All human beings seek one thing: happiness. Interestingly enough, not many are able to pinpoint what exactly does being happy mean to them. What could they add to or remove from their lives to be happier. Most people define financial success as happiness; others associate popularity to happiness. But money and attention are far from bringing true joy, they’re just ego boosters. Ego is a dangerous thing: people awaiting to have their ego flattered usually suffer from low self-esteem issues. They compare themselves to other people, they live off of people’s perceptions of them; they do too much to impress and catch people’s attention; When they don’t obtain the appraisal they desperately seek, they get frustrated, sad, they judge and question themselves.
Can you imagine how much you hurt yourself by waiting for someone else to validate the human being that you are? Do you realize how bad you try to look like everybody else when you were made unique and your only job on earth is to proudly stand out from the crowd of lookalikes, be fully comfortable in your skin, at peace with the person that you are and focused on accomplishing your destiny?
The moment you put your happiness in other people’s hands; when your joy depends solely on people’s opinion of you, you put yourself in a toxic atmosphere of constant stress. Every single time you accomplish something with the intention of showing off, getting validation, or praise from other people, you are expecting someone to give you the love, praise, tap on the shoulder you should be giving yourself. Self-love is not about loving yourself so much you become arrogant and believe you are superior to everyone else. It’s actually quite the opposite. Self-love is about accepting who you are as a person and knowing what you want in life, or relentlessly trying to figure it out. Self-love means acknowledging what differentiates you from the crowd, while celebrating your uniqueness. Self-love means working towards being the best version yourself while serving others. Your happiness must not depend upon whether the world likes you or not. Rather, you must act with unwavering confidence, conviction, passion, compassion and love and everything else will fall into place.
Happiness takes time, effort, patience and a willingness to be excellent in every aspect of your life, because you are never fully happy when you do things halfway. Happiness necessitates that you seek in the depth of your soul what is your life purpose; what were you born to do; once you’ve found the answer, set up a plan to achieve your goal. To find true happiness, you will need to align your thoughts, words, actions and attitude with the firm intention to require more from yourself: take better care of yourself, fill up your cup with so much self-love that it spills over to fill up other people’s cup; be kinder, surround yourself with people who bring the best out of you, who motivate, inspire and elevate you. Work harder. Always leave people, situation and tasks with a proud feeling that you did the best you could. Distance yourself from mediocrity. We live in a time where mediocre behaviors are encouraged and easy obtention of things is promoted. All great achievements require time, consistent effort and experiences to be built. Don’t be in a hurry; be determined, disciplined and beware of laziness, for it will be your worst enemy in your quest to happiness. In order to be happy, you must be at peace with who you are now, while working towards becoming the woman you aspire to be. Confidence, peace of mind, optimism and openness to give and receive love in all its forms will be essential tools to your journey to a happier, more fulfilled you.
Here are 7 ways that will help you grow more confident, love yourself more and be happier:
- Take care of your environment: Clean your room and apartment every morning
You have to put yourself in a winning mindset. You’ve probably already heard that the state of your personal space reveals how you feel on the inside. A study conducted by the University of California found that people who were living in a messy environment were more stressed than those who lived in a clean space. Keep your environment clean, so your mind remains just as organized.
- Take care of your inner-peace: Keep a gratitude journal
Gratitude has been scientifically proven to increase mental strength, improve physical health and self-esteem, by reducing an array of negative feelings ranging from envy and resentment to regret and frustration.
How does it work: Keep a journal by your bedside and make it a habit to pen five things you are grateful for every morning when you wake up and five things that happened during your day that you are thankful for every night before going to bed. This technique is proved to help people focus more on the positive things in their lives. After a couple of weeks, you will notice that only positive thoughts arise in your mind and negative ones will either be automatically blocked or you will not pay as much attention to them as you used to; and as your days go by, you realize that you constantly have your gratitude journal in mind and you will always take mental notes of the good things that happen to you so you can write them down later. The interesting thing is that some days you will feel like you won’t have anything positive to write on your journal and it will push you to get up and do something that will make you feel better so you actually can pen your five thankful points at the end of the day. It will turn your entire life around.
- Take care of your mind: Meditate 20 minutes a day
Science backs the fact that meditation multiplies your memory retention skills and your ability to focus. It increases your immune system and well-being by reducing worry, anxiety, stress, impulsivity, fear; by increasing optimism, relaxation awareness, and the list goes on.
How does it work: sit in a quiet space, close your eyes and try to silent your mind by focusing on your breath. Observe as you inhale and exhale. Every time your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to your breath. The first times trying meditation are hard because you will find it almost impossible to block out thoughts. Out of 20 minutes, you will probably manage to actually focus two minutes, but don’t give up: with time, your ability to concentrate will improve and you will be capable of meditating for a full 20 minute and reap all the benefits.
- Take care of your body: Exercise 3 to 5 times a week
Women have a horrible tendency to compare themselves to other women and they always seem to think other women are better than themselves. This is particularly true when it comes to physical appearance. Sticking to a regular workout plan will enable you to grow more confident in your body and you will be less inclined to compare yourself to Susie or Lucy.
Athletes are always used as role models to personify hard work, dedication, patience, resilience and the ability to get back up when they fall for a reason. And it’s the same mindset of a champion that exercising will instill in you.
- Take care of your health: Eat healthy
Eating clean is a significant part of living a happy life, as ingesting the right foods for your body will give you more energy. Note that when you consume high fat or sugary meals or snack, the sugar added is stored in your body as fat. Whereas when you have a fruit, for instance, which contains natural sugar, it is transformed by your body in energy. People need to be more conscious of their diet. So many serious health issues such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases could be prevented with a healthy diet and a stress-free life.
- Take care of your relationships (love, work, friends): Always do your best.
And as Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, do better.”
- Take care of your future: Figure out what your life purpose is, then pursue it to the best of your abilities and never give up.
Some people are incredibly lucky to have a passion. So it is easy for them to know what they want to dedicate their lives to. The only thing they have to come up with is a way to make money out of it. Other people don’t have a passion. They have multiple hobbies they enjoy to indulge in, but not one specific thing. What I suggest is to always follow your instinct and stay alert to what it whispers to you. Somehow it always knows what you should do. You may not find out your purpose at first, but following your “interests of the moment” will lead you to your destiny.