If someone sat you down and asked you what you really needed in life to be happy what would your answer be? If I had been asked this question in the past I would have probably reeled the following list of:
- A bigger house
- Amazing holiday
The above is probably what a lot of us would say because from a young age we are conditioned to want these things. We are constantly seeking fulfilment and for the majority of us that is through our achievements. However, I have achieved the above things and I still wasn’t satisfied. These things didn’t make me happier. If anything I was unhappier because I was more stressed. I was now worrying about performing in my job, I was worrying about the leaky roof in our bigger house and I was worrying how we would pay for the amazing holiday.
These choices that I had made were ruining my chance of happiness. This way of thinking and acting is not unusual. Raj Raghunathan at the University of Texas has carried out research into this very matter. In his research he has stated that the desire to be in control; to feel respected, to feel needed and wanted are what can cause us to become unhappy.
How can we find our inner happy?
Happiness isn’t hiding under a rock in our back garden. The first thing we need to do is change our thinking. We need to stop thinking about finding happiness and appreciate the fact that we already have it. In his research Raj identifies 5 steps we should be taking to be happy.
Like I mentioned earlier don’t go chasing happiness. We need to recognise what makes us happy and embrace it. It could be meeting up with friends for coffee, going to the beach, going for a long walk or even blogging! Make a list of all the things that make you happy and make room in your day to complete at least one of those things everyday. For me I love blogging and reading blogs therefore every evening I make time to do this. I also love going for a walk so Youngest and I try and do this everyday during the week. It is great and really has a positive impact on the day.
Take responsibility. We should never blame others for feeling unhappy. We have to accept that our happiness lays in our own hands. We need to remember that we have the power to control our own feelings even when things in our life aren’t going great. A way of helping us feel great might be eating healthily everyday. Avoid consuming rubbish food that we then feel guilty about eating.
Don’t compare yourself to others. This is a vicious cycle. We should not be putting ourself in competition with our peers. This is especially true in the blogging world. It can be easy to compare yourself to other bloggers and feel inferior as a result. We shouldn’t do this as it is damaging to our self-esteem. Instead we should be recognising what we are good at. We need to be kinder to ourselves.
Roll with it. We need to learn to go with the flow more instead of worrying about the next step. Enjoy the moment, enjoy today. If you blog don’t think about why you are doing it, don’t worry about how your next post will be received. Don’t worry about how many people are going to read it. Just enjoy what you are doing and go with the flow. Focus on what you are good at and make time to do more of it. Like I said in step 1 we should always make time to do what makes us happy and what we are good at.
Trust people. This is something I need to work on. We need to trust people, the more we trust people, including strangers, the happier we will be. Part of this requires us to be open in our day to day life. So I should be telling friends and family about my blog and trusting that they will be nice about it and understand why I write it.
Some things that have made me happy this week include –
- Attending the cookery class with Caring Cooks, (you can read about that here) where I made the most amazing shepherd’s pie and chilli. This then fed my family for two nights. It tasted delicious too and my family really enjoyed the meals.
- Listening to the new Beyoncé album. It is so good. She has turned those bitter lemons into a pretty sweet lemonade (see what I did there). It is an album that speaks for every woman.
- Taking Oldest to her trampoline classes. She is really enjoying them.
The research has demonstrated that getting happy is really quite simple and we should all be able to do it. So what are you going to do today to find your happy?
What makes you happy? I would love to know.
In the meantime I am going for a walk with Youngest to find my happy 🙂
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