Jan 25 , 2020
Studies show that 40 percent of your happiness is determined by your outlook on life — the other 60 percent has to do with genetics and life circumstances. So while there may be some parts of our happiness that are out of our control, there is a massive percentage we can control.
With countless strategies and techniques surrounded around the topic of happiness, I have narrowed it down to the three I find most important and also utilize in my own life—hopefully you can find them useful too!
Contrary to popular belief, Positive Thinking isn’t ignoring the negative or bad situations in your life. It is, however, finding and highlighting the good, in bad situations.
Although there are several ways to practice the habit of Positive Thinking, one technique that has been most helpful for me is the act of practicing and implementing “positive self-talk”. This is the act of challenging and evaluating every negative thought that passes through your mind. To tackle this, use rationale and respond to those kinds of thoughts with something, positive.
For instance, when not being hired for the job you really wanted, it is natural for insecurities to arise. Thoughts of failure and defeat hijack our minds and in an instant, we start to believe all the lies we tell about ourselves; “I’m not worth it” “I’m not smart enough” “I’m unworthy” "I'll never get my dream job".
But when we change those stories to more positive ones, you’ll begin to see a shift in your thinking; “Maybe that wasn't the job for me” "Time to move forward and work harder" “I am worthy, I am smart" “What is meant for me will be”.
It can be difficult at the moment, but the more you consciously replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts, the happier you’ll be.
Do The Things That Make You Happy
Why would anyone put anything ahead of what brings them joy? I'm not sure why, but I do know I'm definitely guilty of this. It wasn't until I started asking myself this very question that I began to make the necessary changes in my own life.
It happens every day, whether it's going to a job you hate or feeling obligated to do something you dread - all because someone asked you.
I challenge you to start prioritizing your happiness. Stop feeling selfish for protecting your energy. Remember, you can’t give what you don’t have.
Each day find one thing that brings YOU joy and do it. Learn to be comfortable with telling people “no” if it’s something you really don’t want to do (or know that it will bring you displeasure). Protect your joy and happiness at all costs!
Practice Mindfulness, Everyday
For me, practicing mindfulness has been one of the key contributors to not only finding my happiness but remaining in what I like to call, my “happy bubble”.
Mindfulness is strategically keeping your mind in the present. It's not using the past or the future as a determinate for your current mood or behavior. Like anything else in life, it takes practice to become good at it. There are many strategies to help you practice mindfulness but the one I’ll mention today is Meditation. Without getting deep into it, meditation is just focusing on a single thought or act to achieve a “mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state”. When I feel myself moving further from my "happy bubble", I close my eyes, focus on the moment (usually focused on my breath) and repeat words of affirmation or some sort of positive statement to myself. You can do this anywhere which makes it an incredible way to keep your self-centered throughout the day, no matter what comes your way!
Staying happy takes work, but it's attainable.
To sum it up:
Think about the positive things in your life, make it a priority to put your happiness first and remember that you are not your thoughts, but an observer of your thoughts — so learn how to replace unhealthy thoughts with healthy ones by using mindfulness—and you will stay happy, longer.
What other ideas or techniques can you add to this list? Share your thoughts!