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11 Simple Ways To Create Your Own Happiness

11 Simple Ways To Create Your Own Happiness

Happiness is and will always be the most cherished, yet most elusive, of all human desires. Day in and day out, many search for happiness, but end the day empty handed.

Happiness isn’t something that someone gives us, nor is it something that we have to have permission for. Happiness is a state of mind that is created from within. Here are 11 ways to ensure happiness is a part of your everyday life.

1. State your achievements

“There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.” – Henry Ford

It’s easy to get caught up in day-to-day life and never take the time to reflect on the things we have accomplished. Each of us has done plenty of awesome things in our lives.

So what if life isn’t perfect at this exact moment. It’s okay that it’s taking a tad bit longer with your fitness goals. Don’t worry that you haven’t reached the pinnacle of your career just yet.

The most important thing is that you are moving forward and you’re in a better position today than you were yesterday.

Start a journal listing accomplishments, milestones, and breakthroughs you’ve experienced. After writing this list, take a moment or two to reflect on all you’ve done.

2. Include the little things you love into your day-to-day life

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault

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I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “It’s the little things in life that matter.” The little things are the small and often underappreciated aspects of life that truly make us happy. Rather, it’s your favorite cup of Joe, your morning walk along the beach, attending your favorite yoga class, or wearing that outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks.

Schedule your life around the small details that bring you happiness.

3. Do what you love

As Steve Jobs famously said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

People who do what they love for a living tend to live a happier and more productive life, have higher self-esteem, and better health.

4. Paint your perfect day

“To accomplish great things, we must first dream, then visualize, then plan…believe…act!” – Alfred A. Montapert

Everyone has the power to live each day exactly the way they want to. We all have the same 24 hours to work with. It’s up to you to decide how to fill up those minutes.

Ask yourself, are you wasting time watching reality TV, sleeping late, complaining about your job, and wishing for a better life? Or are you going after your goals and dreams, and doing whatever it takes to reach them?

Take these 3 steps to achieve your perfect day:

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  1. Realize you have the power to achieve anything you’ve ever wanted and no one else can do the work for you.
  2. Figure out what your perfect day looks like.
  3. You must believe 100% that your perfect day will become a reality.

5. Put yourself above everything else

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in the world.” – Lucille Ball

It’s time you put yourself first and become selfish. While it’s admirable to help others, don’t forget to show yourself some love. Treat yourself to a massage. Take a weekend trip where you can disconnect from the noisy world you live in.

Block out your time and let no one cut in.

6. Tell yourself today will be awesome

“Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.” – Dr. Joyce Brothers

Happiness comes from within. Happiness starts with reshaping your mindset to be positive and eliminating all negative thoughts.

Be positive and believe in yourself, no matter the obstacles that might stand in your way.

7. Forget being perfect and accept yourself as is

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” – Leo Tolstoy

People often act confident and secure around others but deep down, they’re insecure.

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Realize we live in an imperfect world and stop comparing yourself to others (it’s not worth it to play ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’).

Once you learn to accept yourself for who you are, life becomes simpler and more peaceful.

8. Surround yourself with the right company

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey

Your friends should bring out the best version of you and help you strive to new levels in life. Think of your company in terms of quality instead of quantity.

It’s more important to have a few quality friends who inspire you, than tons of friends who leave you in a negative state of mind.

9. Stop worrying and keep it moving

“Stop worrying about what you have to lose and start focusing on what you have to gain.” – Author unknown

Life is full of what ifs and endless possibilities. Whatever is going to happen, is going to happen, whether you worry or not.

So, why waste time worrying when some things you have no control over?

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If what you are worrying about isn’t within your means to be solved, then move on and don’t let it put a damper on your parade. Embrace the uncertainty that life brings us and get to enjoying life.

10. Get out of your comfort zone and become bold

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” – Brian Tracy

We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” – Max Depree

Nothing worth having comes with a 100% guarantee of success, nor should it. Being willing to take risks is what life is all about.

Living in your comfort zone shrinks your world and gives you tunnel vision. Instead of thinking, “If only I had…,” take a leap of faith and maybe, just maybe, you’ll discover the life you always wanted.

11. Have a feel-good song

“Words make you think. Music makes you feel. A song makes you feel a thought.” – Yip Harburg

Everyone needs a go-to song when they need to brighten up their day. It’s been proven that music can make us happy even on our worst of days.

Here’s a go-to song that even the saddest person will have to crack a smile to when listening.

What song is always sure to make you smile and feel awesome? Comment below.

Featured photo credit: charamelody via flickr.com

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Julian Hayes II

Author, Health & Fitness Coach for Entrepreneurs, & Speaker

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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