In my last post, I talked about how simple mindfulness can be. It really is just a wonderful collection of personal practices that are designed to either:
Decrease worry OR increase happiness
And with the powers of these things combined, you end up with the a life you absolutely love and is a perfect reflection of you. Boom!
So let’s focus on the happy part of this equation.
What can you do RIGHT NOW to start pouring the happiness into your life?
To start with, and it took me FOREVER to get the memo on this one…
You aren’t going to have a happy life until you’re happy NOW.
I fought this one bad. Like how does that make any sense? I hate my life right now and I want a new one so why would I put any effort into liking the one that I’m currently stuck in? Life just isn’t being fair to me, none of this is my fault, I’m so hard done by, I deserve so much better, blah, blah, blah…
All that is exactly what went through my head when I first heard this fact (I feel like we need to talk eventually about how this isn’t something you’re taught growing up…) And yes, it does sound exactly what might come out of the mouth of some super irritating spoiled 5 year old.
Where was my responsibility in my own life? I didn’t realize that when you change the way you look at something, what you look at changes.
I look back now and I can still feel that feeling of fighting with life, the struggle, the desperation, the when’s is f#$%ing going to get good already. And all that fighting as doing was pushing the happiness that I wanted further and further away.
So if that’s where you’re at right now, take the advice of someone that’s been there before, give up the fight and try approaching life from a totally new angle. It’s time to get happy!
Here are 8 things you can start doing now to make get happiness pouring into your life:
Take care of yourself
I’ll talk about self-love later which runs a whole lot deeper than self-care (to which this refers) but self-care is an epic first step on the road to loving yourself.
This is just treating yourself with basic respect and it will set the foundation for happiness. I’m talking things like sleeping the recommended 8 hours, minimizing the amount of junk you eat, alcohol you drink and being considerate generally about what you put in and on your body, exercising at least a few times a week to get those endorphins going (scientifically proven happiness right there!) and making sure you feel good about how you look. I hate to get all superficial on you but a nice dress and a bit of bronzer can go a long way in the whole making yourself feel good thing. And feeling good is on the road to happiness.
You will NEVER be happy if you’re dragging around a whole lot of resentment, anger and whatever other negative feelings you might be harboring about people or events that have happened in your past. Now is the time to let them go because all that crap is doing is poisoning you and your life. Ever heard the quote ‘resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies’? Yeah that, it applies to you too.
This relates to my little rant in the intro to this list. You will never be truly happy until you accept (and that means accept responsibility) for where you are right now in your life.
You are powerful. What you think, how you feel and how you act all determine your life. If you accept that you got yourself where you are now you are declaring that you also have the power to change it and create the future you want. Trust me, the faster you do this, the faster your life will change.
Gratitude is only the best thing that ever was. Practice gratitude and you will have no choice but to be happy with your life right now. I don’t care where you’re at right now, there are ALWAYS things to be grateful for.
At a minimum, write a list at the end of each day of at least 5 things you are grateful for. I’d prefer it if you spent your whole day being super aware and noticing all the seriously cool stuff in your life because that alone will give you the most epic life ever, but as a realist, how about you go for somewhere in the middle?
To get you started, appreciate the fact you have some piece of technology that allows you to read these words, not to mention your eyes and brain and the ability you have to think and process what I’m saying, your access to clean water, the roof over your head, your consistent access to food, the sun that shines on your face, the rain, clouds and all the awesomeness in nature around you, everything that goes into the cities where we live, the roads we drive on, the people we love, the services we use, the books we read, hopefully you get the drift… Have gratitude for it all.
Enjoy the present moment
Woohoo, it’s time to get super woo-woo! So yeah, the present moment, right this second, right NOW, is literally the only thing that we have. That meeting next week at work that you’re worrying about, that awkward conversation with your best friend that you keep replaying in your mind…all that does is take you out of this present moment. And as some genius said, ‘worrying is praying for what you don’t want.’ All those thoughts about moments that have past and are yet to come are just wasted energy, bringing about what you don’t want.
It took me ages to really understand this but know that the longer you spend aware and appreciating this moment right now, the better your life will be.
Follow your intuition
Intuition is going with what feels right, ‘using your gut’ as opposed to using logic to make a decision. The thing that is super cool about your intuition is that it knows, like REALLY knows, what is best for you. It’s the real you trying to speak, the you that has been buried under a pile of random baggage that you’ve accumulated in your life thus far.
Following your intuition often means stepping outside your comfort zone (more on that next) and into things that you may fear, like going against others’ (or your own!) expectations of yourself, daring to do something different to those around you, you know, the whole beating to your own drum/following your bliss thing which PS is what we are here to do and where you’ll find the epically awesome life that you’re searching for right now.
Get outside your comfort zone
This people, is a big old life game changer and a seriously awesome place to start if you’re all ‘what the’ about intuition and any of the woo-woo stuff that I’ve been chatting about (and it’s what I plan to bang on to you about for the next few weeks…it will be epic, I promise!).
100% guaranteed that if you get out of your comfort zone you will experience all kinds of feelings of happiness, empowerment, awesomeness and just plain all lit up inside. It’s addictive.
It’s also what made ALL the difference for me in getting unstuck and out of my Quarter Life Crisis. Getting out of your comfort zone is all about taking NEW action, which will bring you all kinds of clarity and start the momentum you need to create the awesome life you want.
So get out there and do stuff that you’ve been putting off, that scares the pants out of you, that you’ve never even considered. DO. IT. ALL. The results will floor you.
During my Quarter Life Crisis I started eating out at restaurants by myself, I took up golf, I said yes to all kinds of random invitations to events, parties and general hang outs that I would not have usually considered. I walked around new neighborhoods, I went on a ridiculous amount of dates, I started horse riding again, and a clothing label of all things… Not going to lie, I had to psych myself up to do a lot of these things but it was FUN and it made me feel alive and as a result I’m living a life that’s even better than the one I dreamed of.
This is something that I have to remind myself about ALL the time. I’m a little bit of a perfectionist and tend to approach anything new through this frame thereby cutting off the opportunity for freedom, fun and happiness.
So if you feel yourself getting serious when implementing any of the above, stop and remember to enjoy this process because happiness will bring you more happiness.
Comment, questions? Please let me know!