As a writer of a POSITIVE LIFE BLOG… SPIRIT UNBROKEN, I am often asked how others, my readers, can become “happier” in their own lives. In the next few weeks, I will share things that I have said “yes” to and that have helped me to become happier in my own life.
Just by picking a few of these ideas, you too will be on the track to being more content and happier overall. I do not have all the answers, but as I age and look back on my own wins vs. losses things become clearer and worth passing along.
Trying to be perfect is setting the bar too high. It will be impossible to reach and ultimately lowers your self-esteem. You may not feel very happy about how things are going in your life even though they might be going very well indeed. “Perfectionism” for yourself eats at you and your happiness. Embrace your own imperfectness.
- Believing in perfection Often we actually believe what we see about relationships and families by watching “perfect families” and “how love should be” on television and in the movies. It looks so good and wonderful and you want it for yourself. Best selling authors capitalize on this formula over and over again. However, in real life it clashes with reality and it can harm or possibly lead you to end relationships, jobs, projects etc. just because your expectations are fiction. It is very useful to remind yourself: No one has it all in spite of outer appearance! I know this for a fact.
- Go for good Aiming for “perfection” usually winds up in a project or something else progressing very slowly or never being finished at all. Perhaps, go for good instead. Warning: Don’t use good as an excuse to slack off. Simply realize that there is something called “good” and even “very good” and that’s not a bad thing .
Not being able to be yourself, always trying to change for others, or censoring yourself doesn’t feel good at all. It makes life feel so small and limited.
- Supportive people. Spend more time with the people who support your dreams, values, and you as a person. Or at least people who are not antagonistic and negative. Try spending less time with people who normally criticize you.
- Supportive and life-expanding experiences. Change your environment from time to time. Go further and spend more time with sources of information that support your dreams and can give you information that expands and makes your life happier. Accordingly, spend less time with negative and limiting influences.
Things you like
It is important to find some time and energy for the things that make you come alive.
- Mix it up. Try something new, even if it is just something small, each week. Eat a vegetarian dish at lunch if you always eat meat. Listen to some music that isn’t your norm. Go out to a movie, café, or pub with friends if you usually stay in at night. Perhaps it’s the other way around. If you are someone who surrounds themselves with others, try spending quality time… alone. Create variation and expand your comfort zone regularly in small ways, is key to living a happier life. Boredom creates contempt.
- Reconnect. If you used to go fishing, paint, or play the guitar and it really made you come alive… then discover it again. Use an hour for it this week and see if it still brings you joy and makes you come alive.
Pessimism can really limit your life and bring it to a standstill. It can make it feel like there’s no point in trying because it won’t make a difference or you’ll just fail. It can create ceilings and walls made out of glass where there really are none.
- Ask questions. When you’re in what seems like a negative situation, then make something better out of it by asking yourself questions that promote optimism and helps you to find solutions. For example: What is one thing that is positive or good about this situation? Or what is the opportunity within this situation?
- Start off positive. Good influences in your life can make a huge difference. Therefore, start your day off with positive things. A good breakfast, a form of exercise you enjoy, reading or praying if only for a short time. You get the idea!
Forgiving is not always easy and can take time, but there are some things that can make it a little easier.
- You forgive for you. As long as you don’t forgive someone you are forever linked to that person. Your thoughts will return to the person who wronged you and what he or she did…. over and over again. The emotional link between the two of you is so strong and inflicts much suffering in you and, as a result of your inner turmoil, and often in other people around you too. When you forgive, you release yourself.
- Make a habit of forgiving yourself. Do not just forgive others, but also yourself. By forgiving yourself – instead of resenting yourself for something you did a week or years ago, you make the habit of forgiveness more and more of a natural part of you. And so forgiving others becomes easier too.