What if I told you happiness is only a state of mind? The cause can’t be found outside our minds. So, it is not what happens to you but rather how you react to what happens, that creates your happiness or unhappiness. How to be happy all comes down to training your mind.
If you find yourself stuck in this negative bubble, or your life is defined by negativity, give this a read. I know with certain mental health disorders, it makes this a million times tough, especially with all the advice out there. The infamous, “Just think happy thoughts!” I want to share with you what has really worked for me. My How To Be Happy tips I will share with you has genuinely helped me in my life and I wish I had implemented some of these sooner. I want to help you realize you are the only thing that is keeping you from being happy.
I used to be such a huge people pleaser. As a result, I would give everything of myself to make other people comfortable and happy. Everyone around me was my first priority, I rarely put myself first. It is a lovely thing to give to others but I do not want you to depend your happiness on other people. We can not pour from an empty cup and we have to fill ourselves with what makes us internally happy.
My happiness used to be dependent upon what I could achieve. I constantly felt pressured to do more. Be more. Have more. The pressure finally caught up to me and I crashed. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to make a change for myself within myself. And I am so glad I did.
We are told everyday we have to be something or have something to prove our worth. We have to have the newest phone, the best vehicle, that relationship. That prestigious promotion, degree or title. Sure, once you received it you felt happier for a while, but I bet it was only temporary and before you knew it, you found yourself back on the next pursuit to happiness.
Today I am a mom of a busy little boy. I want him to be happy. Like most other parents, it is what we wish our kids to be. But heres a revelation: you can not make anyone happy, not even your kids. You can only model what your individual happiness looks like to others. Our children learn from us on how to find their individual happiness. And usually, unhappy children grow into unhappy adults.
I understand now the concept of filling your cup first. A very intentional task.
How To Be Happy:
Become aware of everything around you, including your body and your feelings. When you do this it leaves zero room to think about anything except what you are experiencing in that specific moment. Take it all in. Then ask yourself some questions. Am I having unhappy in this moment? Why? Is it an external condition? (Like the people around you or circumstances). In other words is your happiness coming from a situation you are able to control or change.
Meditation is the mental action of concentrating on a peaceful and positive state of mind. A quick Google search will show thousands of studies and statistics showing the many benefits of mindful meditation. What I do is when I get into bed before I go to sleep, I set all my focus on God. I try to be still in the presence of God. God is love, so I am intentionally cultivating love in my mind and body and space. It is impossible to feel sad when I do this. I go to sleep knowing I am cared for and loved, and I feel grateful for everything I have and everyone in my life. I usually fall asleep before I finish because I am at such a peaceful state of mind. For a more in-depth article, read my post on mindful mediation here.
Use Social Media Intentionally
Stop devoting most of your online time to simply see what other people are doing. Remember social media sites main focus is to get you addicted to more usage! Social media has unconsciously made us compare ourselves to others, which often is not even real. I know it is hard for me to not to internalize some of the things posted to social media, especially the negative. At some point you have to make the decision my mental health is worth more than my online presence. We actually are like slaves to our phones. Sad I know. Everywhere you go if you notice, most peoples faces are in their phones. Try setting a limit on your usage when waking up and before going to bed. Start with setting yourself a timer of 30 minutes.
It has been scientifically proven our brains releases endorphins that make us feel good when we give and expect nothing in return. (Rewire.org, a non-profit publication wrote an in-depth article on this. You can read more about that here). Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin levels rise and our cortisol levels drop. I challenge you to give back everyday. Attempt one act to be kind, helpful, or loving. It can be to another person, an animal or the planet. Even to yourself. Giving back doesn’t have to be monetary or become a financial burden. It can be something simple such as holding the door for someone behind you, giving a genuine compliment or a hug. These acts cost us nothing yet are so effective. Do not be like I used to be, fill your cup first. Giving should not ever make you feel depleted. If you find yourself feeling worn out and drained from giving too much of yourself, you may need to build healthy boundaries for yourself.
Be aware of whether you are giving out of codependency or the kindness of your heart.
Giving back is actually the reason I started this site bloomingselflove.com. Most importantly, to be a tool for you. I am not a social media guru or a professional writer. However, I simply hope to make a positive impact.
I give respect to you for acknowledging you are not happy and want to make a change in yourself. I know how hard it is. Whatever you are going through, you will be okay. You are in control.
Please comment below on how you are finding your happiness! Feel free to share your stories of giving back, meditating, social media, mindfulness or any other helpful tips that can help inspire others struggling to find their happiness.