In this world there are a lot of reasons to be not only unhappy, but completely miserable. Often, it is our choice to be happy or not. This choice is not always easy, and many times there are elements way beyond our control. In the end though, we must choose to make the decisions that will lead to happiness.
The truth is, there are different ways to be happy. You must decide what is important to you, and begin there.
For me, ways to be happy involve five basic areas:
-Keeping an open mind
-Believing in yourself
-Treating yourself well
Within each of these
Keeping an Open Mind
Keeping an open mind to me means not setting yourself up for failure or thinking too far ahead. I am a planner by nature and this means that I am often looking far into the future and trying to make sure everything is just so.
The problem with this is that it means I lose the ability to be flexible and often become very unhappy when things don’t go according to plan. Instead, I am learning to choose faith over fear and making a much looser plan with room to grow and explore life around me.
I am making the most of now instead of planning for what I will do three months from now. I am not making excuses that something isn’t in the schedule. Instead I am embracing what comes my way and trying to say yes more!
Believing in Yourself
Admittedly this is where I often struggle the most. I have a major case of imposter syndrome, and I always have. Maybe I always will, but I am learning to listen less and less to that voice telling me I don’t know what I am doing and am embracing the power of yet.
I may not know what I am doing yet, but I will work at it until I do, because I can.
I am choosing to be kind to myself. I have always tried to extend kindness to others, but have overlooked myself. I am trying to change this actively.
Part of believing in myself means looking at my failures as an opportunity. It always means blocking out criticism from others, especially a few family members, and doing me. I refuse to compare myself to others.
Treating Myself Well
While I am working to believe in myself I am also working on treating myself, physically and mentally well. I am working to eat better and stay hydrated. I will continue to build in exercise to my daily schedule, even if it means marching around the house in the evening to ensure I make it to 10,000 steps daily.
I will be patient, but this doesn’t mean I am not going to continue dreaming big.
I will from time to time put my needs before those of others. This is a hard, but necessary one that allows me to recharge and be my best for others more often. I deserve it, and so do they.
Most of all, I will exercise self-discipline in all things. I will eat a slice of cake, not the whole cake. I will put down the laptop and enjoy time with my family when the work day is over even though I have “just one more thing,” to get done. I will indulge, but not overindulge.
While I am looking on the bright side I will also think positively about myself and others.
Along with this, I am working to stop judging others for what I think they should be doing. Judging others does nothing for me or them. It is worthless.
I will listen to understand, not try to instantly problem-solve. I will empathize, but not get bogged down in grief. I will empower the speaker to be their own hero.
I will continue to surround myself with friends and family who choose to look on the bright side and work towards the positive. This doesn’t mean that we don’t allow ourselves time to wallow, but it means we take action and work towards the positive.
I will be outspoken when it comes to matters of importance to me and I will elevate the voices of those who have been doing the work for far longer than me.
I will speak well of those around me and allow each person to be them, not what I feel they should be.
I will encourage others to take a leap of faith and grow with my support. I will be there to catch my friends that need it and celebrate those who conquer their demons.
I will move on from the idea that I must personally save everyone around me and instead empower them to live their lives. Their story is not mine to tell, and they don’t need me to. What they do need is my listening ear and unwavering support as they figure it out for themselves. I can do this.
I will be honest with my friends when I don’t know how to help, but work together to find a solution. I will uplift my friends’, and those I have never met, voices and encourage them to keep going as I know they will do the same for me.
After all, we are all in this together.
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