If you’ve ever felt like you’re stuck in a tunnel and you can’t see the light at the end, one thought certain to pass through your mind is how much better life might be if you could get everything you wanted.
How much easier things would be if you got the promotion you wanted, or you lived in a bigger home, or you had the perfect partner?
One thing to take comfort in knowing is you aren’t alone.
In a world that gets progressively more negative as time goes by, people who wish for happiness often get identified as self-centred, narcissistic, or both.
When you feel as if the universe is working against you, and no action you’re taking is getting you the results you want, it can seem like happiness is slipping just outside of your reach, which could add more stress to your situation.
Life is bound to have ups and downs along the way. To help you enjoy and make the most of this lifetime, here are tips to help you get through challenging times and make the most of good times.
Don’t Base Your Happiness on External Factors
Happiness is an inside job, so you have to shift your perspective. If you continually rely on outside factors to determine the level of joy you feel, you will most certainly be left wanting.
Instead of focusing on the things you think will make you feel happier, concentrate on practising self-love and mindfulness to create a sense of inner contentment, regardless of your current situation.
Enjoy Alone Time
For many people, the thought of being alone is intimidating and scary.
While you might not be comfortable being alone all the time, spending some quiet time is a great way to reflect, to give gratitude, and to explore alternative solutions to the challenges you’re facing.
Finding a balance of alone time and time spent with others is critical to maintaining a higher level of happiness in your life. Participating in social activities helps you to connect with others, and solitary time helps build a stronger relationship with yourself.
Don’t Base Your Happiness On Others
One of the frequent mistakes people make is basing their happiness on the actions of others.
The only person who should decide whether you’re happy or not is you.
While it’s great to get the approval and attention of others, you shouldn’t put too much emphasis on this to increase your levels of well-being or self-satisfaction, because people are fickle – they change their minds on a whim.
Instead of waiting for someone else to confirm that everything is alright, take the bull by the horns and start making positive affirmations about yourself. By doing so, you are taking steps to improve your overall sense of self and wellbeing.
Be Gentle And Kind To Yourself
No one can treat you better than you treat yourself. Life is about continually learning things as you go along, and it’s OK to make mistakes along the way.
There is no good reason to be your own worst enemy, especially when the world around you isn’t working the way you wish that it was.
If you are constantly beating yourself up, whether by thinking negative thoughts or having a pessimistic outlook, the happiness you seek will never fully materialise.
When you find yourself mired in stinking thinking, it’s important to soothe yourself into a better feeling place, so that you can return to a more positive and open frame of mind; at the same time, be aware that everybody has these negative thoughts from time to time, so don’t be mad at yourself when they come up.
Don’t Compare Your Life To Others
In the digital age, it isn’t straightforward to avoid seeing how others in our peer group are living.
Social media websites like Instagram and Facebook make it so you can drop into people’s lives virtually any time you want.
When you’re struggling to find happiness, you may perceive that others are doing better than you or have the experiences that you’re dreaming of living. The biggest mistake you can make is comparing your life to others.
If you find yourself uncontrollably scrolling through your newsfeed and having feelings of jealousy, sadness or hopelessness when you see other people’s updates, it’s probably a good idea to put the mental brake on these feelings as soon as possible.
There is no good reason to downplay the importance of your own life! The universe has a peculiar way of providing the things we need, even if it isn’t exactly what we think we want.
If you set goals, and you’re willing to work to achieve whatever objective you’ve set, the chances are good that your efforts will pay off in the long run.
Evaluate Your Relationships
The people and the environment we live in plays a significant role in shaping us into the person we are today. Choose wisely!
When we surround ourselves with positive, supportive and encouraging people who lift us instead of negative people, the feelings of happiness and prosperity come more naturally.
While you might not be able to remove people with a negative attitude from your life altogether, you can significantly reduce the amount of time that you invest in cultivating these relationships.
In some situations, such as the case with co-workers or family, being cordial while keeping a distance can help maintain a harmonious relationship with these individuals.
When someone you care about lets you down for whatever reason, try to be quick to forgive. While whatever slight this person made against you might hurt your heart, if you hold on to this hurt for long, it can significantly impact your overall feelings of happiness.
If you find that someone repeatedly hurts your feelings, talk to them about how you feel to try and reach the heart of the matter that causes them to be hurtful.
By being open and honest, you can evaluate the importance of the relationship and make changes as needed to help shield yourself against more hurt feelings later. In turn, this should help elevate your feelings of happiness in the days going forward.
Extend Your Personal Network
If you find that your personal network is too small, it might be time to find some new hobbies or interests.
By doing so, you get the satisfaction of participating in something fun while meeting new people who weren’t in your network previously. Here are some ideas for things you can do to build your personal network:
Take cooking classes – Everyone needs to eat! Taking a cooking class or two helps you to improve your cooking skills and prowess.
Join a gym – Regular exercise is helpful for defeating feelings of unhappiness. Consider participating in a class to make new friends and burn calories.
Join professional groups – New opportunities frequently spring from people. By joining professional or business groups, you can build your network for more favourable circumstances.
Rethink Your Career
The average person changes their career five to seven times during their lifetime. If you feel stuck in your job or as if you can’t gain any forward movement, this isn’t an unusual feeling to have.
Despising your job certainly never helps to contribute to intense feelings of happiness. However, if you’re like most people, you don’t have the option to quit what you’ve been doing instead of an unsecured financial future.
Luckily, these days people have more opportunities than ever before to learn new skills and trades, sometimes even for free!
Once you learn the needed skills, you will find yourself much better positioned to make your next career move with confidence.
Count Every Blessing
When feeling unhappy, the quickest way to reverse your thinking pattern. Instead of focusing on what is lacking in your life, start counting every blessing.
Good health, family, friends, pets, a roof over your head, and food in your cupboards are all blessings.
By giving gratitude for all the good things you have in life, the more you open doors for other good things to materialise in your life.
A thing about blessings, many times they come disguised as something else entirely. A hardship that seemed nearly impossible to overcome opens the door to brand new opportunities you didn’t imagine possible.
Another way to battle against general feelings of unhappiness is to help others. When you focus on giving back to others, instead of the problems you’re facing, it takes you out of your headspace.
If you enjoy animals, consider volunteering for a local rescue group or pet shelter. Help your fellow man by volunteering to deliver meals on wheels, or other humanitarian efforts. Support the environment by participating in a cleanup event.
You’ll find that when you’re busy putting your attention to projects that are bigger than yourself, it’s much harder to wallow in the throes of unhappiness.
Always remember, the pursuit of happiness looks different to every person. Someone out there is likely to want the things that you have. Even if you don’t get exactly everything you want, the universe will provide you with everything you need.
If you’d like more information on how to train your mind for happiness, feel free to drop me a line on my contact page.