Does it feel like happiness is this mirage in the far distance, that despite the constant effort and hard work you never seem to be able to reach it? I used to feel this way and assumed once I reached my goals of A, B & C or got rid of problems X, Y & Z, I would achieve this elusive state of happiness. I have since realized happiness had more to do with my mindset than my circumstances. Make these four simple thought changes and chances are happiness will await you.
1. STOP SEEKING VALIDATION FROM OTHERS.
This was the number 1 reason I had been unhappy. I kept in contact with guys who I knew weren’t right for me, strictly to feel desired & wanted. I remained in a job I hated worried people would think I was crazy if I quit and knowing if I quit, I may not be able to afford those material things everyone seemed impressed by. Without even realizing it, this same thought process consumed my everyday life– what should I wear, how should I act, what should I say, what should I do– to be approved or validated by those around me. Learn to give this to the wind and suddenly any feeling of not being good enough vanishes, as you no longer are concerned if others perceive you as worthy or not. When you master this, I guarantee you will feel a sense of relief and happiness that you never previously had.
2. HAVE GRATEFULNESS IN EVERYTHING.
Please don’t dismiss this one! I’m convinced, that often times we assume we are grateful but don’t give it much thought. It is easy to get so mentally caught up in what we want next, that the blessings around us start fading into the background and become unnoticed. Whether that be an amazing friendship, a dependable vehicle, your loyal dog, your heart still beating; there’s ALWAYS something to be grateful for! Find a new, fresh appreciation for everything– the small things (and big things too.) Verbally or mentally say thank you and think how different your life would be without them or it. Develop the habit of being grateful and saying genuine thank you’s and I promise your life will be dramatically changed.
3. ADD SOME SPICE N’ VARIETY.
Doing the same routine day-in, day-out will surely leave you feeling numb and zest less for life. It may not be possible to travel somewhere different everyday or try something new and extravagant on a regular basis (or is it?) but you can start on a smaller level. How can you mix up today? Take a new route to work and take notice of the different details of the landscape. Spice up normally dull conversations with new thoughts or jokes. Liven up your night routine with a new Pandora music station while cooking up a recipe you haven’t yet tried while perhaps busting out the moonwalk in your kitchen. Make life fun with small shifts in your daily routine!
4. BECOME AWARE THAT YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.
Although this sounds a bit morbid, and in no relation to happiness, it is a reality for all of us. Knowing and being constantly aware that you are going to die, will surely change your perspective. Suddenly that argument, problem or disappointment you’ve been toiling over doesn’t seem as huge. Realizing that our time truly is limited, and not just in a cheesy quote kind of way, should inspire you to utilize your time and energy in the best way possible.
Now get out there and create a beautiful life!