We aren’t really taught how to be happy right? Well, I wasn’t anyway. I had to learn in the past couple of years how to be happy. I am hoping by sharing this I can help someone else that needs this like I did a few years ago.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
1. It’s okay to get professional help.
There’s a stigma out there that it’s a bad thing to talk to a therapist or counselor. I do believe it has gotten better over the years, especially recently I do think more people are talking about mental health issues, but the stigma still exists.
Personally, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done, it’s the best thing I ever decided, and I feel like it was the most responsible thing for me to do at the time. I was able to talk to someone that wasn’t part of my personal life, she provided me amazing tools and knowledge to then help me help myself in the later future.
I know a lot of the things I was unhappy about were things that I couldn’t change whether they were circumstances or people. They were not changing as much as I may have wanted them to, as much as I stomped my feet for them to do so, they weren’t changing. That’s when I had to look within and figure out what I needed to change to make myself happy and where therapy came in handy because I was able to not only learn skills and tools for me to use in my day-to-day life, but I was also able to really change my perspective on a lot of things.
I talk about this so often whether it’s my on my blog or YouTube videos and I’m sure this won’t be the last time you hear me talk about this because I think it’s so important.
Self-awareness is understanding your emotions and feelings and understanding how those emotions and feelings impact your behavior. Understanding that connection is HUGE because you will save yourself a lot of heartache and or a lot of trouble when interacting with other people or handling information.
You will be better able to handle difficult situations once you are self-aware. And really you also begin to start reading other people better. You’ll begin to start making connections about other people’s emotions and how it impacts their behavior so then you can be able to act accordingly to make the most peaceful outcome.
A few of my favorite books on self-awareness:
3. Stop cherishing opinions and start surrounding yourself with positive people
A lot of the times we’re unhappy is because we are thinking of how other people are perceiving us, right?
We need to stop cherishing other people’s opinions. I know it’s difficult to do but at least being conscious of it is an amazing accomplishment. If you want more help with this, click here for my free 7-day mindfulness challenge. It will challenge your thought and provide exercises/tools to help you in this process.
I really do think about your vibe attracts your tribe, you are more likely to have positive spirits and be in a happier state of mind if the people you surround yourself with are just like that or similar to you in that way.
If there are some people in your life that you need to cut out for your own good then please do so and if you don’t have positive people around consume positive content like this, read books, in general just search for positivity, look for the positive in things or pick up some new healthy habits that you haven’t done before.
4. Stop taking things personally.
One of the first lessons learned through therapy which kind of slapped me in the face because I didn’t realize how much I was doing it was taking things personally.
There’s no such thing as one reality. You know how people say, “the real world” or “in reality blah blah blah blah blah,” there’s no one reality, everyone’s perspective is different. Everyone has their own reality.
Once you really take that in as a fact you start to think of situations where you did take things personally and you begin to question yourself like why the heck did I take that personally??
Classic example say someone tells me that I’m ugly. What does that really matter that’s their perspective, that’s their view on the world. They may very well think I am ugly, they have their liking whatever it is, whether they were just trash talking to make me feel horrible about myself or they genuinely think I am ugly that is okay. I am not for everyone.
It seems silly to get offended by someone else’s reality. It’s not my reality so why does it matter to me what your viewpoint about myself is. I hope I didn’t lose you, read the sentence again if I did because it’s crucial.
It’s kind of bizarre when we care so much about someone else’s viewpoint when it’s just their viewpoint, it’s NOT fact. It speaks to them, their character and their viewpoint, it doesn’t say anything about you.
Or say your parents are really giving you a tough time whether it’s with school or your decisions whatever it may be you just feel some sort of pressure from family, parents whoever, try not to take it personal. Instead, try to think of why they may perhaps have that perspective or fear.
That’s what it really comes down to. If you’re feeling pressure from people close to you or if they say something where you get offended more than likely it stems from their fear.
More often than not (I don’t know if I can say 100% guarantee, but pretty darn close to 100%), what someone else says about you is actually not about you at all. With that said, don’t stress yourself out about it, laugh it off do whatever it is you need to do, brush it off. You’ll get the hang of it with time, at first you have to be really conscious of it and try your best not to get offended when people say certain things about you, but with time it’s going to come naturally, nothing is going to affect you at all.
I mentioned this in my how to get over a breakup post but in order to be happy one of the things that I’ve done is really put in my head that people have it worse. Whatever funk I’m in, whatever it is I’m going through I just think to myself, “Mary there are worse things out there, gain some perspective.” It’s tough to think about and there are times where I get overwhelmed by all the horrible situations that are going on in the world but if you really want peace you have to come to peace with that fact and be grateful for your surroundings. Don’t focus on the lack.
6. Be selfish.
Selfish has such a negative connotation to it and that needs to change. It’s okay to be selfish, you should worry about yourself first. I am guilty of being a people-pleaser, always have been. I’m working on it but we have got to stop, we have to start really taking care of ourselves and figuring out what makes us happy.
If helping other people out and doing things for other people makes you genuinely happy then continue doing that, do that forever. However, if you feel like you are helping or doing certain things in your life just to please people and it’s not actually making you happy instead, its actually affecting you negatively, you need to stop for your own good, you need to take a step back and focus on repairing yourself.
Meditation has literally saved my life so many times. It puts me at ease, it literally puts me in peace. It allowed me to calm myself down which I was never able to do before.
I thought it was normal for thoughts to keep running in your brain, I thought your brain can never stop, it just keeps going. I was most definitely wrong.
I was able to stop that mind chatter. If I’m ever feeling stressed or anxious about something I can get to a place of peace on my own and I was NEVER able to do that before, I didn’t know how to do that before.
There’s a lot of misconceptions about meditation but I do think it’s worth a try at the very least, it may not be what you think it is. If you are interested in meditating head over to my post on meditation for beginners.
8. Be accountable, don’t be a victim.
In order to really be happy, I realized I need to think everything is my fault. I know it sounds nuts, hear me out.
It’s not to put yourself down or to give yourself a pity party but it’s really to take accountability. It seems strange, but I promise once you start taking responsibility for things in your life (even if they aren’t actually your fault or responsibility) it makes you realize that you are in fact in control of your life, no one else is, you are NOT a victim and you can change things about your life if you really want to and put in the work.
I understand people have different backgrounds or may have certain limitations in their lives, but put in your brain that you are not a victim and you are in control of your life and see what happens, see the changes that occur once you truly believe that you are in fact in control of your life. It has made a significant change in my life.
9. Let go of attachments.
A lot of unhappiness stems from ideas of things that we want or desire that we don’t end up getting. There are ideas of things that we are so attached to and want so badly for ourselves and when we don’t get it, we are disappointed which causes our unhappiness.
We have to really uncondition ourselves from all of these attachments that we have been conditioned to want or desire. The first step is really a recognizing that you have been conditioned in the first place. A really good book for this that I absolutely love is the Tao Te Ching. Letting go of attachments is a deep topic so if you want me to do another post on this please let me know in the comments below.
10. Unconditional love.
Now this last one is something I’ve mentioned before, and I will not stop mentioning so if you’re tired of it I’m sorry but not really because it’s so important. Not only will you be happy from doing so but it will affect other people as well. Continue practicing unconditional love with everyone around you and you will reap the benefits from doing so. Not only will you live and sleep with peace daily, but you will be spreading it to others.
If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me. As always, thank you so much for reading!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.