I struggle with my share of unhappiness, just like any normal person. But over the last year or so, I’ve become a pretty happy person for the most part. Sometimes it seems hard to be genuinely happy, but sometimes people just over complicate things. It’s important to be able to be able to be genuinely happy on your own. You can’t rely on a relationship, a friendship, a job, or anything else except your own self for your happiness. To be happy all by yourself is not always an easy feat, but it’s necessary and definitely doable. Here’s my 5 rules for living a happy life, most of the time:
- Focus on yourself. Do a “happiness audit” on your life. What things or people or activities etc make YOU happy? What makes you unhappy? Do more of the things that make you happy. Stop doing the things that make you unhappy. Done. Simple as that. Okay, I know it’s not always that cut and dry. But really, if something is making you unhappy, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude about it. I’m a firm believer that sometimes to be happy, you have to actively choose to be happy. Reduce stress, don’t let negative people affect your attitude, keep a smile on your face. See the positives, don’t dwell on the negatives, and decide that no matter what, you’re going to live a happy life.
- Focus on other people. Ok what? That’s a little contradictory right? Hear me out. Doing things to make other people happy makes me happy. Seeing someone smile, or laugh, or cry tears of happiness because of something I did for them makes me feel pretty good about myself. And it brings me happiness. So if you’re feeling unhappy, go do something nice for someone else and witness the happiness it brings them. I bet it brings you some happiness, too. Radiate positivity and you will live a positive life.
- Be okay with not being okay. We’re human. We have a lot of emotions. We aren’t going to be happy and positive 24 hours a day every single day. Realize that sometimes, you will be grumpy and you will be angry and you will be sad and you will be unhappy. It’s okay, it’s normal to not be happy 100% of the time. Let yourself feel the human emotions. Give yourself some time. And then do the things you need to do to be happy again. Sidenote: Some sadness is normal but if you’re experiencing long terms of unhappiness and hopelessness, get some help. Reach out to a friend or family member. Call a hotline. Just please get some help. There’s no shame in admitting you need help. Suffering from depression or other forms of mental illness is not the same as experiencing normal occasional sadness or unhappiness.
- Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Your life is not the same as any other person. Don’t look around you and compare your career, your living space, your material things, your body, or anything to anyone else. With so much of our lives on social media today, it’s easy to log on and see someone with a new car, or someone killing it at their job, or someone with a killer body, or someone with a super cute relationship, and feel bad about ourselves because we don’t have that. Don’t. Compare. You’re not getting the full story from one social media post. That person who seems to have it all together is struggling in some way, just like you. Worry about yourself and your own life, and be happy for others who are doing well.
- Stop caring about what other people think of you. This is the biggest and the hardest one. I struggle with this every single day. But seriously, the opinions of others do not matter. YOU are the one who has to live with the choices you make. It’s your life. It’s your happiness. When you realize that your opinion is the only one that matters, you will be a happier human. Say what you want to say. Be who you want to be. Work where you want to work. Post what you want to post. Eat what you want to eat. Do what you want to do. As long as your choices are making you happy, that’s all that matters. Stop worrying about the opinions of others.
Happiness sometimes seem like it’s impossible to achieve but life is too damn short to be unhappy all the time. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Actively decide each day that you’re going to be happy. Try to implement these tips into your life and see if you notice a difference. Realize that it’s not selfish to focus on your own happiness. Whatever you do, realize that your happiness is important and make it a priority to find ways to live a happier life.