Are you happy? Are you waiting for your family, your lover, your lifestyle to make you happy? Then you’re going to wait forever. Because truth to tell, you’re the only one who can make YOU happy. Happiness depends on achieving an inner harmony between your mind, body and spirit. But how do you do that?
Make your mind happy.
Acknowledge, not control your thoughts. Just as a crying baby needs to be heard before it can quiet itself, your thoughts need to be acknowledged before you can quiet them. If you don’t ever “hear” your thoughts, you won’t deal with the underlying issues causing them.
Challenge negative thoughts. Turn “I’m a failure” into “I don’t fail at everything. Yes, this is a setback but I can learn to do better.”
Ask yourself these questions:
- What evidence do I have for this feeling?
- Is my bias clouding my judgment?
- Do others view this similarly?
- If my best friend did this, would I tell him he’s a failure?
Strive for optimism. Optimism can be learned, if it doesn’t come naturally to you. Oftentimes journaling will help you change your perception of yourself. As you note what your struggle is, put an optimistic spin on your thoughts and write encouraging comments to yourself just as would for a friend with the same problems.
Make your body happy.
Breathe. Breathing deeply helps reduce symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and attention deficit disorder. Controlled breathing also promotes concentration.
Move. Activity goes hand-in-hand with better health and greater happiness. A study about how physical activity affected moods found that people experienced the most happiness if they had been moving in the past 15 minutes.
Make your spirit happy.
Find your community. “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world” is a line from a song by Barbra Streisand. And not only are they the luckiest, they are the happiest too. Do you like your neighbors, your co-workers, and the people you meet during your day? If not, perhaps it’s time to find a new community.
Extend kindness to self and others. Generosity, volunteering and altruism are all linked with experiencing greater happiness and self-worth.
Declutter. Is your mind cluttered? Then your space likely will be, too. But which comes first…the clutter in your mind or in your space? What matters is that they feed off of each other, so improvement in one area will improve the other. Only keep that which makes you happy and joyful. And start in your bedroom. That should be your happy space, because if you’re sleeping well and enjoying a good sex life your overall happiness will increase.
These are just a few ways to make yourself happy. Therapy is also very helpful for uprooting long-held habits that foster unhappiness. I’d love to help you find your happiest you possible. If you live near Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA please contact my Jantzen Beach office and schedule an appointment. I also offer online therapy if that works best for your busy schedule.