With social media came the ability for people to create impossibly perfect lives by only sharing a picturesque ideal of what they want their lives to look like. But the truth is, life is messy and complicated. Bad things happen that can’t be prevented, and situations arise that derail you from living your full potential. Not only that, but many people settle for things in life that definitely don’t make them happy. For instance, staying at a job they hate, or settling for a romantic partner that doesn’t treat them well. No matter what your current situation, we can all use a little more happiness in our lives. These top five secrets can help you find more happiness and create more joy in your life.
1. Be Honest with Yourself
The first step in finding more happiness in your life is to be completely honest with yourself. You’ll want to reflect on what is and isn’t working for you. Do you just go through the motions in life, or are you a fully engaged? What things in your life are not serving you? What circumstances or people are causing you pain and unhappiness? What are the things that you desire most? Take a complete look at who you are.
Sometimes being honest with yourself isn’t always pleasant. For instance, you might find out that you are harboring resentment towards someone and it’s preventing you from being happy. Or maybe you are dealing with some trauma from the past that keeps you from living in the present. Regardless of what you find, be patient with yourself and look at yourself without judgement. Only by taking an honest look at who you really are, and looking at your life from a higher perspective, can you then begin to live authentically.
2. Discover What You Really Want After you’ve reflected on what makes you tick, you’ll start to realize what you really desire and what would make you happy. Really take a look at how authentic you are being and think about ways you can be more authentic. For instance, maybe you are creative person, but your job doesn’t require much creative thought. Try painting as a hobby to unleash that creative spirit. Or maybe you get energized in nature, but you work in an office with no view of the outdoors. Bring nature into your office by adding plants and artwork of beautiful landscapes or try taking up hiking on the weekends.
Be sure to reevaluate your work, relationships, health, finances, etc. and determine any situations that aren’t serving you and look for ways to incorporate what you need, even if that means a total career change or eliminating certain people in your life. No matter what you do, the point is to make sure you are living authentically to your own needs and desires, and not anyone else’s.
3. Eliminate Limiting Beliefs
Another secret to happiness is to get rid of any beliefs that limit you from being your best self. All of us have limiting beliefs we aren’t even aware of. Most of these beliefs have been passed down to us from other people who also aren’t aware. Some common limiting beliefs include, “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” or “No one ever said life is fair.” Both of these beliefs have negative undertones and can cause someone to not try as hard or feel they can’t have what they want. The reality is that we are all conditioned to belief a lot of things that aren’t true and limit us in many ways. Doubts in our own head can keep us from obtaining what we desire. Start noticing how many times a day you say, “I can’t…” Then, try changing all of your can’ts into “How can I?” So, the next time you think, “I can’t run a marathon,” for example, ask yourself, “How can I run a marathon?” You will start to come up with solutions that will bring you closer to running a marathon and accomplishing your goal. When you stop thinking that something is impossible, it’s amazing the solutions you can create!
4. Change Your Perspective
In addition to eliminating your limiting beliefs, you will also want to change your perspective. Did you know that most people’s thoughts consist of lamenting about the past or worrying about what could happen? By changing your perspective, and accepting what is, you can free yourself from the unhappiness you may feel. Accepting what is, whether that be the past, or your current situation, you agree that while your circumstances aren’t ideal, you can’t change it, and you can only move forward from here on out. This means, you can now find solutions and rewrite your story. Take back your power and take action to change what isn’t working in your life.
5. Forgiveness The last secret to finding happiness is to practice forgiveness of yourself and others. Forgiveness is about releasing the anger, resentment, guilt, and jealousy we may feel towards someone else, or even ourselves. Forgiveness is NOT about reconciliation or allowing someone to hurt you over and over again. Understanding that forgiveness is for YOU, not the other person/people involved is key in helping you cultivate more forgiveness. Harboring ill feelings toward someone else, or yourself, can lead to physical ailments, including stress, anxiety, depression, chronic health conditions, auto-immune disease, among many others. You can reprogram your mind to shift your thoughts to look for the positive in your circumstances. Every situation has a lesson that you can learn from. Write down the things you will tell yourself to remind yourself of forgiveness and bring your focus back to your true desires.