We all want to be happy, right?
Being happy isn't something that comes easily to me. I've spent years trying to understand the complicated emotions of living this life. I've even beat myself up trying to convince myself that I 'should feel happy' at various stages of my life. For me, being happy takes effort and it's how quickly and gently can I pull myself out of the depressed times - so that I can get back to experiencing real life - and happiness. Remember, we cannot become happy; we can only be happy.
Most people assume that the source of our pleasure lies in the situation, experience, or object that appears to have made us happy. Therefore, we keep trying to gain those objects and replicate those situations that seem to produce this effect - happiness.
1. Treat ourselves with kindness
This includes self-talk. You know what I'm getting at - the conversations we have with ourselves, about ourselves. More often than not, we treat others with more kindness and compassion than we do ourselves. Start this practice with a daily affirmation about yourself. Something positive and simple that you can repeat to yourself 100 times during that particular day. You can stay with the same affirmation for many days or change it daily.
2. Unplug when needed
We all get caught up in our technology. During this ongoing Covid pandemic we have relied on our devices to stay informed and connected to loved ones. Many of us also needed technology for our livelihoods (and lets collectively thank all of the gods that we were able to do so). However, separating yourself from technology for blocks of time will enable you to become more aware of your surroundings and of yourself. Whenever possible, ditch the device and savor a few slow, mindful breathes. This could be the simplest step towards happiness.
3. Establish a routine
Routines give us structure and maximize productivity. If you don't have a daily routine, begin by starting each day the same. Include waking at the same time, stretch and move your body gently (even while lying in bed). Look at a plant, inside or outside. After creating this morning habit, continue through your day with a structured plan that ends with an evening routine.
4. Allow ourselves to feel emotions
Contrary to popular belief, emotions do not make you weak – they make you human. Allowing yourself to feel your true and raw emotions is a sign of self-awareness and self-love. Suppressing your emotions is very unhealthy. Therefore, let yourself cry when you’re sad or scream to the sky when you’re angry.
5. Accomplish a goal
Regardless of the difficulty or size of task, when you cross something off of your to-do list, you feel good! Making the list is often easy to do, but following through can be a different story. Do your best to avoid making excuses or procrastinating. Creating happiness for yourself includes being responsible for personal actions and feeling accomplished.
6. Exercise and eat whole foods
When our physical bodies feel good, our emotional body follows suit. Maintaining physical activity and eating healthy contribute to overall happiness. Try exercising without distraction (turn your phone to airplane mode if using it for motivational music or podcast) and get moving! Your body will feel at its best when you eat unprocessed foods and make the effort to move consciously every day. With a healthy body you'll not only feel better physically, but more motivated to take action in other areas of your life.
7. Avoid pettiness
How we react to circumstance, and situations, is completely within our control. This may be the The Only Thing that we can really control in our lives. While unexpected and unpleasant events occur all the time, you can remain in control of your reactions. If rage or personal insecurities tend to get you spiraling into the emotional red zone, take a deep breath and remember that you are in control of your reactions.
Happiness is our birthright. Go claim it for yourself.