Happiness is a State of Mind
You've seen people stay positive and happy while going through tragic situations. You've seen images from around the world of people with absolutely nothing, yet they are smiling and laughing.
Have you ever wondered how these people can be happy despite everything that's happening to them and those they love?
It's because they choose to be happy.
According to Marcus Aurelius, “Happiness depends on the quality of your thoughts.” Scientists have been studying happiness for a long time and there is a consensus that Marcus's view is correct.
So, instead of asking why these people are happy, you should be asking yourself, how you too can be happy, no matter the circumstances.
Here are some ways to help you find more happiness.
If something is making you unhappy and you have the power to change it. Do it now. Don't give it more time to drag you down. Start taking action to address the issue and fix it.
If you're unhappy with a situation or a person and you have no way to change it, ask yourself if you really need it in your life. Sometimes you have to let go in order to be happy.
Find a Solution
If there's a problem, there is a solution. You may not have the power to fix the problem, but someone does. Find the solution and implement it. Remember, sometimes the solution is acceptance. This is especially true if the real solution requires someone else to accomplish it. Accept that you need help and ask for it. Your happiness is worth it.
Don't Fake It
It’s never a good idea to hide your true feelings and fake happiness. Being happy doesn’t mean you’re void of other emotions. It means being content and in charge of as much of your life as possible.
Live Without Expectations
One of the biggest killers of happiness is expectations. When you make decisions and do things without expecting something in return, you give yourself the freedom to make choices based on what you want rather than what others say you should want. You take control of your decisions. You reduce the chances of feeling anger or disappointment in the expected outcome. You allow yourself to live in the moment and enjoy life.
If you’re still not convinced, look around the world. You’ll see many people who have much less than you and yet are still happy. It may seem they have no real reason to be happy and yet they are. You too can be happy. You just need to set your mind to it. Work each day to feel gratitude. Take control of what you can and don't worry about what you cannot. Enjoy the life you've been given.
Mindset Hacks: Become More Resilient
Do you know what the difference is between two people who deal with the same struggles in their life, but one person moves on from it, and the other person lets it negatively affect their life? It is all about resilience. This is the ability to bounce back from a setback or obstacle, no matter how severe or traumatizing it seemed at the time.
From a death in the family to bankruptcy or being involved in a natural disaster, unexpected events happen every day. Everyone has dealt with them, but it is about what you do about it, and whether or not you let it keep you from moving forward and moving on.
Here are some ways to work on your mindset and become a more resilient person.
You Are Already Resilient in Many Ways
To start with, look at the ways you are already a resilient person. Think of any difficult time in your life that you got through, extreme stress you overcame, traumas you have healed from. That shows resilience! This is not easy to do, no matter how difficult the situation was for you. A lot of people never get over certain things in their life, so by overcoming obstacles and challenges, you are already ahead of the curve.
Embrace Change and Growth
People think that resilience is difficult when you have a lot of unexpected tragedy or events in your life, but you aren’t special and you aren’t different. Everyone experiences them, but those who overcome them, are the ones that can embrace change and understand that it is important for personal growth.
Take forced change in your life as a change to grow and an opportunity to be someone better. There are so many ways to live your life, so many choices to make. And so many different ways of finding success and happiness.
You Can’t Control Everything That Happens to You
You can control how you react and what you think and feel, but you can’t control what other people do. Just like you have no say on the weather, you can’t prevent every bad thing from happening in your life. Instead of being upset about something you had no control over, just focus on how you react to it, and what you do afterward.
Look for Ways to Take Mental Breaks
You work hard and have a busy life – that means your mind needs a break as much as your body does. If during your downtime, you are still thinking heavy thoughts and never give your mind a rest, it’s going to be really hard to make necessary mindset shifts. Give your mind a break by doing something creative, having time for yourself, and having “no work” days. Take some time away from social media and spend time with others.
You are Responsible for Your Own Life
When life gets derailed, unexpected things happen, and you feel like other people have a strong influence on your happiness and success, you are going down the wrong path. You need to stop the blame game, stop playing the victim, and step up. This is your life, and you are the only one responsible for it. If you aren’t happy, content, productive, or successful, it really all comes down to you, the choices you make, and how you react to things that happen in your life.
Now is the time to take full responsibility of your own life if you want to make changes. Nobody is going to do it for you.
Put a Stop to the Blame Game
The blame game is something everyone is guilty of at some point, but when you make this a regular habit, you are only sabotaging yourself.
Your life is nobody else’s responsibility or their fault. Sure, people can influence certain things in your life, but at the end of the day, this is YOUR life. This means all decisions and mistakes are your responsibility, and you need to own that.
Once you can admit that you are blaming other people or other situations for your own decisions, you can finally feel like you have more control over your life.
It’s Time for the Complaining to Stop
Another bad habit that might be keeping you from being fully responsible for your actions is when you complain too much. This includes silent complaining you do in your own head, ranting or venting on social media, and complaining to friends and loved ones. Nobody wants to hear you do nothing but whine about your bad luck or mistakes you have made or how tired you are.
Stop the complaining and use that time and energy for action instead. Become more productive, find inspiration to move forward, and let everything else go. Everyone has something to complain about, but that doesn’t mean you should.
Give Up on the Excuses
A big part of taking responsibility for your life is putting a stop to all the excuses. These can often seem like valid reasons, until you really think about it realistically, then you understand they are nothing but excuses. Lying to yourself and trying to come up with “reasons” for why you can’t try harder, be courageous, or take the next step in your life, is only going to hurt YOU. And you are the one who will have to face the consequences of that.
Stop Taking Things So Personally
Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t easy to do in the beginning. But when you take offense to everything said to you or about you, you are the only one who is going to suffer. Remember that you can’t control what other people say or think. That is more about THEM, not YOU. Practice letting things go and just moving on.
Are You Self-Sabotaging?
You have enough to deal with in your life when it comes from outside sources, so the last thing you should be dealing with are obstacles you created yourself. Self-sabotage is much more common than people think, and is often so subtle that you don’t really you are doing it. Keep reading if you want to learn about the signs of self-sabotage, and how to stop this toxic bad habit.
Common Signs of Self-Sabotaging
The cruel thing about self-sabotage is that it is pain you are causing to yourself, but don’t always realize it. Here are some common signs that you have been sabotaging yourself and your own life.
You Focus Only on the Negative
The thing about being negative or having this type of mindset, is that it is so subtle, you don’t realize how much it is harming you. The more negative thoughts and feelings you have, the more you start to listen to your own mind, and don’t make room for positive thoughts.
Procrastinating is definitely a way of hurting you and your life, and absolutely can be considered self-sabotage. When you procrastinate, you are hurting the future you. You don’t get as much work done, miss deadlines, even potentially hurt your chances at a promotion at work. It keeps your business from going, and keeps you from reaching your goals. Being lazy is NOT going to help you.
You Are Always the Victim
Playing the victim isn’t going to get you sympathy or attention – it is only going to hurt you in the long run. Stop assuming you have bad luck, bad things only happen to you, or that your misfortune is the fault of other people. Are you an adult who can make your own decisions? If so, you’re not the victim.
You Compare Yourself to Others
Self-sabotage comes in many forms, and it isn’t always black and white. Sometimes, it is something that seems harmless, but is hurting you every time you do that. One example of this is when you are comparing yourself to others. You are not them, they are not you. You have different life experiences, different skills and talents, different friends. It doesn’t matter who they are or what they do – all you should worry about is what YOU do.
Once You Reach a Goal, You Lose it
Do you find that whenever you reach a goal or at least make progress towards one, you tend to then lose it? This is often from your own self-sabotage, something you do whether from a fear of success or loss of your motivation and focus. This is not only a sign of self-sabotage, but a side effect of it.
What You Can Do About it
Like anything else in your life, you are the one in control of your actions. Remember that you can stop self-sabotage and actually find happiness if you’re willing to put in the work. Here are some things you can do to stop this toxic habit:
Take Full Responsibility and Take Back Control
Taking responsibility for your actions is crucial, and is a topic that will keep coming up when you learn about how to improve your life. The reason is because people are easy to jump to negativity, assumptions, and excuses, but rarely take responsibility for their own actions and reactions.
If you are sabotaging yourself, that has nothing to do with anyone else, what happened to you in the past, or your “bad luck”. YOU did it, and only YOU can stop it.
Sometimes, those old habits of self-sabotage are hard to prevent. This is okay, as long as you don’t follow it through until the end. The more self-aware you become, the more you are able to recognize the signs of sabotaging your success early on, so that you can stop it dead in its tracks.
Do you notice that when you lose a few pounds, you instantly feel the urge to binge? There is probably a sign before this happens that lets you know what is about to happen. Look for that sign so you can be aware of it.
Let Go of the Past – You Don’t Live There Anymore
Although you don't control everything that happens to you, you have complete control over how you react to events. This control extends to events in your past. The past can have an incredibly strong hold on you, if you let it. Here's how to break the chain:
Let It Go
You have to start the process of getting out of the straitjacket of your past by declaring to yourself that you're going to let it go. It's as simple as that...at least to start. The point is that admitting that you want to move on from your past is a necessary stepping stone to everything that will follow.
Part of choosing to let something go is reclaiming control over your own story and acknowledging that, although something may have happened yesterday, you don't have to let it continually affect your today and tomorrow. That can be a beautiful thing as long as you have the power to forge ahead.
Avoid the Victim Mentality
Too often, when things from the past have a tight hold over us it's because we've, consciously or unconsciously, taken on the role of a victim. Part of this is down to fear, irresponsibility, or an unwillingness to take responsibility for something that happened in the past.
Analyzing your past isn't intrinsically bad, but spending a lot of times brooding about something bad that happened without offering any kind of new perspective or life lesson is definitely not product. It might even promote the kind of victim mentality and disempowerment that you're trying desperately to avoid on some level.
A lot of times, being the victim can feel good to people, as sick as that sounds. There's something reaffirming in blaming others and thinking that you were in the right after all and that, if you'd only been given a break or two, things would have turned out in your favor.
The trouble with taking a sense of victimhood to heart is that it keeps you stuck in your past and held in thrall to circumstances. People who forge their own path aren't prone to the victim mentality because they see themselves as the movers and shakers of their own reality. It's time to take back control over your own life.
Learn to Forgive
Going hand in glove with this kind of victim mentality is bitterness. That might sound strange at first, but oftentimes when people take on a sense of chronic victimhood they're extremely bitter at someone or something in their past as well. This all goes with a sense of disempowerment.
Instead of being stuck in a sense of victimhood, you need to choose to let things from the past go and forgive other people. The thing to realize is that other people were probably doing the best that they could do at that particular time.
There's a really good chance that they didn't mean to hurt or wrong you at all. It's time to forgive people from your past and embrace an empowering future.
How to Get Out of Your Head
Developing a mindset where you are strong, positive, and enlightened will require you to get out of your own head. If you are someone who tends to focus heavily on your thoughts and feelings, over-analyzes everything, and basically lives out detailed scenarios all in your imagination with a lot of assumptions, you are probably doing some big self-sabotaging.
When you live in your head like this, you make a lot of unfair assumptions, you turn small things into catastrophic things, and you probably deal with a lot of stress and anxiety as well. If you want to move forward and stop feeling like everything is falling apart, these tips can help.
Stop the Spiraling Thoughts
You know the ones we’re talking about. When you have one small thought that turns into a worry, that then spirals into a complete panic attack. Stop doing this to yourself. You are causing these thoughts to get out of hand, which is going to make it almost impossible to stop getting stuck inside your head.
Instead, try to stop the thoughts before they begin to spiral out of control. Recognize the signs of when this tends to happen, journal when you think you need to. Write down all your worries and concerns, but in a more constructive way. Try to remain neutral about it, as if you aren’t too concerned, but need to vent the thoughts out.
Learn How to Practice Mindfulness Correctly
Mindfulness has been a trending word for a few years, but many people still don’t completely understand it. Mindfulness might share some traits with meditation, but it is not the same thing. Mindfulness just means you are in the moment, whether it is a good or bad moment. You understand that what you think or feel right now is only in this present moment, it doesn’t have to define what you do after the moment is gone.
A really easy way to practice mindfulness is when you are eating. Sit in silence during a meal, and just concentrate on the food itself. The way it looks, its smell, the texture and taste. How your stomach feels while you are eating and shortly afterward. This practice can help a lot when you are first learning how to use mindfulness in your daily life.
Take More Control Over Your Thoughts and Feelings
You are driving the car that is your thought process and mindset, nobody else. Take more control over it, stop those out-of-control thoughts and feel what you choose to feel. Be the one behind the wheel by steering your thoughts one way or another. Especially when you sense the aforementioned spiraling of thoughts that tends to cause a lot more emotional issues.
Visualization is an excellent tool when you are working on your mindset, particularly when you have trouble getting out of your own head. Visualize yourself being a strong, resilient, calm person. When you get stuck inside your head and feel the anxious thoughts reeling, take a step back and visualize that the panic gone and that all is right with the world.
7 Ways to Stop Looking for Validation
Are you someone whose mood and entire day is ruined if you try to get approval from someone, and don’t get the response you wanted? If so, this is a big red flag that you are living your life trying to get validation from others, instead of from yourself. The only person who should validate you is yourself. You know yourself better, your skills and talents, your amazing traits, and your abilities. It is natural to want approval from others, but when you rely on that for your own happiness, you are only going to be disappointed.
Here are some different ways to stop looking for validation from others, and finally trust your own instincts.
1. Compliment Yourself Often
If you don’t want to get validation from others, that means validating yourself. What better way to do this than compliment yourself? The more you talk kindly to yourself and compliment yourself, both inside and out, the less you will feel you need validation from other people. This takes practice, but soon you will realize ALL you need is your own approval and acceptance.
2. What do You Want Other People to Say About You?
This is a good way to start being kinder to yourself and get out of the practice of looking for approval from others. Start by asking yourself what you hope someone else will say to you or about you. How would they validate you? Specifically, what do you want them to say?
Write it down, ands tart saying that to yourself.
3. Celebrate All Your Victories
Stop telling yourself there is nothing good about you or that you don’t deserve to be happy and kind to yourself. YOU DO. You just need to stop with all the excuses and negative self-talk. There is a LOT to celebrate about yourself, going far beyond your physical appearance. Think about your successes and triumphs, your skills and talents, things you love to do, what an amazing friend you are, how you have helped people.
When you identify your different victories, celebrate them. Celebrate them yourself, celebrate them with others, be proud of them.
4. Build Strength and Stop Looking for Approval
When you start struggling to not look for validation from other people, that is when you know you need to build your strength. We are talking about your inner strength here. Becoming someone who doesn’t care what other people think about you, how you look, what you do, or how you spend your time. This is your life, nobody else’s, so stop living for other people. They have their own lives to worry about.
5. You Know Yourself the Best
Another reason why you shouldn’t worry about validation from others is because you know yourself the best. Sure, people might have their opinions of you, but what do they know? NOTHING. What people see in brief glimpses doesn’t represent you or what you have accomplished, so that opinion is useless.
6. Selfies Should Be Fun
Have fun with your selfies! There is nothing wrong with wanting to make edits to feel more comfortable, as long as you are only doing it for yourself. Stop worrying about the right pose, the most flattering angle, smoothing out every line and wrinkle. You are a human being who is beautiful how you are, and as long as YOU like how you look, screw everyone else.
7. Practice Self-Awareness
Finally, try to have more self-awareness. This means looking past all those little judgments you tend to have of yourself, and be realistic. Celebrate your victories, appreciate yourself, flaws and all, and look beyond the surface. When you are more self-aware, you have a better understanding of how amazing you are, and you won’t need ot be told that by someone else.
How to Keep Other People from Influencing Your Mindset
It is hard enough dealing with your own thoughts and feelings, ad controlling your own mindset, but when you allow others to dictate how you feel as well, you are destroying it unnecessarily. People can influence a lot in your life, both good and bad. There is nothing wrong with taking someone’s opinion, asking for help, or even accepting criticism if it is constructive.
The problem is when you allow these opinions from others to completely derail you. When they bring you down, cause stress, make your anxiety worse, and create an inner dialogue of negative self talk.
If you feel like your lack of progress or happiness in your life is because of other people – now is the time to stop letting other people have so much control over you.
Don’t React Right Away
When someone says something negative to you, whether it was a little constructive criticism or a straight up insult, don’t react right away. This is the best way to control how you react and think about what someone else has to say. If you don’t immediately react, you not only prevent yourself from saying something you will later regret, but you can actually help control your own emotions. By not reacting, you aren’t going to let yourself be affected by it. Just let it float right past you and remind yourself it doesn’t matter.
Avoid People Who Provoke Negative Thoughts
There are always going to be certain people who have nothing nice or helpful to say. Why worry about them? Just ignore them and get them out of your life if necessary. No matter how much inner strength you have, there are always going to be people who try to push your buttons and bring you down. These people are unhappy in their own lives, so they take it out on others. Just avoid them – they will never be helpful or supportive to you.
Remember Your Opinion is the Most Important
The only opinion you need to worry about is your own, end of story. Sure, it helps to get a little guidance and support from others, but it should stop there. When it gets to the point where you aren’t asking for advice from others, but they still like to tell you what to do or not to do, bring you down, or give rude criticisms, that is when you should ignore them completely and just worry about how YOU feel about it.
Other People’s Views are Their Own
If you still need a little help with understanding how other people should not influence YOUR mindset, remember that their views and opinions are their own. They really have nothing to do with you or what you are trying to accomplish. You aren’t able to please everyone, and not everyone will like you. That is the beauty of being an individual, a human being. That’s okay! Just be yourself, do your own thing, and worry about your own views.
You are the Only One in Control of Your Emotions
Do you often feel out of control, or like you are just a sensitive, emotional person? Do you think the way you think and feel is because of what other people do or just bad luck? If this sounds like you, then YOU are the problem. You have full control over your thoughts, mindset, and even your emotions. Yes, unexpected things in life can happen to derail you and make it a little harder to gain control, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. At the end of the day, the only one who can tell you how to think and feel is YOU.
Keep reading if you want to learn about controlling your emotions and finally take responsibility.
Adjust Your Thinking
Yes – you can absolutely change your thoughts and how you think about things! Stop making excuses and assuming the way you are now, is how you will be forever. IT can be hard to deal with emotional stress sand other events that tend to affect your emotional state, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change things around.
Now is a great time to analyze what is going on in your mindset. Are you overly negative and pessimistic? Do you tend to play the victim a lot? Do you make assumptions, whether or not they could be true? These thought patterns might seem innocent enough, but more often than not, YOU are the reason you feel bad, not other people or even situations that you find yourself in.
You are in Control of How You Respond
Another way to get in control of your emotions is in how you respond to things. This is both internally and externally. Even if you don’t say anything out loud when someone says something to offend or insult you, you are still internalizing it. You are telling yourself it makes you sad or depressed, that it is worsening your anxiety, that people are out to get you.
Start adjusting how you respond to things. Start by not responding right away – whether it means what you say or what you think and feel. Remind yourself that things are often not as they seem, and your own negative thinking could be making it worse. Self-sabotage is the unfortunate result.
Overthinking is Toxic
There are many different ways to feel like you are losing control of your emotions, and overthinking is a big one. The problem with overthinking is that it is subtle, and you feel like you are doing a good thing. You tell yourself that you are just trying to work through something, figure things out, and make sense of your life.
But more often than not, you are just lying to yourself, and instead using overthinking as a way to create excuses for yourself. Overthinking often leads to stress and anxiety, and is yet another method of self-sabotage.
You Aren’t Psychic – Stop Acting Like it
This goes hand-in-hand with overthinking. Stop assuming you know people’s motives and can predict the future. You have NO idea what will happen if you try something new, change jobs, get out of your comfort zone, or end a partnership. You aren’t psychic, and all you are doing is making empty assumptions that are only going to bring you down.
Get Out of Your Own Way and Stop Making Excuses
When you make excuses for who you are, what you do, and how you spend your time, you are just lying to yourself. These are still excuses, even if you have convinced yourself they are valid reasons. Here are some ways to stop making excuses and finally get out of your own way.
You’re Not Special
This is a really hard truth that takes a lot of work to accept, but you need to understand that you are not special. You have many unique talents and skills, but you are not special in the way that you are some exception. Excuses you tell yourself about how even if it has worked for other people, it couldn’t possibly work for you, is just a way to get out of trying.
How do you know? Are you psychic? Do you think you are so different from everyone else? If you do the work, and you try your hardest, you have done all you can do. There is NO reason you can’t accomplish what other people have accomplished, unless you keep holding yourself back with these lame excuses.
Identify Your Excuses
If you know you make a lot of excuses for why you are not putting in the effort or trying to face your fears, then it is time to identify all the excuses you tell yourself. This can be done in your mind, though it is easier to find clarity by writing it down.
Find a journal or notebook and just write down all the “reasons” you think you can’t do something, why life has not worked out, and where you think your life went wrong. Think of WHY your life is the way it is right now.
Now look at your list – those aren’t reasons. They are not obstacles. They are EXCUSES. Opportunities for you to lie to yourself and allow challenges in your life to keep you from being who you can be.
Your Misfortune is Yours Alone
It is not uncommon to feel like you are just unlucky in life, that things are worse for you than other people, and that those truths are good enough reason for you to make excuses. But guess what? This is total crap. This has nothing to do with “bad luck”. You are not a victim of circumstance, you are instead using situations you have been in as a way to get out of doing what you need to do.
If this is how you want to spend your life, go ahead, but you don’t get to complain about it anymore. Making excuses is a form of self-sabotage and is only causing you to get in your own way and block your own happiness.
Take Responsibility and Get on with Your Life
If you want to get on with your life, stop with the excuses and take responsibility. The majority of things that happen in your life are at least partly your fault, even if it’s a decision you made that caused the “misfortune”. Look at whatever you are complaining about with fresh eyes and understand the part you played in it. This is how you will get out of your own way and move on.