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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 September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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