8 Steps to Developing Your Own Happiness
The other day I was confronted with a situation that I had been avoiding for quite some time. I knew the situation would be difficult and I wanted to avoid the negative outcome and feelings as much as possible. Unfortunately, against my better judgment, I allowed myself to be sucked into the toxic situation caused by my relationship with toxic people. For several days afterward, my emotions were a complete and utter shitty mess.
I started having migraines, body aches, crying...as I said, a shitty mess. After talking to "The Squad," I accepted that my reaction was completely natural under the circumstances. Still, even though I acknowledged it, I couldn't accept being subjected to this wave of emotion. I was happy prior to the situation because I had chosen to be. All I needed to do was decide to be happy again. Happiness isn't a feeling as much as it is a mindset. So, to change my mind, I came up with the following eight things I needed to do immediately to get out of this funk.
Here are the 8 things I decided I would do to get back to my happy:
Happiness is an Inside Job
It does not stem from external sources. Once we recognize that we are all walking around led by the nose of our subconscious beliefs and stories, it gets easier to create new stories. If you have a relative, for example, who always seems miserable, do you internalize that? Once you recognize that another human being’s faults, traits, and personality have nothing to do with you, you have begun to lay the foundation for inner happiness
Learning The Happiness Habit
The same way someone can choose to be a miserable person throughout their entire life, we can decide to create a habit of being happy. There are techniques and tools you can import into your life. For example, I can choose to use gratitude to offset the common human behavior where I lack consciousness. It’s so easy to focus on what I don’t have under the guise of setting goals, but I mustn’t forget to remember to be grateful for all that is already present, which brings me to our next tool of happiness.
Being Present In The Moment
Take a moment to realize that where you are right now at this moment will never come your way again. Do you realize how important and powerful this is? You won’t ever get this moment back again. Once you take on the practice of being in the moment and recognizing that you will never have it back again, you will begin to feel happy for what is happening at the moment. You will also bounce back from negative experiences more quickly because you know they will not last. Take a minute to watch your child’s mannerisms when they don’t know you are watching. Take a moment to watch your partner’s lips move when he/she is talking. Every once in a while, stop and be present to what is right in front of you and recognize it as a moment in time.
Set Small Goals and Achieve Them
This is another great happiness technique. Once you understand that creating building blocks of smaller goals to reach a bigger goal is the way to feeling happy, fulfilled, and accomplished, you will begin to feel content, happy, and satisfied. Take small action steps outside your comfort zone, and you will start to build confidence. Once you see taking smaller steps outside your comfort zone as a way to grow into happiness, you’ll be making giant leaps before you know it.
When you want to feel bad about a particular situation in your life, don’t let anyone tell you it’s not okay. Go ahead and feel dejected, but don’t stay in that feeling for too long. Listen, at first I felt like I was going crazy. But after talking to my friends they confirmed that not only were my feelings normal, but they were necessary to process what happened and get back to a place of peace and happiness. If you find yourself stuck in those feelings for an extended period, or cannot seem to shake them, you need the help of a trained professional to help you address why you feel that way. The key is to get out of your head for just a little while and give your “feel bad” vibes a rest. Help someone else. Giving back has enormous benefits to the person receiving the help, but even bigger results for you. The hormones and feel good vibes released while giving back can lift you out of that sour mood in no time.
Learn How To Receive
If you're like me, you have a hard time receiving help or even asking for it in the first place. It's taken me a while, but I've learned, especially as an entrepreneur, I just have to do it. It's still hard, but I consciously make an effort to ask for help, delegate, say no foolery and sit back and receive. There’s nothing wrong with receiving love, support or just a listening ear when you need. Make receiving a habit. My issue wasn't I didn't feel like I could depend on the people around me for that kind of support. So, I changed the people around me.
Self-love and Self-Nurture
When you find there is a shortage of individuals to give to you, then give to yourself. Everyone is multitasking and busier than ever these days. Give yourself a treat. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. It could be something as simple as a chocolate bar or a cup of coffee with a magazine. Treat yourself how you want other people to treat you. Lately, my self-love has been walking and Starbucks. Those two things do NOT go together, but I like them.
This is one of my favorites. I love to give back to my community, donate to charities, and other philanthropic activities. For years, I was a Team Leader with NYCares. They're an excellent, well-run organization that allowed me to use the skills I had to help other people. I lead career planning and preparation services for ex-offenders, the disabled, and other disadvantaged populations, and ran a computer skills course for the elderly. If you don’t have anyone in your tribe or on your squad to give assistance or help to, there are plenty of organizations, such as NYCares in your area, needing help. You can choose to volunteer in a nursing home or a pet shelter. Where you're passionate, you will feel the most reward. No matter the scale, big or small, there are plenty of open arms waiting for your contribution.
Have New Experiences
So many people are under the misguided idea that happiness comes in the form of a new home, new car, some toy or gadget. Studies are now proving otherwise. Happiness comes from experiences, not things. So, go out and get involved in a new adventure. Of course, you don’t have to jump out of a plane, but you can take on a new cultural dining experience or hobby that is a bit more adventurous than who you have always been.
It's probably going to take me a little while longer to emotionally get past this, but in the meantime, I'm damn sure going to be doing everything I can to get back to my happy. The first thing is to do what I should have done, cut off toxic ass people!