Are you looking for happiness in all the wrong places?
We all want to feel happy but often we take the wrong path to get there.
When we feel bad about ourselves we (most of us anyway) automatically look to fill themselves up with stuff: alcohol, drugs or sex. And it can also show up as an addiction to our physical belongings (excessive shopping or hoarding tendencies).
But of course, the things outside us can never truly fill the void. True happiness is not the result of a fleeting moment of pleasure. And it’s not something you can buy or consume. Those joys simply give a temporary rush, which is often enough to distract us for the moment. But running away doesn’t work. At a certain point, we need to face up to our true motivations and desires, as dark and scary as they can be.
A sustained feeling of happiness cannot come from something outside of us. It’s something we create for ourselves and it’s largely independent of the external world.
That means we have to learn how to let ourselves be happy. So here are some tips on how to exactly that:
5 Ways To Ditch The Drama & Find Your Happy
1. Release Control
It’s important to understand that despite our wishes, work and planning, things aren’t always going to go our way. If we lose an opportunity, mishandle a situation or make some other kind of mistake, it’s important to know that it’s not necessarily our fault. We can’t control how the world operates. All that we can control is our reaction to it.
2. Check Your Reactions
So often the reasons why bumps in the road feel so debilitating is because we make these events mean something they don’t. When the guy we like doesn’t like us back, it doesn’t mean that we’re unattractive or unlovable. We tend to blow things that probably have little to do with us way out of proportion. So before you let an external even govern how you feel about yourself, ask yourself what you’re making that event mean. Our internal perception is usually much more harsh than reality.
3. Choose Kindness
What is the kind thing to do, for yourself and for others? It’s very tempting to take anger and frustration out on the people that are around us. But choosing the kind thing to do is the most rewarding. You never feel guilt or frustration with yourself for being overly kind. Choosing kindness in the way you treat others eventually rubs off on the way you treat yourself.
4. Express Gratitude
Expressing gratitude for who we are, what we have is an immediate way to snap yourself out of an internal downward spiral. We get caught up in thinking about the things we don’t have we start to forget about all those things we do have. Why spend energy focusing on lack? No matter where we are in life or how far away our goals appear, we can always find something to be grateful for.
5. Feel Your Feelings
Even though this article is about finding internal happiness, don’t be afraid to feel your feelings. Humans are multi-faceted creatures and it’s ok to feel the things we do. Our emotions are very often tool to tell us what we need to focus on or change. Let your emotional states be a tool for self-understanding, not something that you’re trying to escape from. Again, this has to do with our ability to deeply accept ourselves, flaws, feelings and all. Your feelings don’t have to consume you. As long as you realize they are temporary and changing, feeling your feelings becomes easier and easier to do.
6. Accept Yourself
Getting upset about things we can’t change is futile. All the resentment and anger in the world won’t change the outcome so why let yourself spend your energy in that way? The sooner we can accept the breakup, the heartbreak, the loss the sooner we can begin to process our real feelings. Staying in that angry state is often just a stop-gap between letting us feel the sadness. But sadness (or any other “negative” feeling) is not something we can escape. Acceptance is simply about surrendering to reality and keeping our own energy in check.
(Note: Now it’s also important to understand that when I say happy, I don’t mean an over-the-top bouncing-off-the-walls kind of happy. I also don’t mean that you need to be happy during times of normal stress (layoffs, breakups, health or family issues). But the difference is that when you’re mostly happy, you don’t crumble under the weight of the stressful experience. So don’t put unrealistic pressure on yourself. This is about self-acceptance not somehow becoming superhuman.)
I hope you found this post inspiring! If you did please remember to share it. See you next week!