Yes, it is as easy as that!
You can be happy.
You should be happy.
You deserve to be happy.
But no one can do it for you!
It all starts with you.
You are responsible for your own happiness.
Yes, believe it or not, I was in a “dark unhappy place” at one stage not too long ago. Just after the birth of my baby boy. I was not happy with the person I saw in the mirror. I did not love myself very much at that time. I was unhappy with my life and with who I was, even though I had everything and more in my life I could wish for.
So, it can happen to anyone. In fact, it does happen to a lot of people, but for some reason we think we are failures, we think people will judge us.
But what you should be doing, is see the signs and symptoms, admit it, and decide to do something about it. Because you can actually do something about it, if you want to.
My 10 ideas to help you regain your happiness:
1. Make a conscious decision
You have to decide that you want to be happy.
It is an actual conscious decision you have to make, and you have to make the decision, no one else can do it for you.
2. Start to write down
Once you have made the decision, go and sit somewhere quiet and start to write down. Start a journal.
First of all, write down the date where you have decided that you want to make a change.
Then you write all the things you would like to change, or the things you are not happy about, the things that make you unhappy.
Remember, there is no right or wrong. This is your story. This is your journal. But do it regularly, and if you feel like you want to add anything to your list, do that.
3. Say something positive
Stand in front of the mirror, every morning, and say something positive to yourself and repeat it five times. This can be one word or it can be a sentence, it can be a song, you can choose anything with a positive connection.
Throughout the day, say that positive thing to yourself again and again, as many times as you can. Make it part of your day.
4. One compliment a day
Try to make it a habit to give a stranger a compliment. (We don’t always have to give material things in order to make someone happy). And by giving, you will soon find, you will start receiving. This will be the start of shifting your mindset.
You can give a compliment to anyone, it doesn’t always have to be someone you know, it can be the petrol attendant or the cashier at the supermarket. It should be someone you know nothing about.
You will soon discover how good it will make you feel by doing something as small as to give a “simple” compliment.
That person might feel rejected, sad or has given up on life at that specific time (you won’t even know about it). But by showing some interest, showing that you care, you might change that person’s life.
5. Replace negative thoughts
We tend to live in a negative world where everything is negative. From the news we read, the people we interact with, and the social media platforms we engage with.
We are quick to complaint instead of praise. We want instant gratification and we get upset if we don’t. And therefore, negativity becomes a viscous cycle.
But once again, this can (and it should) change. And it can only happen by making the decision.
Try to do one simple thing… When you catch yourself thinking or speaking negative, replace that thought, word or sentence with something positive. And do it immediately. Every time.
And you will notice your life, your thoughts and your conversations will become more positive and you will feel “lighter”.
6. Listen to inspirational audiobooks
Most of us spend quite some time in the car or in front of our computer. Use that time to listen to motivations/inspirational audiobooks. It is that easy and you don’t even have to read. You can carry on with your work and listen to the audiobook in the background.
This has helped me to get motivated and inspired. It helped me to change my thoughts. And I did it while doing work or spending time in my car.
7. Exercise regularly
We live in a life where we tend to be more sedentary and less active. And unfortunately, our bodies and minds need the “happy hormones” we get from exercise in order to be happy and positive. Exercise is the most underutilized drug in the world.
Please don’t get me wrong, I do believe that certain mental and medical conditions need to be treated through medication BUT most of the time, we can improve or heal a condition through the correct application of exercise.
By being physically more active will also lead to all sorts of other benefits like weight loss, increased energy, etc. All these benefits in turn will lead to being happier.
8. Eat healthy
Yes, believe it or not but our diet place a huge roll in the way we feel. And by saying diet, I mean your eating habits and your lifestyle. I don’t believe in diets which restrict you in what you can or can’t eat, in the amounts you can or should eat.
Your diet should be your lifestyle and you should learn to make healthy choices.
By eating fresh fruit and vegetables, balanced and nutritious meals and decent portion sizes, you will have more energy, your will feel good and you might even loose some weight which will lead to happy feelings as well.
Once again, I speak from personal experience and I am sure you might agree with me. When I overindulge, or I eat a packet of crisps (all by myself), I actually feel physically awful. The negative emotions and the feelings that I experience afterwards, is my motivation to rather stick to healthy choices.
9. Book a professional photoshoot
One of the best things I have done for myself…
I booked a photoshoot with a professional photographer and makeup artist. Yes, I was nervous as hell and I told nobody about it. I was scared people will judge me, and they probably did. But you know what? It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
I felt like a supermodel (even just for that short period of time). And when I got back home, my son’s nanny told me how beautiful I looked. That sparked something within me…
I realized that I am beautiful but I became blind.
Then a few weeks later, I received my photos. I was blown away. I couldn’t believe that it was me. I looked beautiful and most importantly, I looked happy. And I have decided just that, I am going to tell myself every day that I am beautiful and I am happy and when I start to forget that, I will book another photoshoot.
10. Accept yourself
Out of all of this, I truly think that we are our own worst enemies. We are too hard on ourselves. And the worst of it all, we compare ourselves to the world and to the lies of social media.
Happiness starts with you. You can’t get it anywhere else. You can’t buy it, neither can you touch it. It starts with a conscious decision, a mental shift and an actual attitude.
Once you accept who you are and start to love that YOU. And then you will start to experience happiness.