1. Be comfortable in your own skin.
The first step to becoming happy is to feel comfortable in your own skin. Everyone was born with a flaw. No one is perfect. Accept yourself with what you’re born with whether it be your background, your skin, your nose, your eyes, your hair, your freckles, your breast, or the size of your private part. You have to accept yourself for who you are and love yourself.
It is the number one happiness killer. Because if you are not comfortable in your own skin, this becomes your biggest concern that stays on the top of your mind everyday — it kills your self-esteem, your self-confidence, and the happiness that comes from within. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship of all and if you can’t make peace with it, it will keep bothering your mind.
If you find it hard because other people discriminate or make judgments about you, distance yourself from people who are shallow and narrow-minded. You are better than that. Prove to them and to yourself that you are capable and talented in so many other ways. Surround yourself with people who value the same things as you and leave the people with bad attitudes behind.
2. Appreciate what you have and never compare yourself with others.
You will never be truly happy if you keep looking outside and wish you have what you don’t. The grass always seems to be greener on the other side but that does not mean it’s actually greener. If you keep wishing, hoping, expecting for something else and don’t feel happy with what you already have, you will always feel miserable and feel like something is missing in your life.
Worse if you keep comparing yourself to others, wishing your life was like theirs; your face and body were like theirs; your family was like theirs; your partner was like theirs, you will feel the jealousy burning within you. While comparing yourself to others in a healthy dose as to set yourself a benchmark of success or accomplishment can be motivating, doing so with jealousy burning within is not.
If you can live simply and appreciate what you have, acknowledge that everyone is different, and stop comparing yourself to others, you will experience joy and happiness in everyday life.
3. See the positive in every situation.
You will always run into unfortunate situations in life that are outside of your control. You can choose to feel sad, annoyed, angry, or stressed about the situation or turn it around and focus on the positive. You can choose to be stuck in a bad situation or let go, move on, and start anew.
Learn from a failure or a bad experience and never repeat the same mistake. Every setback and bad situation in life teaches you something. Growth doesn’t happen in comfort. Take it as an opportunity to train your mind to be stronger, more resilient, and more equipped to be able to deal with things life throws at you.
4. Let go of your need to control.
Control makes you feel secure. But at the same time, with control you also lose freedom. Confusing isn’t it? When you try to control your life, situations, and sometimes others, you do so because you want to feel more secure.
However, when you feel more secure because you take control of it, you lose control of yourself and very likely of those you try to control. This is because you become dependent on the feeling of having control. And it can drive you crazy because things don’t always go as planned. Trying to control things will not only drive other people away which will make you panic even more when that happens, but it also hinders you from achieving happiness from within.
5. Drop the resentment within.
Most of the time you hold onto anger because you believe it would make the person you’re mad at upset and realize that they have done something wrong. But the fact is that you are actually hanging yourself up on something that’s burning you within. When you’re mad at someone, the pain is onto yourself more than it is onto the person you’re mad at. When you hate someone, the fire is within your own mind.
No matter what one does to you — hurt you, look down on you, underestimate you, backstab you, abuse you, or cheat on you — when you hold the hatred, you hold the hurt. Only when you learn to let go, you let your soul free from the pain. No matter what it is that caused them to do certain things to you, the best thing you can do is to let go.
It will be hard to do if you’ve never done it before. But slowly, one day at a time, be patient, let it go, forgive those who’ve done you wrong, you will feel that each day you get stronger and more powerful.
If you’re struggling to let go, start with meditation. Even meditation is hard because you need to control yourself not to think about anything while meditating — but that’s the key! Being able to control one’s thoughts and focus, and keep one’s mind at peace strengthens the mind’s muscles — this is the secret power of meditation.
The fire is only within you. The person you hate doesn’t feel your hatred. Let it go. Let it go.
6. Live in the moment.
I believe that one of the reasons little kids and happy couples on dates are happy is because they live in the moment. They focus on what is happening in front of them and pay attention to the person they are with. When you live in the moment and do your best, you just feel happy. Why wouldn’t you? You don’t worry about the future, neither do you feel sad about the past.
Take every waking hour as it comes and do what you are supposed to do and complete what you’re supposed to complete. Stop overanalyzing or trying to predict and plan things too far. The only constant in life is change. Just live in the moment and do your best.
7. Avoid overanalyzing.
This is what a lot of us do — overanalyzing things from relationships to career and finances. Overanalyzing is dwelling on the thought about something, thinking about it over and over, trying to dig deeper and deeper, because somehow you believe it could end up giving you a way out. When in doubt, overanalyzing somehow gives us comfort. Most of the time, we never actually get an answer but a set of worries.
In order to avoid overanalyzing, we need to be more outspoken with people whom we have doubts about, take things as they come, and listen closely to our intuition.
8. Stop worrying about the future.
Many of us worry. We worry about our future — about our career, health, living, finances, and about the people we love. We worry because we are scared. However, worrying doesn’t make anything better unless we stop worrying and start taking actions towards our goals. If you’re worried about your health when you get older, then you should start eating healthy and exercising regularly. If you’re worried about your finances, then you should start saving up for the rainy days. If you’re worried about your kids, then encourage them to take actions to help you ease your worries.
Remember that worrying about your loved ones doesn’t actually make them better. It only affects your health and your blood pressure. Your loved ones will need to take actions themselves. All you can do is to encourage them and help them move towards the right direction.
9. Drop your ego and be true.
We have our ego as our security guard that protects our self-esteem from being attacked. However, sometimes we become a victim of our own ego. This is when the ego takes control and we become too arrogant and act above ourselves. We distort the reality about us. We live in an illusion. Sometimes we do so because we believe it will take us somewhere. Sometimes we do it because it makes us feel good about ourselves.
Whatever it maybe, letting your ego become your front shield actually hurts you more on the inside because you can’t be your true self. You just live with lies. In the end, you just can’t take it anymore because you are just faking it and are attracting people who are also faking it. Over and over, you will become tired of it and feel like no one really understands you. This is when you will realize that you will never be truly happy unless you stay true to yourself and others.
10. Have an open mind.
Having a narrow mind can hurt you more than you think because naturally we as humans don’t like being disapproved of. We don’t like feeling like we’re wrong because it makes us feel rejected and unaccepted.
So if you don’t have an open mind which means you stand firmly on your beliefs and ideas and oppose others who think otherwise, you will feel extremely agitated and uncomfortable when people with different beliefs and ideas are presented in front of you.
On the other hand, if you have an open mind, you wouldn’t mind hearing about the different beliefs. In fact, you would embrace the difference, want to understand it better, and become adaptable and flexible in your approach. You wouldn’t have to fight with yourself in accepting others. You’d feel at ease with differences and feel positive about change.
Southbourne Positive Living Group (SPLG) meets on the last Wednesday of the month (excluding holidays).
Join a group of like- minded people and rediscover the purpose and meaning of your life.