One of the most common aims in life is to be happy. We have all heard it or said it ourselves – “I just want to be happy.” Many times we exclusively link our level happiness to external factors. While many outer elements may enhance our moods, none of them are the essential source of our happiness...this comes from within. I always say, happiness is being in the center of chaos and still being able to maintain emotional peace.
Here are several healthy habits you can include into your daily life to help yourself achieve happiness:
If you must complain, complain with intent. Negative, habitual complaints are excuses that keep you stagnant and unhappy. Rather than complaining about what is out of your realm of control, reframe your complaints into actions that offer some form of constructive change. Starve your ego of entitlement that suggests that all things should work out in your favor. You are not exempt from encountering difficulty; but you will experience more of it if your perception is predominantly pessimistic. Complain with purpose, then ACT.
Stop comparing. To compare is to minimize and deny your own accomplishments and gratitude. Be thankful for your life experience; it is uniquely yours. Refrain from believing that external success equates to a healthy internal state (which is the most vital attainment there is). You may not be aware of another person’s struggles. The flowers that bloom are the ones that are watered and well taken care of. Pour into your life goals and your creation of happiness. Someone else’s success should be a catalyst, not a hindrance.
Evaluate the company you keep. The crowd you keep impacts your moods, thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Make sure you are not surrounded by energy thieves. These are the people who drain you of everything that is positive and progressive – they leave you with nothing. Misery demands company, and can only thrive if there is an audience to invite. Separate yourself from relationships that don’t nurture healthy talk, thinking and behaviors. Everyone around you is not FOR you.
Stay aware of your thoughts. Realize that all of your thoughts and feelings are not facts. You are not your thoughts. In fact, you are the constant, your thoughts are subject to change and you will still be who you are; exactly who YOU CHOOSE to be. The condition of your life, relative to good or bad circumstances, is a direct reflection of your practice of introspection. This is the difference between those who GROW through tough times versus those who merely GO through tough times and succumb to them. Separate your identity from your thoughts, and be a firm filter of what/who you allow to rental mental space. Happiness is not the absence of the unfavorable, but the presence of a mindfulness that proposes that bad things cannot defines us unless we give them the power of belief.
Written by Brianna Colbert, MA, LLPC.