You’ve obviously come to this blog post looking for an answer of how to be happy, but if you’ll read all of this, you will soon realise that its so easy, yet so fucking hard.
As usual, lets look at the meaning
Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment– Happy
Is it really that easy to be happy?
The straight answer is, I don’t know. Everybody has different values and different things that make them happy. I can only give you an opinion, not what is going to work for you, but you are here at this blog, so you must be expecting at least something along those lines. To put short, I will list some of the things I think make a human happy, following by explaining them and what you can proactively do to help yourself get out of a dark place, or generally become more happy.
- Before you can show happiness and love others, you must love yourself.
- Finding the positives out of any situation
- Master gratitude
- Visualise your best possible self, then construct a plan on how to get there
- Find your best core values
- Heal past traumas
- Be productive
- Be surrounded by happy, like minded people, or people you aspire to become like
- Identify stresses
- Healthy lifestyle
- Be open.
- happiness vs pleasure
So to me, this is my well throughout way to be happy. And the fact you are searching this blog, tells me you are pretty clueless about how to be happy, so I want to help as much as possible. So lets talk about the bullet points in more detail
1. Before you can show happiness and love others, you must love yourself
Loving yourself is one of those things you hear everywhere, but actually obtaining love for yourself can be quite difficult as theres not a set out plan on how to. You might not like your figure, the complex of your skin, the tone of your voice, how introverted you are, or maybe you just don’t think very highly of yourself. There are many reasons why people aren’t the biggest fan of themselves. Some things to consider to maybe help with this might be to not give a fuck about what other people think. Now lets dive a bit deeper into this. A lot of people get self-conscious or anxious, mainly because they think people will be constantly looking at them or judging. But theres one big thing you have to realise and that is… who fucking cares. If they’re so busy caring about you, then they can’t love their self that much. If people are looking at you, so what? Do you know them? If no, you’ll never see them again and their opinion of you is soooo irrelevant. If so, then ask them politely what they’re looking at, if your too nervous, then take the same approach as if you don’t know them, who cares? All that matters if you feel comfortable with yourself.
You have to accept yourself because theres nothing you can do to change yourself physically and mentally. If theres something so horrifyingly bad about yourself you despise, for example that you hate people or have a really bad tattoo, then do something about it. But if its something like your big ears (like me) or how quite you are in groups, then don’t worry about it. People done care, and neither should you. Love yourself for who you are, finding the good parts and really hyping them up to yourself (which ill come onto in a bit).
2. Finding the positive out of any situation.
This is one of the hardest things to do, and anybody who can do it, deserves a medal. In any situation. I mean ANY, somebody can take something positive away from it. Here I will try to come up some of the most extremely horrifying situations you can be in, to prove that as long as you have your positive hat on, you can take anything away. These aren’t to say you don’t mourn, you don’t regret, and you don’t dislike, but by trying to limit negative emotions you generally become a happier person, training your mind to see the positives in life.
Here are a few examples:
- Your mum has just got cancer. She’s only 60 and has plenty of years to come. This can seem the most horrifying thing ever, but sometimes it takes the harshest shit to get you into realisation. So you spend more time together and get a stronger relationship, spreading the word of cancer and helping other people prevent it.
- Your house has just burnt down. You lose everything. Again, the harshest shit, creates the hardest people. You lose everything, but you rebuild. Start again and do it better. You get a clean slate to work from and the determination to get to where you once were.
- Your going to die tomorrow. Now death is one of the most feared things. But, theres positivity to be taken away, as hard as it may be. You might be lying on your death bed, but, you could have your family around you, your not lonely, your not hated, you had so many good memories. There are much greater fears than death and as horrible as it sounds, some people would much rather be sitting on their death bed then going through the shit they’re going through.
Always count your lucky stars that it’s not worse.
3. Master gratitude
If you’ve ever listened or read self development shit, you’ll of heard of gratitude. It’s one of the most powerful things one can get into the habit of. There are a lot of benefits of it, some of which being:
- Improved physical, mental and social well-being
- Greater optimism and happiness
- Improved feelings of connection in times of loss or crisis
- Heightened energy levels
- Strengthened heart, blood pressure and immune system
to state a few.
One of the best ways one can cultivate gratitude is to create a gratitude journal. From past experience, I like to keep these as tidy as possible, making it pleasurable to go back to everyday to work on. But I’ve seen messy as fuck ones where people just note down what they’re grateful for on their train to work or in any spare time. To get started, grab a notebook. Plain, lined, dotted, who gives a fuck. Then write the date in the top corner, and bullet list 5 things you are grateful for. Try to make these as specific as possible to make them diverse for the day after. For example: I am grateful for: My gran visiting me, my mum washing my clothes, my sister holding the door for me, my dog not growling at me, not getting my normal congested stomach. Do these in the evening at the end of the day, or In a morning to add to your morning routine about the previous day.
Personally I like to do gratitude in a morning and add it to my religious morning routine, as its scientifically proven that it puts you in a good mood and state of mind for the obstacles coming your way throughout the day.
4. Visualise your best possible self, then construct a plan on how to get there
Where do you want to be in 6 months? In 1 year? 5 years? 10? This is your best possible self. Don’t try to be extremely realistic here, push the boundary a bit. By setting a place in where you want to be, you are actively setting your mindset to an open one where you can accomplish things and you will accomplish things.
I want you to use the same book you use for your gratitude, but somewhere dedicate some space for this, just a few pages. Then write the time milestone as stated above with atlas 3 lines beneath each one. Then, under each time milestone, write 3 things your ideal self would be. For example
6 Months time
- £10,000 earned
- Travel to Spain.
As a simple example, but this is whatever you want it to be. Try to make it a tiny bit unrealistic, because this will make you push yourself harder and actually make it more likely to be achievable.
5. Find your best core values
There will be things about you that other people value, now these may not necessarily be what you value. Now at first thinking about yourself, you may not be able to find your best core values, but its worth sitting down with yourself and really thinking about these for 30 minutes and making a list (your going to get sick of these lists haha).
Create a page in this journal you are creating and write the header- “Core Values”. Then underneath, just start listing. You may want to categorise them, you may not. For example, you might do a physical, what you like about your dress sense, your body. Or your mental, or social, whatever It may be, just try to come up with a list of things that you don’t want to change about yourself.
Once you have found your best core values, you can then easily identify the values you are thankful you don’t have, I would suggest writing this on the page after, again writing a list and maybe categorising it. Then you can write what characteristics you wish you had, or those of an ideal person. Maybe think of somebody you aspire to be, and what you love about them. Write this list down. So you now have:
- What you like about yourself- these things you make sure you don’t change, or if you do you substitute with the things you aspire to obtain.
- What you are glad you don’t posses in your characteristics. These things you make sure you stay away.
- What you aspire to have in your persona. These things you can create a plan to get there. For example the person you want to be is more extroverted than you, or at least is better at communicating, you might create a step of forcing yourself to talk to people more often, especially strangers.
6. Heal past traumas
Sadly i’m not an expert on this as my child hood was pretty chilled out, not getting harshly bullied or picked on until I was old enough to not give a fuck. But, I have been doing some research and this is what I have concluded might work for you. Obviously, if you don’t have any past traumas, feel free to skip this bit, but it might come in handy in case anybody you know has any you might be able to help them out with. Here are some steps:
- Channel your energy
For this to work, you need to find a quite place. Sit down and close your eyes. Start off by breathing nice and slowly, feeling the air go all the way into your body, filling up your lungs, then exhale every last bit making sure none is left. I suggest doing 7-5-7 (7 seconds inhale, hold for 5, then 7 back out again), slowing your heart right down. You need to be fully now, in the moment, fully aware of your surroundings, listen to whats around you, feel yourself well planted on the ground beneath you and at one with yourself, fully focusing on yourself and your surroundings.
2. Recall the trauma
Think of the trauma and the emotions you were feeling when it was happening, really try to be in the moment, feeling and seeing everything that happened. Do not block out any emotions that come your way when you do this, embrace it and continue to see yourself in that moment.
3. Name it
Once your fully in the moment and rushing with emotions, try link the emotions to a particular object that was happening. Maybe you were angry because death took a loved one so soon, but sad because of who it was, whilst a bit of joy comes to see their smile for the last time, bringing you back to a warmth when you think of it. All these emotions can be linked to something and you need to think hard about what they are all associated with. Link your current feelings to the emotions, for example if your test is tight is this anxiety, your heart pumping through your arms, is this anger?
4. Love the feelings
As part of gratitude and overcoming something, you need to appreciate yourself for feeling like that, saying “I love myself for feeling (angry, sad, tired etc.). Do this with every emotions and embrace your humanness, love yourself no matter what the trauma is.
5. Take the wisdom from what your feeling
Do the emotions your feeling tell you anything? Do they link directly to any other past experiences as you feel them surge through you. You might find that past trauma you’ve been struggling with might’ve been getting triggered by another past experience every time you think of it.
6. Share it
If you feel comfortable sharing your experiences with somebody, do it, be this a professional or somebody close to you. It doesn’t matter what it is, if you feel a strong emotional connection to it, no matter how ashamed of it you are, somebody will listen and help you. If you don’t feel comfortable, then write it down on your own in the journal we spoke about. But you should get it out, it will release huge amounts of pressure.
7. Fuck it off
The last stage is to say good bye to it. You have to realise that your past, is only your past. It cant be changed, you cant go back, you can only look back and hold emotional connections to stuff that you should be moving on from. When you look back you can probably imagine the pain you were going through, but you need to tell yourself not to look back, and to realise that if you do look back, its not happening anymore. And if any of these traumas are still happening, then talk to somebody, even if you talk to me with a fake name, I will try to help you.
7. Be productive
Being productive can sometimes be hard, a lot of people can find themselves scrolling through social media doing fuck all, but not knowing what else to be doing. Usually you know what you should be doing, but its just SO much easier to be doing nothing isn’t it? Get up at 3:30am and go gym before work? Or lie in till 5:30, which is easier? But which is right for you to get you to where you want to be. When I say being productive I don’t mean doing something every waking minute, everybody needs down time, but trying to eliminate time spent doing unproductive shit that doesn’t need to be done. A good practice for this is to create a list of things you want to accomplish that day, at the start of the day, and then make sure you do every last thing. Obviously these need to be achievable, but don’t stress if you don’t finish one, you can always carry items over to the next day.
8. Be surrounded by happy, like minded people, or people you aspire to become like
Its been shown by much research that you are like the 5 people you hang around with most. So why not make these people happy people? You always have the choice to who you hang around with. Unless somebody doesn’t want you in their presence, you can always do the same to negative people who bring tendencies into your life like bitching and other negative acts. Also if you hang around with people who are much better at something then you are, chance is, you will get a LOT better at that by hanging around with them. So why not change your circle, make it smaller and build it to construct the life you want to live.
9. Identify stresses
Everybody says they have stress and these ‘stresses’ might not seem like stresses to somebody else, so why should they be stresses to you? By identifying a stress, you can identify a root cause to it. For example, your house is a shit hole and needs cleanings, whats the root cause? You don’t tidy it regularly in small amounts, so its built up. Or your kids wont stop crying which is stressing you out whilst your trying to work, maybe theyre being bullied or maybe you forgot to give them dinner. I know these are pretty wank examples, but there will be a root cause, and by doing an exercise like the 5 why’s which I learnt from Tim Ferris, you can come to root causes of just about anything.
The 5 why’s
To find the root cause of something, find whats going wrong or the starting point, then ask yourself why, then again, then again, until you’ve asked it 5 times. Usually after 5 times of asking this, you will have your answer, sometimes you will get it sooner, sometimes later. An example of this might be your car wont start. Why? Its ran out of fuel. Why? I forgot to fill it up. Why? Ive been too busy. Why? Got so much work to be doing in my job. Why? Its our busiest season. So this is the root cause of what is happening, and form this, you might need to have a conversation with your boss to try ease your work load.
10. Healthy lifestyle
Having a healthy lifestyle could be the massive change you want. There’s a chance you might be thinking “but having to eat healthy all the time, It wont be fun. Ill be miserable and constantly having cravings”. This is not the case AT ALL!!! I’ve been sugar free for 2 and a half years and quite frankly, its the fucking easiest shit in the world now. The first month was a killer, but after that it’s just second nature. But you also have to remember once you start eating healthy, and working out etc. This doesn’t mean you don’t have cheat days, in fact I would recommend having a cheat day once a week so your not missing out. Having a healthy lifestyle might not even be working out and eating celery all day long, it might be looking at your phone less often, not taking drugs. in a future blog I will be talking about this in much more detail, but in the mean time if you want any help getting to your healthy goals, or any goals for that matter, just ping me a message.
11. Be open.
There’s nothing like being open, by being open you can release a lot of tension from your shoulders. As the old saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. Sometimes you can only see a limited range of solutions, and having an outside view can make all the difference. Plus by saying something out loud, you can understand it and digest it better. So I would suggest starting with just saying it out loud to yourself and then if your comfortable, telling it to somebody else. Being open, can also mean being open with yourself, sometimes we hide the actual truth from ourselves because we are ashamed of it, but this can hold us back massively from progressing. What ever it is that’s holding you back, identify it, and think of a proactive solution to over come it, starting with being open and honest with yourself.
Happiness vs pleasure
People often get mixed up, thinking happiness leads to pleasure, or pleasure leads to happiness, or that they are the same thing, but they should not be mixed up. I might eat a doughnut an hour before bed, because its pleasurable, but I will be up all night because I wont be able to sleep and will be bloated, not happy at all.You need to find what makes you truly happy. Having an affair on your wife might bring you pleasure for the 2 minutes that you last, but it wont bring you happiness when your wife wants a divorce. You need to sit down with yourself and think about what truly makes you happy, not what will pleasure you.
I hope you find some help from this blog, and if you need help with ANYTHING, just message me and ill try my best or point you in the right direction.