Happiness is a state of mind that everyone is searching for, but no two journeys are ever the same. There is no universal key to help you unlock limitless happiness because each individual experiences positive emotions in a unique way. However, when we align ourselves with some basic principles, we can learn to be happy.
Do you ever find yourself asking I just want to be happy?
I strongly believe that these 7 powerful tips below will teach you how to create and nurture lasting happiness in your life!
1. Don’t Delay Happiness
The best way to be happy is to seize happiness wherever you find it. Don’t delay it for a later date. Too often we keep ourselves from being happy by restricting ourselves with thoughts such as we will be happy once we have our own home, we will be happy when we have a bigger house, we will be happy when we have a new car, and so forth. Similarly, we often don’t let ourselves enjoy the small moments of life and instead keep waiting for bigger things to happen. When we associate our happiness with a goal, we miss out on so many other moments of happiness along the way. The happiest people I know in my life are those who seize happiness in all forms, shapes and sizes in the present instead of fantasizing about the future. It is time to change “I just want to be happy” too “It is now my time to be happy”.
2. Express Yourself
Most of us are miserable in our lives because we cannot express ourselves and end up feeling cheated and betrayed. Most often, we carry a load of grudges and disappointments with us which frustrate and annoy us while also leaching our happiness. Why? Because we cannot tell the other person that their actions are causing us unhappiness.
I grew up in an unexpressive household, my mom would stop talking to us if she was angry at us for some misdemeanour, and we picked up on that habit. For the longest time, when a friend or a loved one did something hurtful, I would clamp down instead of expressing my unhappiness.
What does it do?
It makes the matter ten times worse than it actually is. You hold on to the dark thought and nurture it in your mind to build it into a much bigger problem. Moreover, with the dark cloud weighing on your mind and heart, nothing seems good, and all you have are negative thoughts and a gloomy mood.
Therefore, express yourself immediately. If someone says or does something, you don’t like – say it and talk it out with them. Believe me, you will feel much better, and it won’t keep you from being happy!
The happiest people are those who are aware of what they like and then make it happen. Does seeing new places and talking to new people make you happy? If yes, then travelling may be the right experience for you. Are you anti-social and love to admire nature with only your thoughts and a good book for the company? If yes, then maybe a weekly fishing trip is the thing for you.
Modern psychological research says that experiences create happiness because they become a part of ourselves, and humans are just the sum of their experiences. Even negative experiences – things that were scary or frustrating in the past teach us valuable lessons and may even become a funny story in retrospect.
For instance, running a carpet cleaning business during the COVID-19 pandemic was one of the most exhilarating experiences in my life. While it challenged me in every way, it helped me improve my decision-making skills and build mental toughness.
Another way in which experiences inspire happiness is that they bring people closer together. Family trips give you a chance at deeper familial bonding, a road trip with your friends deepens your love for each other, and a solo trip may give you a chance to bond with new people on the road.
4. Sate Your Inner Critic
Most of the time, we are our own worst enemy – we criticize ourselves the most and are never happy with ourselves. While self-evaluation pushes you towards productivity, self-criticism keeps you from moving forward. Rachel Service of the Happiness Concierge claims that self-doubt is like inertia – it creates fear, which keeps us in the comfort zone and hinders growth and success.
To live a happy and full-filled life, one must learn to tame their inner critic, but how should we do so? It takes years to learn self-doubt, so we can’t expect to grow out of it overnight. What you can do is build new thought processes that help you distinguish between constructive criticism and negative self-doubt, learn to distinguish helpful and unhelpful thoughts, and focus on the things you have achieved to propel you forward.
5. Plan, but Learn to Let Go
We spend a lot of time planning and visualizing goals we wish to accomplish. However, when things don’t seem to work out, or plans fall through, we tend to get upset and feel hopeless. People actively working towards attaining happiness understand that sometimes plans fail.
Letting go is a part of life; it’s important to keep moving forward and not spend time pondering on things that aren’t meant to be. When we show reluctance to let go, it holds us back from achieving our full potential and leaves us wandering in the past. Learning to let go means that you’re accepting the reality and choosing to move ahead on your quest for happiness.
6. Do the Things You Love
The fastest way to attain happiness is by doing the things you enjoy. This could be as simple as cooking your favourite meal or taking a hike with a significant other. People often shy away from taking time out for themselves so as not to waste time, but it’s imperative to understand how important it is to invest in ourselves.
Not only is it needed for our emotional well-being and mental health, but also to improve productivity and the quality of life. Taking time out for yourself is also a form of self-care and gives you the opportunity to recharge and unplug from all external stresses. People who embrace this habit are generally better equipped to handle busy schedules and real-life hurdles.
7. Count Your Blessings
It’s completely humane to feel moments of envy when comparing someone’s luxuries to our own, but the true key to happiness is practicing gratitude. Taking a step back and counting the infinite number of blessings in your life can transform your mindset. When you remind yourself that you already have all you need to succeed and flourish, happiness comes to you naturally.
You might’ve noticed people keeping a gratitude journal. The concept behind this practice is to write down a few things that you’re thankful for on that day. It teaches one to be mindful about their blessings and lowers the frequency of negative emotions, making them selfless and happier humans.
Happy people acknowledge that life consists of ups and downs, but we can learn to enjoy the ride. Once you start viewing happiness as a choice and not an outcome, you realize that you are in full control of your happiness. In doing so, you will develop a sense of purpose that elevates your mental health and inspires you to go after things that are worth living for. Implement the above-mentioned habits to nurture happiness and create a more meaningful life.
Keep at it and never stop striving! Next year when you look back at your life, I’m confident “I just want to be happy” will have changed to “I’m happy”! Best of Luck!