Enjoying life when things are going smoothly is simple, but when the rough times appear it can be so much harder to be contented. Yet whatever your circumstances and more significantly whoever you are, you can discover how to be happy even when you’re not.
#1 Enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going.
No matter how challenging your circumstances, you can still decide to make the best of your situation. Life is so much easier to manage if you can accept where you are today, while you look to the changes you can make for tomorrow. The decision is yours to determine to be happy now.
#2 Focus on what you have rather than what you want.
Living in a culture that reveres celebrity lifestyles and designer affluence can make even the most successful feel inadequate and insignificant. Aspiring to be better and to have more isn’t bad, but that inner joy that makes you feel truly glad and at peace with the world comes from appreciating what you already have.
#3 Learn to let go of the past.
Nothing will hinder your happiness more than holding on to regrets and disappointments. It’s impossible to change the past, but acceptance is possible. Through acceptance you release yourself from those emotional burdens that keep you trapped in negativity. So don’t allow what happened yesterday steal your peace for today or your dreams for tomorrow.
#4 Stop blaming others for your unhappiness.
If someone has deeply wounded you, it is easy to blame them for your pain. Yet as long as you maintain the mentality that your feelings are the fault of another, you will remain profoundly hurt. It may not seem fair, but you can only begin to find peace of mind when you start to take responsibility for your own emotional well-being. Learn how to take back the power that you have given the person who harmed you, and you will learn how to reclaim your happiness.
#5 Don’t allow others to steal your joy.
Remembering that you are in control of your own happiness is also important when it comes to spending time with people who would seek to spoil your enthusiasm. There will always be those who will want to burst your bubble because of their own insecurities. Don’t let them.
#6 Believe you are good enough.
The notion of perfectionism in our society places unrealistic expectations on everyone. So if you are conditioning your self-worth on what you do, how much you own or what you look like, you are likely to be constantly fighting feelings of inadequacy. Learning to be happy as you are means recognizing your imperfections as an integral part of your uniqueness and accepting that you don’t need to be perfect, you need only to be good enough.
#7 Stop comparing yourself to others.
Comparing yourself to others can leave you feeling dissatisfied and disenchanted. Stop striving to be someone else and embrace your talents, abilities and strengths instead. Be kind to yourself and regularly practice self-compassion. As Christopher Germer advises, “A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.”
#8 This too will pass.
Times of change or trauma can leave you feeling overwhelmed and pessimistic. Yet there really is truth in the adage, “This too will pass.” Accept that there will be days that will be hard to get through, but keep these in perspective.
#9 Practice an attitude of gratitude.
An attitude of gratitude can be an antidote to many painful experiences. Maintaining an outlook that deliberates on the positive may help keep your spirits lifted during the darkest of days. An effective way to practice this is through writing a gratitude journal. This doesn’t simply remind you of what you have, it also reinforces the fact that things can and will improve.
#10 Find time for your passion.
Feeling disenchanted and miserable about yourself is a sign that you need to find time for those things that bring meaning to your life. To stay happy it’s vital to find your passion and make it a priority in your schedule. Even a few minutes a day of “you time” can benefit you mentally and physically. Life will always have its highs and lows, but be encouraged that the key to unlocking your happiness lies with you. Now that really is something to be happy about.