How To Live A Happy Life
Updated: Jan 24
"The only thing that will make you happy is being happy with who you are."
- Goldie Hawn
Happiness. Happiness can seem so elusive at times. Like a magical unicorn that only exists in fairy tales. It looks like just a few lucky people are truly happy. What do they know that the rest of us don't? Can everyone and anyone be happy? How can I be happy? Yes, everyone and anyone can be happy. I hate to break the news to you, but no secret spell magically makes you happy. There is not one particular way that makes every single person. Each person is unique, and their needs are as unique as they are. However, there are a few easy things you can do that will help you find your happy.
There is not a person alive who hasn't had times of unhappiness or depression. "I just want to be happy! But I don't know how to be happy." I said as I cried into my pillow when I was 23-years-old. I've had many ups and downs in my 45-years. But, my twenties were the roughest waters. I was a young mom of two. In my early twenties I was in an unhappy marriage, my mid-twenties I was a single mother and my late twenties I was figuring out who I was. It took a lot of self-help books, many therapy sessions, and intentional living to find my happy.
What you feed your mind has a direct impact on how depressed, anxious, afraid, nervous, sad, hopeless, inspired, motivated and HAPPY you are. The things you read, watch and listen to play out like movies in our minds. They sink into our subconscious influencing our thoughts which then impact our moods. When you watch a scary movie, and you go to bed later that night. If you hear a sound you instantly jump to the conclusion that the murderer from the movie is your house. Your mind has been fed the thought of fear, therefore you are afraid. Let's talk about THE NEWS. There is literally nothing good, uplifting, inspirational or HAPPY in the news. The news is one horrible, sad, aggravating story after another. The typical person watches the news at least two times a day when they first wake up in the morning and again just before bed. These are the two times in the day when our minds absorb the most information. First thing in the morning your mind is fully rested and ready to absorb new information and work at its fullest capacity. At night, whatever you feed your mind with before sleeping will settle in your subconscious for 8 hrs getting embedded into your thoughts. The next time THE NEWS is on notice the feeling it is giving you. Is the news making you feel happy or aggravated, safe or fearful?
The bottom line is... don't watch the news! I haven't watched the news for over 14 years. People always ask me, "But how do you know what is happening?" My answer is simple, "If it is big enough news I hear about." If you absolutely can not stand to be without the news, at least make a choice to only read the news not watch or listen to it. Be selective about what you read about. Only read articles that are inspiring, thought-provoking or will bring value.
Feed your mind every morning and every night with positive thoughts and ideas. Get a motivational quote app on your phone and read a quote every morning. Post a sticky note of an inspirational quote on your mirror so that you read it every morning and night. Start your day by listing three things you are grateful for. It is impossible to be angry, fearful, or depressed if you have gratitude.
Choose to be happy today, right where you are in your life. Don't fall victim to the thought of, "I'll be happy when...." Don't postpone happiness until you have more money, have a bigger house, find a relationship, get pregnant, land a better job, etc. If you can't be happy with where you are TODAY you will not be happy TOMORROW, because when you tomorrow comes and you get one of the things you are waiting for to be happy, there will be something else that you will feel you need to wait to get in order to be happy. The happiness of tomorrow will NEVER come.
Speak about things that bring you joy. Focus your energy toward the GOOD in the world and other people. Resist complaining, noticing the bad, and gossip about others, and distance from people who do. Unkind words not only reflect poorly on the ones who speak them, but they bring that person and everyone listening down. Don't be the "Debbie Downer" in the group. The "Debbie Downer" always sees the negative in the world and other people. "Debbie Downer" brings down everyone they come in contact with. If you know a "Debbie Downer" keep your distance from them, they will only bring down your mood. Be the person who looks at the bright side of life and surrounds yourself with happy people too. The people you surround yourself with influence what you think and how you feel. If you want to be happy, then hang around with happy people.
Stop comparing yourself to others. It doesn't matter who you are, how much money you have, the kind of car you drive or how big your house is, there will always be someone richer, smarter, more beautiful, more... There will always be someone you can compare yourself to that will make you feel "less than." You will never find joy in envy. Especially, in this social media driven world it seems like everyone else's life is so much better than your own. Just remember that everyone else only posts their highlight reel on social media. Everyone you see on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram have bad days, problems and hardships too. What you see on social media is not the whole story. There is no good that will come by comparing yourself to a glimpse of reality that hidden with a beautiful filter? You are living your life 100% unfiltered. Put your envy energy into doing things that make you happy and lift your spirits. Love yourself, not the unobtainable fiction of others on social media.
Make the choice to be happy. Many times being happy comes down to deciding, "I'm going to be happy today." No matter what irritating thing happens this day, choose to be happy. You control your emotions they don't control you. Intentionally go through your day being aware of your thoughts. If someone says something to you that makes you upset, chose to let it go or look at the bright side of the situation.
Wake up each day and say out loud, "Today I choose to be happy."