In this Post: Finding happiness may seem elusive, but the truth of the matter is, it’s a choice. Learn tips to choose happiness in your life.
How often do we look outside of ourselves for our own personal happiness? We look to our jobs, our spouses, our friends, and our families, for the fulfillment that truly only comes from within. Happiness is a choice, as are so many other things in our lives. Though these outer parts of our lives can and do contribute to how content we are, ultimately happiness is a choice. No one else can “make” you happy or “choose” genuine happiness for you. It is your mindset, your reactions, your courage, your strength, and your desire to have joy that makes the difference.
6 Tips for Finding Happiness in Your Life
Get to Know Yourself
‘When you find yourself, you find your happiness.’ I know it might sound cliche, but it’s the truth. To find inner peace, you must discover the good and the bad about yourself. Then you must accept these realities or choose to grow from them. Once you see yourself for who you truly are and self-reflect on what makes you-you; you can understand what will make and keep you happy without relying on other people, things, or places to do it for you.
There are so many things that make us who we are. Our experiences, our family, our past, our future, our genetics… It takes time, care, patience, courage, and genuine self-reflection to understand your identity fully. Once you dedicate this type of time to understanding you, you can trust yourself to make good decisions. To love yourself even when you might have made a mistake. To be proud of yourself, to forgive yourself, to look deep inside your thoughts, your mind, your soul, and accept yourself for who you are, because who you are, is amazing.
Figure Out What Makes You ‘Tick’
Go on a self-fulfilling journey or discovery. Allow yourself to dive deep into YOU. YOU are worth it. Worth the time! Focus solely on yourself every now and then. And YOU are capable of finding happiness.
What makes you feel like you are on top of the world? That nothing can touch you? What makes you feel the most alive and the most fulfilled? What motivates you? That feeling where you are just at bliss.
Some people feel it through art, through music, through running marathons, through gardening, or even cleaning. Find out what makes you calm, find out what makes you content, peaceful, euphoric, and do those things as much as you possibly can.
Have you ever heard the saying, ‘it is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.’ There seems to be a lot of truth in that statement! Finding happiness and navigating through certain situations – good or bad – relies on how we choose to react. So, how should we react…to anything? Well, there is no perfect answer. Things happen out of the blue that turn life upside down. This could be for the good or for the not so good. The biggest thing to remember is to try to learn from whatever has been thrown your way. To appreciate the good and grow from the bad. Be brave, be bold, be strong. Allow the good in and the bad to teach you something you a lesson you needed teaching.
Before reacting, take a break. Stop and think. Think about what has happened, the positives of the situation, and the negative. Then choose to focus on making moves in the appropriate direction. The direction that can help lead to growth or positivity. Do not rush to reactions. Allow yourself to feel. Live it, and then decide the best option to keep yourself strong and bring yourself joy, especially if it is a difficult situation. Permit the difficult and know that it is okay.
You have to go through the difficult times to come out stronger, more knowledgeable, and a more grateful person. With this mindset, you can find happiness in most situations.
When something doesn’t go your way, there are coping mechanisms to help guide you to a positive reaction in a negative situation. These mechanisms will help you gain clarity and perspective.
- Recognize your frustrations
- Try to find value in the positive things around you instead of focusing on the negative
- Find support and guidance from your family and friends.
- Once you figure out what makes you ‘tick’ and what really makes you feel the most alive… Do it. Focus on it. Be surrounded by it.
- Learn from the situation. Feel sad, feel scared, feel angry, but then let it pass, accept what’s happened and move forward. Find ways to grow from it and appreciate the potential for a positive outcome.
Know that it is okay not always to be okay. You will not ALWAYS be happy. That is normal. You are human. You’re allowed to feel sad, or angry or confused. You’re allowed just to have a bad day. But don’t let that carry onto the next day.. and the next day. Don’t let yourself become a victim to the ‘bad days.’ Feel it, cry, yell, scream, and then move on. Happiness lies deep within. It is knowing and having faith that even with those not so great times, there will be more good times ahead. That you can move forward, you just have to take that first step.
Once you take the time to be your own observer – to see how you feel and react without judgment, to allow yourself to freely feel, this is when you can connect to your inner being. Live in the present moment, and you can find stillness and peace.
Try to ‘have the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’
This particular phrase has been very powerful for me. There are many times where I tend to worry about things that .. 1. I have no reason to worry about and/or 2. That I cannot do anything about it.
The energy it takes to worry about things that either have not happened or probably won’t happen is a waste of time. Instead of worrying and using phrases such as ‘what if… or I’m scared of.. or I would have, could have, should have’. Try replacing those words with positive affirmations about yourself. ‘I am happy about, I am proud of, I am grateful for, I accept, I can and will do…’ The more negative thoughts you learn to replace with positive, the more you train your brain to react to situations in an optimistic, action-oriented way. Thus leading to a more joy-filled life.
Most of us know the phrase ‘it is better to give than to receive.’ There is a reason that this phrase has been around for years, and it’s because it is true. It has been scientifically proven that giving back and helping others is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness. A considerable part of life is the human connection. It is essential to recognize this and value it.
People are people. We all strive for happiness, for health, for love. Through hate, discrimination, and ignorance, we can destroy lives. But through humility, generosity, non-judgment, empathy, and most importantly love; we can rebuild lives, save lives, and create a world full of happiness. Helping others, or giving back gives meaning to our lives, it gives us purpose; it makes us feel as though we have made a difference in the world. Most importantly, it makes us happy :).
Try giving back to your community, help a friend, be nice to someone who may seem sad, or even volunteer for a program to help others who need support. I guarantee after you do this, you will feel good, and everyone else will feel good too.
Take Care of Yourself
As important as it is to give back and help others, it is also imperative to take care of yourself. To find happiness, we need to practice self-care, and self love. As mentioned before, there is the phrase ‘it is better to give than to receive’ BUT it is also true that ‘you can’t help others until you have helped yourself.’
To have the energy to give back, you need to make sure you feel mentally and physically up to it. Make sure that you give yourself a break and time to process whatever life throws at you. Sometimes it is crucial to focus on yourself and not feel bad about it! Be selfish for a little while. Allow yourself to relax and give yourself a break.
Take a bath, read your favorite book, call your mom or a friend to get out a good cry, OR come get a massage at Kneading Hands… You deserve it!
When you start to feel extra tired, sad, or worn down -stop, take a deep breath, give yourself time to process how you feel, accept how you feel and do what makes you happy. Taking care of yourself -body and mind- is not selfish, it is necessary, and it will help you ultimately find happiness.