I used to think that being happy was something that people triggered in you. I felt that happiness was something you could only feel either when people are happy or when they deliberately tried to make you laugh. I also felt that happiness was dictated by material possessions. I tried so hard to find happiness for 28 years. I tried drugs but the happiness I got was the kind of happiness I regretted after a few days. I gave in to alcohol but being high was all I got from that too.
I felt getting a high paying job would give me the happiness I knew I deserved but couldn’t get my hands on. That didn’t work either. So I began reading stuff on how to make myself happy in 300 seconds, how to do this and that. Truth is I did gain quite a number of things from those articles and books so I’d be sharing those tips with you. If only you could see me now, I rarely let people dictate or determine how I feel about myself or how I do my things because I am happy with me being me and no one else.
If you really want to make yourself happy without relying on anyone, then you need to know exactly what it is you want from life. You need to have a positive mindset, be decisive and active in what goes on in your life and around you and take good care of yourself even when things look bleak.
So, guess what I do now to make myself happy?
- I crank my fave tunes high and loud. It is quite impossible to not smile when your favorite songs are blasting from your headphones or speakers.
- I walk it out. When my heart gets pumping, the blood starts flowing, the sweat starts running, I get less stressed.
- I write down at least 4 positive things each day that make me less stressed out and more positive.
- I get outside. I walk in the park, breathe in fresh air and come back home with a new and fresh perspective about life.
- I make a bold fashion statement with my accessories. Chunky necklace, crazy shoes, and mad too-cool-for-school sunglasses to match. Oh boy. Don’t I feel good when I dress up for me.
- I give myself some sweet nutritious love. Fruits, veggies, and a whole lot of protein get my body and brain feeling good.
- I say thank you when people do nice things for me. Seeing smiles on their faces puts a smile on my face. It makes me feel more positive about my day and everything else.
- I get active. I do something on my to-do list and it makes me feel good.
- I listen to people whom I can have meaningful conversations with.
- I let bad stuff go. I remember Frozen’s Let It Go when I’m about to be weighed down by bad things that have happened to me. So, you should let go too. Your happiness is way more important.
- I learn something new on YouTube or take an online course that appeals to me.
- I straighten up and walk like a boss. According to research, the way you walk determines how you feel. SO straighten up and walk like the boss that you are.
- I help someone. It’s one of the quickest ways to pick myself back up, especially when I help random people.
- I spend money. On someone else. You thought I was going to say me? Nah. I get the ‘feel good’ vibes when I get to spend money on someone. Trust me, it works!
- I stop comparing myself with others. I focus on things that I have achieved instead of looking at what others have achieved that I haven’t. YET.
- I reach out to my circle. I text and call my friends and family just to let them know how important they are to me. At times, you need to tell people how you feel about them instead of assuming that they know.
- I make plans to do something for myself. Like someone once wrote, “anticipation is like a secret weapon of happiness”.
- I read. I’ve found that taking a few minutes to indulge in something that I truly enjoy gives me a burst of positive energy plus I get to learn something.
- I think positive. No matter how bad things may look, I have found that it is better to be grateful and to appreciate life itself. You should try it too! When life gives you lemons, you make lemon juice.
- I use colors to brighten my outlook on life especially when I’m feeling down. So, whatever your favorite color is, embrace it and give yourself a little color treat.
- I SMILE. A lot! Kirk Franklin’s song “Smile” is perfect for stuff like this. Researchers say that smiling helps to decrease your heart rate even when you fake smile. And it doesn’t take a whole lot of muscles to smile. So, smile!
- I surround myself with people who make me feel good about myself. People who don’t talk me down behind my back.
- I write…in my diary. It helps me reflect, take stock of my emotions, spend sometime with myself and to get a better grip on life. I’ve discovered that when I don’t stop or slow down enough to think and to write down my thoughts, I don’t get much of a perspective.
- I clean up my space and organize. Although I am a neat freak, I know that making your personal space as clean and organized as possible actually impacts your happiness. Washing my hair makes me happy. I still have no idea why but it does. So, take time to remove your clutter and organize. See if it won’t make you feel better. Don’t just clean because you’re trying to get over a heartbreak or something. Clean because of you!
- I get enough sleep. Sleep is vital because to be happy you need to be well-rested. Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep. You will wake up rejuvenated and freer.
- I have a home pampering day. Spend some time at home pampering yourself. Take a day off from school or work and take time to relax, take a hot bath and do some full body care. It really helps! You could also try listening to music while doing all these. Just remember to be generous with yourself and know when you need to spoil yourself a bit.
Your happiness depends on you and not on anyone else. Take the steps above to be happy. You can even tweak them and work on them your own way. Other recommendations on how to learn the art of happiness are highly appreciated.