It’s important to make someone happy, and it’s important to start with yourself. But before your level of contentment can improve, your choices and actions must improve. If you’ve been struggling to find happiness there’s a good chance… When you feel flustered because someone has received the very thing you want, force yourself to remember how much you have already been given. Remember that there’s plenty for everyone, and that everyone gets one dose at a time. Remember that what happened to someone else has absolutely no bearing on what happens to you. Your success is unique to you. Remember that a wonderful thing has happened to this other person, and if you keep working and pushing forward, something wonderful will also happen to you at just the right time.
1. You let envy get the best of you.
When you feel envious, tell yourself not to feel envious. Be blatant and direct. Tell the ‘why not me?’ voice in your head to quiet down and tell the ‘don’t be silly’ voice to speak up. It really is this simple. You actually prevent envy by addressing it directly and stopping it dead in its tracks.
2. You don’t DO enough.
A significant majority of your anxiety and unhappiness likely stems from a subconscious disappointment in yourself for the great ideas and dreams that have been forever abandoned in your mind.
Although you will sometimes regret the things you carelessly say and do without thinking, you will never regret these things as much as the words and deeds you leave unspoken and undone.
Positive growth only occurs when you stretch yourself. What you think has to affect what you say and do. So say what you need to say and do what you need to do, starting now. Read 1,000 Little Things.
3. You’ve let too many problems fester.
Unresolved problems can quickly suck the life out of you. Yet when you resolve just one small problem, you immediately inject a powerful dose of positive energy into everything else you’re involved in.
Instead of burdening yourself with problems, let them to inspire you to make changes. Instead of wasting your energy worrying, invest your energy in doing. Think about the soothing feeling you get when you finally take care of a something that has needed your attention. This feeling is liberating, and it’s yours for the taking. Allow yourself to experience it by finally getting a problem you’ve been avoiding resolved.
Sure, some problems facing you may take a fair amount of time to resolve, but the steps for doing so are still small and manageable. It’s just a matter of starting.
4. You hold all your feelings hostage.
Anything that’s true in your mind – feelings, fears, etc. – is mentionable to a good friend, and anything that’s mentionable can be more manageable. When you can talk about how you feel, your thoughts become less overwhelming and scary, and more understood. The good friends you trust with these important talks ultimately help you realize that you’re not alone in this world.
Sometimes sitting quietly and listening to a friend with a focused, humble ear is the beginning of a healing journey. At other times, this journey begins when you allow a friend to listen to you.
5. You’ve been ignoring an inner calling.
Passion is a funny thing. No matter how hard you try, you can’t block your inner spirit from the ideas that move you at your core. Trying to do so is an exercise in futility. It’s like tearing your mind and heart away from each other and expecting to feel healthy inside.
Honestly, when it comes to your passions you just have to go for it. Don’t get lost in apprehension. Give yourself a chance. Don’t be afraid to jump if the path in front of you indicates that one is necessary. You can’t safely cross a chasm with a hesitant step. Take the leap and go find the place that you’re wishing for. Read The 52-Week Life Passion Project.
6. Your relationships lack an honest, mutual understanding.
Love is the feeling you have for those you hold in high regard. It can be as light as the quick hug you give a friend or as heavy as the sacrifices you make for your family. Regardless of the type of love you’re dealing with, your primary obligation is to be open and honest – to express the nature of your feelings when such expression would be meaningful.
Love is not inherently burdened with stressful promises and obligations either. The terms you agree to in any loving relationship are defined by what you desire to put into it. In other words, the things you do should be done because you care and because you want to do them.
You get to define the boundaries of your love and your relationships. You get to negotiate and articulate the complexities and contradictions of your feelings and expectations openly and honestly. It’s simply a matter of communicating.
7. You choose to be negative.
Whenever you find yourself falling short on temper and grim with words, whenever you feel yourself slipping into a damp, drizzly November rain in your mind, it’s time to catch yourself before you fall flat on your face. Pull yourself away from the thoughts that make you feel bad – the ones that add zero value to your growth; see how doing so changes your life. You don’t need these negative thoughts; all they have ever given you is a false self that suffers for no reason.
Have patience. Instead of harsh criticism, offer genuinely helpful feedback to both yourself and others. Forgive early and forgive often. Set yourself free from the burden of resentment and move quickly beyond the pain. Learn from your regrets, but do not punish yourself with them. Live beyond the petty, fleeting concerns and focus on the profound possibilities that await your attention. Read Learned Optimism.
What would you add to the list? What struggles have been stealing your happiness? Leave a comment below and let us know.