Unfortunately, society hasn’t helped with this confusion. We have been conditioned to associate happiness with materialistic possessions.
The line of thinking is that, if we have more things, we will be more fulfilled. As a result, a lot of people spend their entire lives chasing happiness, only to be left feeling defeated when they don’t find their version of utopia.
Happiness is not something that you find external to yourself. You won’t buy a new dress or purchase a new car and feel like you’re living on a cloud for eternity.
Sure, you may feel short-term gratification from a purchase, but this feel-good vibe won’t last. Shortly thereafter, you will be looking for the next best thing to fill a void.
There’s no magic pill for happiness. Happiness is an inside job, a choice that you have to make. Try the following to learn how to be happy with yourself every day.
1. Practice Mindfulness
How you start your day matters. If you begrudgingly roll out of bed, put on a pot of coffee, and rush out the door to work, how do you think your day will unfold?
I don’t know about you, but my emotions end up getting the best of me. If you don’t master your mind, your mind will master you. This is why I’m such a big believer in creating an empowering morning ritual.
When you take the time every morning to nourish your mental and emotional state, you set yourself up for success. Meditate, journal, exercise, recite affirmations, juice, dance. Do whatever it takes to get yourself into a high vibe state.
Yes, meditating is great, but it’s bigger than that. You want to strive to live more mindfully all around. Think of mindfulness as a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience, without judgment((American Psychological Association: What Are The Benefits of Mindfulness)).
Strive to be more present in every given moment of your life. Instead of rushing from one thing to the next, take time to pause and enjoy the little things.
2. Be Grateful
Gratitude is a way of living that focuses on seeing the good, no matter how dire one’s circumstances are. Of course, it can be hard to be grateful when you’re going through difficult times in life.
However, there is always a silver lining in every struggle. You just have to be willing to look for it. When you adopt an attitude of gratitude, you shift into a state of appreciation. All of sudden, there is no room for sadness because you are choosing love.
Research shows that gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, and deal with adversity((Harvard Health Publishing: Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier)).
If you don’t already, I encourage you to start a gratitude journal. A simple practice like this one only takes a few minutes every day. It has the power to change your life. What are you grateful for?
3. Find Your Tribe
By nature, we are social creatures. Connecting with one another helps us thrive, especially when we are faced with difficult times.
Research shows that people who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, and greater empathy for others((Stanford Medicine: Connectedness & Health: The Science of Social Connection)).
I wouldn’t be who I am today without the solid tribe of people that I call family. These are my people. Although my circle is small, I know that these people will always have my back, no matter what.
You become the five people whom you surround yourself with. If you want to be a happy and successful person, you need to make sure that your friends have the same vision as you.
Strive to find people who empower you to become a better version of yourself. They will naturally enhance your happiness and make you feel good about yourself.
4. Connect to Your Body Intelligence
Where people get stuck is that they live too much of their lives in their heads and fail to connect with their body intelligence. Your body is a vessel that is constantly speaking to you.
When you don’t listen to it, you end up getting into trouble. The body is intimately connected to the gut. The more that you go inward and bring attention to your body, the more you are able to connect with your intuition.
It is the place of inner wisdom that brings you back home to yourself. In actual fact, every cell in the body is intelligent, with the heart acting like a conductor for the cellular processes taking place within us in each and every moment((Unimed Living:The Body Is Intelligent)).
There are a variety of different modalities that allow you to connect to your body intelligence, whether it’s dance, yoga, or chi gong. When you allow yourself to drop out of your head and into your heart, you come to realize that everything you’ve ever needed is already inside of you.
5. Don’t Take Life So Seriously
Life is so short. If you spend the entire ride worrying and agonizing about everything, you will miss so many beautiful moments. Not only that, but it will create dis-ease in the body.
An overemphasis on seriousness in life lends itself to a narrow way of understanding what’s worth your time and attention((Thrive Global: For A Calmer, Happier Life, Stop Taking Everything So Seriously)).
In childhood, we are encouraged to play and be free. However, a lot of people lose this desire once they become adults. If you can relate to this, let me ask your something… what would happen if you slowed down and took the time to enjoy life more?
You don’t want to get to the end of your life and wish that you had laughed and smiled more often. Nobody wants to live with regrets.
The next time that you’re taking yourself too seriously, step back and ask yourself: “Is this situation worth getting so frustrated over?” If not, move on and get back to enjoying life.
You can’t always control the external world. However, you can always control your internal world. Finding simple ways to be happy with yourself every day is a commitment. However, it’s worth the effort because you deserve to live a happy life.