Happiness isn’t magically gifted to you because you bought something or achieved a goal. You might feel fantastic for a while, but it will disappear (along with that “new car smell”).
A feeling of emptiness will emerge to push you to buy more things. You’ll buy anything to bring that “happiness” back. It’s an endless cycle.
So, something is wrong here.
Where did that amazing feeling go? The commercials said this device (or car, or house) would bring you joy. The actors were all smiling and laughing. Have you been fooled?
Happiness dissolves away because buying things is not how to become happy. In order for happiness to stick around longterm, YOU have to create and maintain it. Nobody is born happy. Everyone had to make their own positive outlook.
Some of the happiest people (mostly kids) I’ve ever seen were in the Dominican Republic. They were wearing rags and living in shacks (with no electricity). But, I could see in their eyes that they were truly happy.
They were never programmed to believe that for them to be happy, they had to buy things.
It’s your responsibility to give yourself a positive mindset. You can start right now.
So, grab the wheel, you’re driving!
You will need the following bits of wisdom to guide you to your future joyous life.
1. Have Some FUN!
Do whatever you love doing! You could go snowboarding, camping, or take a road trip? Having fun awakens your inner child and will boost your creativity.
2. Just Smile!
Smiling instantly tricks your subconscious mind into thinking that you’re actually happy. Try thinking a negative thought with a huge smile on your face. Doesn’t work, does it? Smiling is the easiest hack to make your brain dose you with feel-good chemicals. Plus, it’s free and you can’t OD on smiles.
3. Ditch the Baggage
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
If you really want to be happy you’ll have to clean out your mind. Toss out all negative memories. Accept that things happened to you in the past, but it’s not happening right now. Therefore, it’s irrelevant to think about. So, drop it and never let yourself ruminate about it again.
If you hold the grudge against someone, you’ve given them your happiness. You remain a victim, and you award them as the victors.
You can’t just toss things like a trauma over to the subconscious and expect things to be cool. Negative thoughts and memories will come back. You just need to train yourself to stop giving them your attention.
Stop allowing yourself to be sucked in by negative thinking and distract yourself immediately with positive thoughts. This will train your brain to focus on good things and the future that you’re building.
4. Listen to Your Favorite Music
Play songs that make you feel good. Even better play an instrument along with the songs. Singing is also a great way to get out of an infinite loop of past drama.
5. Get Outside to Get Happiness
Just 20 minutes of being outside can make you feel more positive and even improve your memory. Also, sunlight is one of the only ways you can get Vitamin-D and it will prevent depression.
6. Play/Cuddle with your Dog
If you don’t have a dog, I’m sure this will work with any kind of pet you have.
But, it’s been proven that looking into your dog’s eyes will invoke the creation of oxytocin (the chemical that evokes feelings of love and nurturing) in your brain. It will lower your stress and relieve depression.
7. Take a Snooze and Gain Resilience to Negativity
Happy thoughts come from the hippocampus and when you’re sleep-deprived, it weakens. Bad thoughts come from the amygdala (which isn’t as impacted by the lack of sleep) so it’s easier to think negative thoughts than positive ones.
A 20-minute nap can boost your mood for the rest of the day.
Your brain reacts to exercise the same way it does to stress. It thinks your running from impending doom, so it releases BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). BDNF helps you to think clearer. It also protects and repairs your memory neurons.
It’s like a “reset” button for your brain.
After you reboot your brain (exercise) you’ll notice that you are thinking clearer and are feeling more relaxed. Your body encourages this behavior by blocking pain and giving us a natural high. Try it out for 7-minutes.
9. Redefine your Idea of Happiness
Do you have an image in mind when you think of happiness? Is it a picture of you married with kids and living in the suburbs? Is that really what you want? Who helped you come up with this image? Our parents and society will try to instill in us their idea of success. We might obsess about it and believe we won’t ever be happy until we reach it. This isn’t true.
That default “ideal life” might actually make you hate your life.
Realize you can’t please everyone. You can only make yourself happy. So, envision the happiest version of yourself and strive for that.
10. Remember How Awesome You Are
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we are amazing! You’re a bad-ass, stop pretending you aren’t. You don’t have to tell anyone how amazing you are, just be amazing.
Have quiet, calm, cool, unbreakable confidence.
No one can alter how confident you are unless you let them. Know that you are unique and valuable. Anyone that doesn’t agree doesn’t deserve your time and focus. You don’t need them pulling you down.
Think of this throwback song any time you encounter a hater.
Write out your strengths and positive qualities.
Think about some compliments people have given you. What qualities do you have that bring you joy?
Here are some examples to get you started:
- Enthusiastic/Excited/Full of Life
- Loyal friend or partner
- Hard worker/Ambitious/Determined
- Great laugh/Good Smile/Lots of Fun
Keep the list and read it when you need a boost.
Break free from the chains and shackles of old memories. Don’t give negativity your priceless attention. You are not there anymore. You are right here. Reading this and learning that you have to choose to be happy.
Happiness doesn’t have to be fleeting, it can become your default way of life. Your world could come crashing down in a fiery blaze and you could be smiling and roasting marshmallows over the flames. You are in complete control of how you choose to feel at any moment, so there are no excuses.
External circumstances can’t affect your emotions unless you give them permission to do so.
Leave the darkness of your past behind.
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