We all want to be happy, but what is happiness? Those in the know define happiness as a state of wellbeing, contentment, and satisfaction. If you’re going to live a happy life, you need to work on being content with yourself and the world around you. The three factors that will help are your sense of control over your life, community engagement, and personal development.
A Sense of Control
The first step towards happiness is to work on your behaviour. If you want to achieve a state of contentment, you need to control your behaviour and life. By having control, you can work towards a more positive future by using positive words and doing positive actions. When you feel in control, this will enable you to be less fearful and face the trials and tribulations that life throws at us. Without feeling in control over your life, it is hard to feel happy.
Another essential factor to achieving happiness is community engagement. When you are involved with a group of people, you will develop a sense of belonging. This feeling of belonging helps people find their niche in life, and it provides value to their life by working towards a common goal. Participating in community events or just talking with your friends can quickly build a sense of contentment and happiness.
Personal development goes hand in hand with the other two factors. Personal development is about moving forward in life. By personal growth, you can learn new things and have new experiences. Personal growth can help you discover new things about yourself and others, and this will help you grow as an individual. When you are learning about life, you will be able to manipulate your life better. Personal development can help you become happier.
At least that’s what the professionals say, but it seems there must be more for me. How can I feel happy and content one day and ready to step off the earth the next? I have spent years looking for solutions that will help me become more content and happier and stay in a primarily cheerful range. So let’s talk about a few of the things I have found that work for me.
1. Meditation or creative visualisation
Meditation is a technique that you may find challenging to use initially. However, it is worth persisting with because studies prove this type of meditation can drastically improve a person’s happiness. Some people prefer to use creative visualisation. This type is somewhat similar to meditation. You visualise the result before it happens and what you want the person doing or thinking when this happens. But creative visualisation has even more significant potential for personal development because it requires focusing on your feelings and thoughts while making your goal happen.
2. Learn to love yourself before you love others
Loving yourself is more of a spiritual/religious concept, but it has helped me greatly. I used to be self-hating, which is the complete opposite of loving yourself. If you love yourself, you will naturally be attracted to others who treat themselves well, which will make you happier. And by loving yourself, I mean to get to really know yourself and then practice accepting that person warts and all. We are not all 100% light or 100% Dark. We are a complex mixture of light and dark, and by focusing on our best qualities, we help lessen the impact of our less desirable ones.
3. Focus on the positive
I know it can be hard to do, but focusing on the positive things in your life helps you appreciate what you already have and realize that many other people have much less than you do. Instead, focus on what is going well in your life each day instead of the negative things around you. Remember that worrying about something does not help you; it only makes whatever it is worse. A positive outlook was a big one for me; for years, my self-talk has been very negative. I was more likely to tell people what isn’t working rather than what is working in my life. For me, this is a journey and something that remains a daily challenge.
4. Take a break from the news
If you are getting anxious about the world around you, then you are not ready for happiness. When I was most anxious, I would get into bed and read the news, but this would only make me feel worse. Instead of doing this, I now find that it is best to turn all electronic devices off. If I need to check what is going on in the world, I do so by reading an article on a news site or scrolling through Facebook.
5. Get out into nature and enjoy the sun
When I am happy, I find that I feel more relaxed, and my stress levels drop. Just being outside in nature can make me a happier person. The sun has a positive effect on my well-being as it helps with the production of serotonin and CRH in the brain.
6. Enjoy your hobbies
If you make time for things that make you happy, you can do many things that I have mentioned above and massively improve your well-being. If you get bored quickly, then take it easy with your hobbies, but try and find new ways to expand on what you already do.
7. Laugh properly
I don’t know if this is correct, but something about laughing makes me feel so much better. Never underestimate the power of laughter. It can make you happier. Laughter is like jumping into a pool of sunshine and feeling warm all over. I was a few years into my first marriage when it suddenly dawned on me that I had no idea how to laugh. I could fake laugh with the best of them, but that genuine deep from the belly laugh was a mystery to me. So I had to learn how to laugh, and it has been one of the greatest gifts to me.