Many people are under the mistaken impression that if they looked or acted like someone else or had the great job or partner that someone else has, they would be happier. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. We are all individuals with unique characteristics and what works for one will not necessarily work for another. And even if you could have what someone else has, chances are you will not be happy.
No matter how unhappy you are with your present circumstances, you can learn to be happier and more fulfilled in your life.
Focus on your own unique characteristics and talents. Take time to identify and appreciate what it is that makes you unique and wonderful. List all the positive aspects of your lifestyle, hobbies, friends, and job. Discovering what you love to do most and what you like about yourself will make you feel much more comfortable and confident about yourself. Whether it’s your work ethic, free spirit, or a friendly smile, find at least ten things you like about yourself and write them down. Think about the talents, characteristics, and accomplishments you have that sets you apart from others. When negative thoughts enter your mind, instantly replace them with one of the positive things on your list. For example, instead of thinking “I’m not good looking enough”, you can say “I have a great smile”.
Make a daily habit of finding all the things in your life to be grateful for. Being grateful immediately helps you think of all the wonderful things, opportunities, and people in your life. Say “thank you” often and especially to those you love and appreciate. Give thanks every day for all your strengths, abilities, skills, blessings, and opportunities. A gratitude journal is a great way to keep track of everything in your life you are thankful for. You will be amazed how quickly you can fill a page when you start. Concentrate on your family, home, friends, and health. Every day add the things that you are grateful for that day, even if it’s something as basic as hot water for a shower or a warm bed to sleep in – things we often take for granted.
Love who you are and take time to do the things that make you happy. Have a dialogue with yourself and ask yourself every day: “what can I do for you today to make you happy?” Then go with your gut feeling. It could be something as simple as a cup of tea, a soothing soak in a bubble bath, or taking a walk-in nature.
Form a healthy body image and do things that build your self-esteem. Focus on the positive aspects of your lifestyle, job, friendships, and hobbies. Avoid trying to look like the models on TV. We are all unique and there is a lot more to life than just looking great. Take the focus off your body and concentrate on what makes you happy, and you will become happier.
Foster strong and close relationships with people who help you feel more confident and satisfied with your own lifestyle and choices. According to these Illinois BlueCross and BlueShield Psychiatrists, being with like-minded people will make you feel accepted, appreciated, and happier.
Bring laughter into your life and spend time with people who love to laugh. When your life is filled with laughter, no matter how dire the circumstances are, laughter has the power to defuse any situation and make you feel better instantly. Laugh at your own mistakes and laugh with your friends. Children are great at getting you to laugh. Dance around with them like a fool, tickle their tummies and just enjoy the pure joy of laughing with them. Go to comedy shows and see funny movies that give you a belly ache from laughter.
Love yourself unconditionally by coming to terms with your flaws. Everyone has weaknesses and flaws but often we obsess over perceived flaws. Embrace your flaws and do what you can to improve them. Some flaws can be changed by working on them. Set yourself manageable goals and use tools to help you change. For example, if you are always late for appointments or forget things, try to use a daily planner or download an app to help organize your day. Set alarms to remind you of important dates or when you need to do something. When you change the things that make you unhappy about yourself you will automatically be happier.
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