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Mastering The Art of Happiness (9 Tips to Get Started)

Mastering The Art of Happiness (9 Tips to Get Started)

As we get older, we begin to understand that a fulfilling life is one in which we are unapologetically happy.

However, finding and maintaining that happiness can be evasive for some; even though the potential for happiness is all around us!

If you’ve always thought of the potential of mastering the art of happiness, but was never quite sure where to begin, we’ve got you covered.

In this guide, we’ll break it down for you so achieving happiness isn’t just attainable, but actually quite simple!

Happiness Is Simple

If you want to live a happier lifestyle, here are 9 tips that will help you to get started on the road to happiness!

1. Acceptance is Key

It becomes easy to lose track of your happiness when you are consistently fighting against the current of your life.

All things, no matter whether they are good or bad, enter our lives for a reason; and, we choose how to respond to each situation.

Rather than pushing each of these situations away when they don’t appeal to you, attempt to embrace them and find solutions that help you come out a victor on the other side.

When you begin to go with the flow and work with what you’ve been given, you’ll find that you become much happier overall.

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2. Positivity is All Around You

Everything has a positive aspect. Everything!

Even the most painful or difficult situations have a silver lining to them. When we fail to recognize these positive aspects and only focus on the negative outcomes or qualities of a certain person or situation, it makes it easier for sadness and doubt to creep into our lives.

The next time that you are dealing with something painful or difficult, try to take a step back from the situation and assess it logically.

Is there something in this situation that could be perceived as positive?

If you search deep enough, you are certain to find some type of positivity. Never give up!

3. Fill Your Life With Love

A life filled with activities and relationships that do not fulfill you is a waste of your time and will not make you happy. As life goes on, we lose track of our hopes and dreams and begin to settle on what we think we should be doing rather than what we want to do.

Although this is a habit that is hard to break away from, settling can make us rather unhappy. The solution? Start taking a look at each area of your life and decide whether or not you feel fulfilled.

In the areas where you feel as though you are lacking, take some time to figure out what may make you feel happier. For example, imagine that your job is not quite what you thought it would be when you first started, and definitely not the job that you dreamt about when you were growing up.

While some people would stick with this job despite this major issue, consider the idea of making a job change. The reason you make this change is because you know that you will be happier doing what you want to do rather than what is expected! Although it will take some time, the end results will be worth it.

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4. Make Every Minute Count

The honest truth about life is that we only have so many minutes on this planet. Why waste them being unhappy?

You should be living your life to the fullest and getting everything you want, rather than spending your time doing things that don’t matter to you. If you have moments where you feel unfulfilled, or you are voluntarily spending time with people that make you less than happy, reduce these tendencies.

It can be hard to remember that there are so many hours in the day but it is a very motivational piece of information.

To remind yourself of this key piece of information, put a sticky note down in a place where you find yourself repeatedly throughout the day or set the reminder as your phone wallpaper.

This way, you will always remember that each minute counts and that you need to chase what you want in order to lead the happiest life possible. Prioritize your time as though it is precious–because it is.

5. Practice Self-Care

Self-care is one of the most important things to do to stay happy and maintain your overall mental health. What is self-care? To put it simply, self-care is the practice of engaging in activities that help you to mentally recharge.

For example, a self-care day may involve an hour of intense journaling, a trip to the spa where you get a full body treatment, and a couple of hours of your favorite movies. No matter what you do, self-care activities will always help you to center yourself and make you feel more relaxed.

There is no rule as to how often you need to practice self-care to stay happy and healthy. Just practice it whenever you feel that you need it! Of course, don’t neglect your obligations, but certainly don’t feel guilty for giving yourself a mental recharge every once in a while. In the end, these small acts of self care will make a big difference.

6. Seek Out Exciting Experiences

A stagnant lifestyle can become a boring and unsatisfying lifestyle rather quickly. Even the happiest of individuals can find themselves unsatisfied if they continue to live the same day repeatedly.

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You should always be seeking out new experiences to learn more about the world around you and to discover new passions and interesting (and inspiring!) people. The best thing about new experiences is that they often don’t have to be large or expensive to be satisfying.

Sit down with your phone or with a piece of pencil and a paper and jot down some of the things that you have always wanted to do. After you’ve finished your own personal list, do some exploring on the internet and come up with some ideas of activities that you’ve wanted to do or places that you’ve wanted to visit as well.

Once your list is full, make it your goal to tackle these items one by one. Eventually, you will have fulfilled these passions and you can begin to create a list of new ones! Before you know it, you’ll look back on what you’ve accomplished and feel incredibly fulfilled.

7. Set Goals and Dominate Them

There is nothing quite like setting a goal and successfully following through on it. In fact, this is one of the main confidence-building methods recommended for those who are trying to work through their depression.

Without goals, life can become very bland and you may lose focus on what truly matters to you. Goals are what give you purpose and motivation to live through each day doing what it is that will make you happy.

One great source for goal-making and following through on your goals is Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life. This source will teach you about the main categories of life goals that you should be setting for yourself, and how you can be strong on your follow through as well!

8. Express Endless Gratitude

Being grateful is truly a blessing. Through gratitude, we learn that there is always something beautiful going on in our lives. Even during the darkest of days, you can still be grateful for something as simple as getting eight hours of sleep or having a stranger saying hello to you on the street.

To start practicing gratitude, all you have to do is begin reciting the things you are grateful for daily. One popular method for showing gratitude is to grab a journal and to write down three things each day that you are grateful for.

After a while, you will begin to notice that your perspective towards life has shifted and you will begin looking for the positive rather than focusing on the negative!

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You’ll find it easier to focus on all the things that you are grateful for without trying, which will being a great sense of joy to your everyday life. This comes in handy especially during times of stress; in these times, remembering the things you are grateful for can be incredibly beneficial.

9. Volunteer Your Time 

As Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” We all get a little too tangled up in our own lives and thoughts sometimes, that we can forget there is a whole world out there filled with situations and people who are just as complex as we are.

Volunteering helps shed some light on that reality and it gives you the opportunity to reach out, help others, and make a difference in the community or in the world. When you have the ability to make a major difference in someone’s day, happiness is sure to flock to you.

Helping others will also make you consider all the things in your own life to be grateful for, and again, this gratitude will take you quite far in your pursuit of happiness.

Happiness is All Around

While happiness may seem hard to obtain, the truth is that it is all around us and you just need to know where to look, what to do, and how to appreciate the pockets of happiness in life.

By following the guidance within these 9 suggestions above, you will be living the happy life that you have always wanted in no time.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Jenn Evelyn-Ann on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Dylan Buckley

Dylan is Lifehack's Motivation Expert specializing in self-development, with extensive experience working for life coaches and startups.

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Last Updated on August 19, 2019

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

That’s where we all should be.

So, answer me this:

How are you, really?

And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

It’s taking control.

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2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

Change will happen.

Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

“Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

“If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

What would you do if you felt you were enough?

By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

Final Thoughts

By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

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