Happiness comes from within. Although external things can make you feel happy temporarily, no career success or exotic vacation can sustain a long term, resistant feeling of contentment and happiness. Therefore, in order to be a happier person, you have to look inside and work on yourself. So how do you become a happier person? Spa Sophia spoke with psychologists and clients, and found the following six way to be happy...
Forgiveness is good for the heart, literally. It has been associated with lower blood pressure and less stress and anxiety. Although far from easy, hanging on to grudges, resentment and hate is even harder. It takes up a lot of energy, and often spills over to other parts and relationships in your life. So do it for yourself. Here are some tips to help you forgive:
- Remember that forgiving is not condoning. You’re merely letting go of it, not approving it.
- Try to empathize with the person you want to forgive, see things from their perspective. Did they have their own reasons for doing what they did? If possible, talk to them to find out.
- Think of the mistakes you’ve made in your own life. We all make mistakes.
- If communication with the person is not possible or conducive, write all your feelings down in a letter, including why you’re forgiving them. Then dispose of the letter in a way that feels good to you. Throw it in the ocean, burn it, and let it symbolize you letting go of the anger and sadness you had.
2. Be Optimistic
According to research, money and things truthfully don’t make people happy, as long they have enough for the basic needs. And this research included lottery winners. What does contribute is a positive mindset. Here are tips to make looking at the bright side easier:
- Think of the good things every day, whether it’s a lovely breakfast you had or a surprisingly empty freeway on the way to work
- Be grateful for the things you have. Just to be healthy and have friends is already quite a lot.
- Compare yourself to people who have it worse, instead of those who have it better
- Think about what you can learn from the bad things that happen to you, and see them as a lesson
3. Be Kind to Yourself & Your Body
In today’s world we constantly get images how our bodies, homes and lives should be. We’re always expected to chase perfection, which sets you up for never being satisfied. Therefore let go of this and be kind to yourself. Love yourself. Here are some tips:
- Be kind to your body. Don’t go on restrictive diets, just treat it with respect. Work out, eat healthy. Make the best of what your body can be in your situation.
- Embrace who you are fully, both the good and the bad things. You’re a human being, just like everyone else. And your flaws and strengths are all part of that.
4. Let Go of Things You Can’t Control
Yes, LA traffic is awful. And yes, that driver is an idiot. And that extremely long wait for customer service? Not fun. But also not worth getting worked up about. Learn to laugh at life’s annoying situations, and let go of the little things. Also let go of the bigger things in life that you can’t control. Lawsuits, companies downsizing, friends being less available: Just do your part to the best of your ability, and then let things unfold on their own. You can’t control them anyway, so you better spend that time relaxing than worrying.
5. Be In The Moment
Think about this: How often are you actually taking in your surroundings, seeing what’s around you? So much of our lives are spent either thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Or in our phone, while real life passes by around us. So try to be in the moment more. Don’t dwell on the past, it can’t be changed, move on. And don’t worry too much about the future, it’s out of your control. Easier said than done of course. Here are some tips to help you stay present in the moment, when you feel yourself start to worry:
- Pay attention to your breathing. Inhale and exhale consciously.
- Focus on an object in your environment, and study it. Go over all its little details.
- Set your phone on silent and look around you
Happiness is not a given, it's a choice. It takes work, redesigning your thoughts, seeing things in a new light. And of course you'll still have your bad days, but that's okay. Just be extra kind to yourself on those days, and make a new start the next day.