How to stay in charge of your happiness
Of all the things that we want I’d say happiness is top 3 of the most sought after. We like happiness. We like how it makes us feel. And when we have it we feel like we can do anything. Happiness may not make us forget our troubles but it sure doesn’t let our troubles take center stage. Yet like any feeling, happiness dwindles and I, like many people, have had a fair share of unhappiness. This year my only resolution was to get healthy both mentally and physically and strangely this resolution led to a lot of happiness. Here’s what I’ve discovered about my own happiness.
1) Accept your reality.
It may feel counterintuitive because most of our realities may not be pleasant, but a lot of my unhappiness has come with trying to resist what was making me unhappy. Not accepting the situation for what it was would make my mind race into all the “could have beens, should have beens” instead of what is. Accept that which makes you sad. I was unhappy with my weight gain, with my skin, with my state of mind but I kept going out, eating and drinking things that weren’t healthy, not exercising because deep down I was dealing with a broken heart. I’ve since confronted the hurt that has led me to focus on getting healthy. Confront your unhappiness so you can get back on your journey to happiness.
2) Move your body.
This brings me to the most obvious thing, moving your body and getting a burst of endorphins. I can’t remember a time where I left a physical activity and feeling overwhelmed with sadness. Our bodies are made to keep going and our brains reward us with endorphins. As so poignantly put by Elle Woods “ Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” so if you don’t want to shoot your husband or anyone else for that matter, get moving. You don’t have to do anything vigorous, but we are meant to experience life on a spiritual, mental and physical level so get up and move!
3) Maintain your boundaries
Many of us struggle with drawing our boundaries and more importantly keeping them because we don’t want to end a relationship. I had to draw a boundary with someone I love and it was very hard but this person when allowed to be too close to me led me to a lot of unhappiness and it was either their feelings or mine. You need to remember that your peace matters, there’s rarely a moment of our contentment and happiness that is not associated with peace. Being around people who don’t disturb your peace of mind is not only empowering but it keeps you focused on excelling in your life. You can love another at a distance, but not yourself.
4) Find your power in powerless moments
This is a hard one but we have to accept that not everything and everyone around us is going to be fun or pleasant. Everyday events outside of your control are going to happen but you have to keep exercising how much you let them affect you. As I’ve mentioned above accepting your reality is important but how you react to that reality is even more important. Things are always happening, you could find out about a cheating partner, you could have an ailing parent, you could get a rejection letter in the mail, but you need to look for the power you have in all situations. Sometimes it’s letting someone go for good, being with your mom in hospital, creating a new dream for your life. A friend of mine once said to me “you’re never really stuck” and it struck me. I’m never really stuck, there’s always an alternative. It may not be pleasant but you can still control how you come out of an experience.
5) Stay present in your happiness.
Lastly I think we need reminding in staying present when we are happy. Happiness is meant to be embraced. Feel it, let it seep through your skin and into your veins. Waiting on sadness when you’re happy is a waste of memories. Be in the moment. Meditation and exercise have really helped me to stay present because they demand your focus and that’s permeated in so many aspects of my life. Our lives deserve to be cherished and adored by us while we get the privilege of living them. Be authentic in your experiences, stop focusing on the past and the future so much, we genuinely don’t have control over these things. Stay in yourself, hold onto that divine energy and embrace it.