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12 Amazing Ways We Seem To Stumble Onto Happiness

12 Amazing Ways We Seem To Stumble Onto Happiness

What makes you happy? Not what you think makes you happy — what truly makes you happy?

I asked myself that question, and I was amazed with how hard it was to come up with an answer immediately. I had to think about it seriously.

Unfortunately, many of us think of things and people when asked what makes us happy but, in fact, they don’t. Those are the things we think make us happy. We think of answers that sound good, but aren’t actually true.

Most of us are overthinkers. We try to analyze and overthink everything. We often forget to listen to that soft inner voice. That ever-present voice that always seem to have the right answers, but yet, we seldom listen to.

That soft voice that seem to be able to block out the noise, distractions, and other nonsensical things going on around us and get to the heart of the matter.

We all want to be happy, and many of us frankly have been searching in every little crevice and corner of our life, trying to find happiness. Some of us have traveled the world over, engaging in happiness seminars, happiness camps, reading happiness blogs and books. Yet, all we find are someone’s perception of what happiness is, and we are left high and dry.

The reason we try so hard to find happiness is because somehow we believe that happiness is something we find, and so we constantly search, hoping that one day we will accidentally bump into it.

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Happiness is always around us, and all we have to do is open our hearts and minds to receive it. We cannot find happiness because it was never lost.

Below are 12 of the many ways you often stumble onto happiness.

1. You stumble onto happiness when you are overtaken with sudden joy.

You suddenly realize that this moment is all you have, and it instantly becomes precious, and for some reason you just become happy.

Something happens in your life, and it’s joyous and amazing and suddenly you realize how happy you are.

This could be the birth of a child or just meeting someone you haven’t seen in years, and all the great memories rush over you and for that moment you realize you are happy. That moment you are overcome with happiness and joy.

2. You stumble onto happiness when you realize how blessed you are.

The things you have taken for granted are brought before you, and you instantly see how much you have to be grateful for. You have taken things for granted, not realizing that there are others worst off than you. You complain about your life and in an instant things change and you realize you are blessed.

You could be walking down the street, and you see someone in need and realize that this could have been you. You then suddenly realize how blessed you are, because you have more than enough. You are overcome with happiness.

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3. You stumble onto happiness when you realize how much you are loved.

You have been with the same partner for a while and, like anything else, it becomes routine. You do the same things over and over again, and things become normal.

Then, you hear of someone getting a divorce and in that instant you are awoken by the gravity of how loved you are. At that moment, you become happy and emotional because you realize you have been happy all this time.

4. You stumble onto happiness when you realize that your children are safe from harm.

You sometimes think you haven’t been happy since your children were born. You were happy then. Here they are now — bundles of energy, and they get on your nerves and mess things up and you become tired and overworked.

Then, you take a moment just to sit and think and you realize your precious children are safe, secure and healthy, and you are overcome with happiness. You realize that you have been happy all along.

5. You stumble onto happiness when you realize you are happy with who you are.

You have struggled to find yourself and to know who you are for years. During your search, you realize that you are happy with who you are. All this time you’ve wasted trying to be someone else, and suddenly you realize that you are indeed very special. You are now happy in your skin. You were happy all along, but never knew it.

6. You stumble onto happiness when you realize how much you have to give.

You have never thought of helping or giving to any cause because you never thought you had anything to offer.

You decide to lend a helping hand to someone else and, low and below, you realize that you indeed have more to offer than you thought. You can, in fact, contribute to someone else’s life. You are happy because you now know you are more than enough.

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7. You stumble onto happiness when you realize how kind you are.

You are busy with your life, and you do things for people, not always taking the things you do seriously. Then, one day someone sends you a thank you note for being kind, and you realize for the first time in a long time that you are indeed happy because you have the power of kindness.

8. You stumble onto happiness when you realize that you are patient.

You have been impatient — running from left to right for some time and not slowing down. You become agitated with everything that gets in your way.

Then, one day you are driving down the street, and someone needs to cross. Even though you are busy and late, you decide to allow them to pass. You now realize you can be patient, and it’s a great feeling. You are happy, even if for that split second, and it feels good.

9. You stumble onto happiness when you realize you are healthy.

You take your health for granted, not paying particular attention to your body until one day you hear of someone who is very ill. You realize that you have every reason to be happy because you are in great health. You have been happy all along, but never took the time to notice.

10. You stumble onto happiness when you realize you are safe.

You watch the news, and it suddenly dawns on you that you can go to bed without fear. There aren’t bombs dropping in your neighborhood, and you take a deep breath and realize you are happy. You are happy because you feel safe.

11. You stumble onto happiness when you realize that you are lucky to have a job.

You go to work every day and go through the routine without much thought. You might even complain about the job and your boss.

You run into someone who isn’t so lucky and you realize you are happy. In spite of all that is happening with the job, you are happy. You can pay your bills, you can support yourself, and that makes you happy.

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12. You stumble onto happiness when you realize how much you have to be happy for.

You can always find something to be happy for. This list is endless, and if you take the time to look into your life, you will find so many reasons to be happy.

Many times, the simple path to being happy begins with you realizing that happiness is nothing to be found. It is a decision you make anytime you want to.

Do not allow yourself to keep stumbling into happiness. Start being happy every minute of the day, because happiness is everywhere in your life — you only have to decide that you want to be happy.

It takes nothing for you to be happy but for you to make that choice.

Featured photo credit: Mother and Children/Gagilas via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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