Our world is a mess, there is no denying that. Covid, global warming, poverty, disease… it is understandable that we may all find it a bit overwhelming. So how do you still find happiness and health? Is it as simple as deciding to be Happy?
And, how do we ‘get happy’ ?
-Create health and happiness by choice
-Choose how we think, act and react to the things we cannot control.
How do we put that into practice? Where do we start getting ‘happy’?
These 11 decisions are choices we can make to lead happier and healthier lives:
1. Be nicer to yourself.
Our thoughts can be our enemy. Replace negative, self-deprecating and self-blaming thoughts with ones that are positive. Stop judging and evaluating yourself. Treat yourself with the same kindness, respect and compassion you would show to a friend, or even a stranger. And that kindness extends to taking better care of your body too.
2. Find your passion.
Find out what you love to do and do it. This includes not just your job or career, but also your free time, hobbies and activities. It is important to find the things that bring us joy and spend our time doing them. You are more likely to be successful if you have consistent activities, hobbies and tasks that make you happy. Think about what you wanted to be when you were young, about your perfect job and about the skills and talents you want to utilize. This may mean finding a new career path or new hobbies.
3. Be strong on your own.
Don’t choose a bad relationship over being alone. Many people have a relationship in order to be happy, complete and whole. A better option is to be happy, whole and complete, and then have a relationship.
4. Give up Control
You cannot fully control your world. Don’t waste energy on or worry about the things you cannot control, which are most things. We have little control over what others think, or how they feel or act. We have no clue what will happen in the next month or week or day. Be present in the here and now.
5. Identify and face your fears.
Fear is a huge barrier to progress. Most people know what they fear, but if you don’t, take the time to figure out the thoughts that stop you from doing the things you really want to do. These fears could be of failing, of being in the spotlight, of being judged or rejected, etc. Whatever the fear may be, own it, replace it with positive self-talk and move forward despite it.
6. Know there is no failure.
See failures, mistakes and shortcomings as an opportunity to learn and grow. It is in our moments of ‘failure’ that we have the most to gain and the most to learn. Failure is often the path to becoming more creative, innovative and a fabulous problem solver.
7. Be bold.
It is never too late, go for it and stop making excuses. No matter what age, you can accomplish things and engage in activities that you always dreamed about doing, ones that inspire and challenge you. Make a bucket list of aspirations you had, dreams and hopes you have let go of. Even the small things… Learn horseriding or painting. Ride a bike. That list adds spice to what could be a bland life. Do not be afraid to try new things, wear different hats and step out of your box.
8. Realise perfection is a Myth.
Give up the need to be perfect and redefine success. We cannot be perfect. So why do we try? Often we feel we need to be perfect to be loved, noticed, rewarded, etc. Wrong! No one will ever be perfect and the drive toward perfection can wear us down because it is unattainable. It is our differences and our imperfections that make us who we are.
9. Stop engaging in behaviors that are unhealthy.
We limit ourselves with our thoughts and our actions. This includes a range of things you may be doing that will limit your life: overeating, drinking, not controlling stress, overthinking etc. Whatever your vice may be, take steps to stop now. Use self-control, break bad habits.
10. Stop worrying about the how and just move forward.
You don’t need to have all the answers right now. We fail to take action because we get caught up in the myriad ways of how to take a step forward. You can’t predict your life, nor can you engineer the perfect next step, so stop putting pressure on yourself to figure things out right now.
11. Finally, act…
Stop procrastinating. Been meaning to do something, start your diet, get healthy, try something… Do it now. You can decide to be happy.