still do it from time to time before I catch myself. You are in a situation where you aren’t happy and you blame your boss, husband, parents, life… anyone but you. When we do this we give our power away to those people. If it’s someone else’s fault then we have no control to fix it. There is always some accountability on our part that we can control. The next time you feel someone “wronged ” you think about what part you played and see what steps you can take to avoid it in the future. That gives you control back. Even if you were the true victim of, let’s say, a robbery what part did you play in that. Were your doors unlocked, did you not set the alarm, did you assume your neighborhood was safe…. No, you didn’t cause the burglary but there is always something we can look and take action steps. Only when you stop seeing yourself as a victim and start taking accountability is when you can take the power back and get some control.
5. Be grateful for what you have
We are always striving for bigger, better and more. But what if we were just satisfied with what we have? My husband often talks about how blessed he feels, even during the most difficult and challenging times. When times get rough instead of wishing he had more or different he focuses on what we already have. A lot of people spend their time thinking about the past or future and neglect to look at now. Remember the quote “Stop and smell the roses?” Take time right now- today and see all the things you have to be grateful for. Check out the picture of the adorable thankful tree a mother created with her kids. I can assure you when you focus your time and energy on what you have rather than what you don’t you will be much happier.
Life isn’t always perfect but like the quote that says ” Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out”. – John Wooden
It isn’t situations that make us unhappy. It’s our thoughts, actions and attitudes. I have had tough times in the past but I have still been happy. Why? Because I chose to focus on the good I had in my life. The times I have been unhappy were the times I focused on the negative things.
Don’t worry, be happy. The choice is yours.