HOW TO BE HAPPY
Are you Happy?
I have to be honest with you, for a long time I did not know and I did not really pay much attention to what happiness really meant to me. At one point in life, happiness meant one thing, then something else, and eventually, my definition of happiness has totally changed over the years. Every one of us understands happiness differently, and that definition changes when we go through different stages in life. Happiness can be a great relationship with a friend or a significant other, financial stability, a new car, great health, abundance of friends, etc., you name it.
What makes you HAPPY?
Here are a few examples of how people described to me what makes them happy…
*If I have money, I am happy.
*Financial freedom and security is happiness to me.
*Enjoying the process of doing what I like and seeing the results.
*Being happy is sharing my life with the love of my life and enjoying and appreciating that relationship every day.
*The inner peace and love inside me.
*To be able to breathe in fresh air on a sunny day.
*The meaningful yet simple moments in my life that I want to “engrave” it my brain. For example, I feel happy when I see a father playing with & teaching his son; I want to stop that special moment.
*An ice cream makes me feel happy.
*My kids are my happiness.
*I am happy when I see other people smiling, when I make a difference in their lives.
*It is the feeling of peace inside me.
If you look at these examples, you will see that a few of them are the moments that make us happy. One of my close friends was surprised when she told what made her happy because a few of the things she mentioned were moments in life. But I told her right there that the life consists of moments, many many moments, and if these moments make you happy, that is wonderful.
Quite a few people associate money and financial stability with happiness. Yes, I can see the reasoning behind this statement. However, the money is a tool to make your life better and easier. I do not really believe that it can truly make you happy though. You can be a millionaire, but if you feel anxious all the time, if you feel alone, or do not have true and loving people around you, no money in the world can buy that.
What happiness means to me is my inner peace, to be able to love, appreciate, and accept me in the present time and truly enjoy the journey. I am not saying that I do not need people around me, on contrary, I love people. I am saying that no one else can make me happy, if I am not happy inside. I strongly believe that no one and nothing can make YOU happy if you do not feel good inside, if you do not love YOU, if you do not appreciate and accept YOU the way you are.
I have learned through the years that it is really up to me how I feel. You can let/ allow external factors – other people or situations – affect and drain you emotionally or you can choose to feel good and be in charge of your own emotions. It is not always easy to do that, but not impossible; you can learn it. There will always be moments or situations when we truly do not feel good, and that is OK. What is important in those moments is to stop, acknowledge what is happening and bring yourself back up. Remember, you choose to be happy or miserable.
Happiness is a CHOICE. If you’re in a bad situation or negative space right now, it is not the end of the world. You CAN change that story. The change is possible.
At one point in my life, I hit the bottom emotionally & mentally, and I remember telling myself – this is it, I do not see the light, and I will never get out of the darkness. Do not take me wrong, I am not a quitter, but in the really bad moments, depression kicks in and all you feel is despair & hopelessness. Several months later I rose like a phoenix from the ashes, and you have no idea how proud I was of myself. I made that choice. I did not believe I could do that, but I did. I guess somewhere deep inside me I knew I am a good person, I make a difference in other peoples’ lives, I want to grow and learn things, and if someone does not like me, it is not my problem, it is theirs, (I am not a $50 bill to be liked by everyone), so my happiness will not be dependent on others.
Often we forget how much that choice can change our lives. It changed mine, and you can change yours too.
For the skeptics out there I have something to say… I was you, so I do know that it can be hard to believe in a better life, and that our habits or how we are used to think and see the world influence us. How you feel is a CHOICE. If you do not know how to change the thinking, you can definitely learn it; I did. You can read or listen to the books (there are soooooo many out there), talk to people who have gone through similar experiences, meditate, listen to the music that calms you down, use visualization techniques (our brains do not distinguish what is real or what is imagined), etc. You need to try things and go with what works for you, and when you do that, then you will get stronger and stronger at making the choice.
I used to say to myself, when I accomplish X, then I will be happy or when I have Y, I will be happy, or as soon as I reach a goal, I’ll be happy. But when we accomplish something, we feel that it is still not enough, then we want something else; our brain automatically reprograms for another task. This pattern of “as soon as” existed in me for a while. Then I realized that we all tend to postpone the happiness to the future, while it should be today – now. We need to be happy now in order to create and build what we want in the future. We should not be dependent on the past or how we used to doing things, so we should create and practice the feeling of happiness now if we want to be happy in the future.
As silly as this may sound, smile and tell yourself “I am happy” every day for the next 3 weeks and DO more of what makes you happy whether it is a walk, workout, meeting with friends, reading a book, etc.
You will be amazed what happens. I would love to hear your progress, so please share.