Happiness seems to be an elusive myth like Bigfoot or Unicorns. If you ask the people in your life if they are happy most usually respond with “sometimes” or “it depends”. In fact, according to one study done on happiness only 1 out of 3 people said they were “very happy”. When I was younger I was very unhappy and couldn’t understand why. One day someone told me, “happiness isn’t something you just have, it’s something you pursue. You must actually do things to promote happiness in your life.”
So what is happiness and how do we achieve it in our lives? Better yet, how do we become and stay happy? If you aren’t as happy as you would like to be or would like more happiness in the upcoming year(s) then read on for some tips on how to achieve the highest level of happiness in your life.
#1 Let It Go
You know that person who broke up with you? The people who didn’t value you? The dream job you didn’t get? Whatever your “it” is that puts a pit in your stomach at the mere thought of it, it’s time to let it go. We all have disappointments and things in life that seem unjust, but holding on to these things become poison in our minds and body. Did you know that thinking bad thoughts actually releases toxic chemicals into the body? By not letting go you are literally making yourself sick. We hold onto the past for so long it becomes our story that we can’t escape. It can be very difficult to let go of but this is absolutely crucial for your happiness and growth as a person. Start letting go so you have room for new, more beneficial things. If you’re overflowing with the old there simply isn’t enough room for the good and even if it manages to squeeze itself into your life it’s never fully appreciated.
#2 Shed the People and Things Which No Longer Benefit You.
We all have or have had someone negative and poisonous to our well being in our lives at some point. They could be negative, put you down, are unreliable, cruel or even down right abusive but whatever it is, it needs to stop now. There’s a quote I heard a long time ago that changed my life which was, “People treat you the way you allow them to treat you.” It made me sad because I had to realize and take responsibility for the fact that in all of my bad relationships I wasn’t a victim, but someone who allowed myself to be treated as one. If you don’t like the way someone is treating you then now is the time to change it because you will never be happy if someone in your life helps you feel unhappy. Send your negative friend on their way and break up with the person you treats you as less then a King/Queen. If it’s a parent that you do not want completely out of your life then start making some boundaries to keep your own sanity. There are great books such as ‘Boundaries’ by Henry Cloud or ‘Toxic Parents’ by Susan Forward, which can help you regain your power while still working on a relationship with them. But you cannot allow people to treat you badly. Not today and not ever again. No ifs ands or buts. If you truly want to be happy you must only keep things in your life which reflects that which includes the people you surround yourself with.
#3 Gain Control Over Your Money
Money is one of the biggest stresses in the world. Therefore, you cannot truly be happy if you’re constantly stressing about it. The best way to gain control over your money is to start a budgeting binder and learn to budget. There’s tons of free info on Pinterest on budgeting along with free printables. You’ll be amazed how empowering it feels to see where your money is going, where you can save, and watching money pile up in your bank. It seems like a simple thing but very few people actually feel good about their finances and bank accounts. Just by realizing you spend $5 a day on Starbucks 5 times a week can help you to realize you’re spending $100 a month just on coffee! By seeing these spending patterns you’ll be able to make adjustments such as buying a coffee machine, making your coffee at home, and putting $100 into savings each money. That’s $1,200 a year savings just on coffee! Who wouldn’t be happy watching their savings build for their future?
#4 Change What You Don’t Want
If you’re unhappy with anything in your life, then change it! If you don’t like your body, join a gym or fitness class or hit the pavement outside your front door. If you would rather work from home then work for someone, start researching how to make that possible and build a clientele while you still have a steady income to help you. If you’re unhealthy and need to eat better, see about volunteering at an organic food bank where they let you take organic produce leftovers home. See about budgeting in yoga or massages and if you know someone who has a service you could use and don’t have the funds yet, maybe see if they can trade or exchange for something you have to offer. If you’re lonely and want to make friends then join Meetup.com for free and start having some awesome experiences with people just like you. Sometimes we have to get crafty but there’s always a solution to every problem. If you don’t like something then don’t wait for it to change because I can promise you it won’t. Change comes from within and works its way out so start there and see what transpires!
Happiness is easy but it sure isn’t simple. It does require work and persistent and even in the worst of times staying positive. It’s something we feel should be handed to us but it’s not, it’s something we must search for and attain through understanding of ourselves and the process. But once you start putting things in motion your happiness will start unraveling like a ball of yarn. The undoing of all that’s been done will begin and overtime you’ll be happier while requiring less. Your happiness is in your hands so now is the time to take the reins and create the best, most amazingly happy filled life you can possibly create.