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7 Reminders That Some People Are Happier with Less Than What You Have

7 Reminders That Some People Are Happier with Less Than What You Have

“We need much less than we think we need.”- Maya Angelou.

When you travel to poorer countries, you are immediately struck by the fact that people are happier, even though they have a lot less than you have. When you are constantly seeking to upgrade your life with a better car, new job, or a more modern smartphone, just think you can still be happy with what you have got.

The most toxic thoughts that can really pollute your mind are those that begin with, “I wish I had..’ or ‘If only…”These are useless regrets and speculation which are worse than a gambling addiction. Look around you and remind yourself that some people are happier with less than what you have.

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1. Someone has little money but they never have to worry about being exploited

People who are rich have a terrible time in that they worry endlessly about actually losing what they have. They fear being exploited and are always wary of new friends who may regard them as a soft touch. In addition, they never enjoy comfort or convenience because they are obsessed with saving the last penny.

I once got to know one of the richest women in the UK. When she went on holiday, she flew low cost which sometimes meant getting up at 4.a.m. in the morning. She shopped around when buying  postcards and could rarely enjoy a holiday without thinking of what it was costing her! The person who is poorly off is often much richer in that they have understood that happiness is not the bottom line in their bank account.

2. Someone is single but they know that happiness does not depend on getting hitched

Many people are convinced that being single automatically means misery and loneliness. They sometimes make mistakes in choosing the wrong partner and end up in unhappy relationships. The person who is single actually has a better chance, statistically, of enjoying better health and also being more socially involved. They have also understood that a partner is no guarantee of finding happiness. They know that their job, interests and friends are the cornerstones in their lives.

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3. Someone has problems but knows that this is just a blip on their radar

I grew up in a home where my father constantly told us to “look on the bright side and also to count your blessings.” My mother, on the other hand, was rather pessimistic and would remark gloomily that “the best of the day has gone” while journeying to the seaside. Fortunately, my father’s genes prevailed and I grew up to be optimistic. I know that setbacks are just temporary and that pessimism is escapable as Martin Seligman points out in his excellent book, “Learned Optimism: How To Change Your Mind and Your Life.

4. Someone never sets goals and is missing out

Some people fall into despair because they can never realize their life ambitions. Failure after failure means that they never set goals to get out of the swamp. They think that life has bestowed on them a horrible fate. They think that luck and destiny have dealt them a lousy hand. They have failed to learn that their attitude and behavior are going to determine their success or failure in life. Setting mini goals and loving what you do can help to get back on track.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

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 5. Someone is powerless but is self-sufficient

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

Gandhi had no earthly possessions and indeed seemed bereft of any kind of power, influence, wealth and authority. Yet he was able to show that the people of India could be self-sufficient with the little they had and they did not have to rely on foreign powers for economic survival.

6. Some people rely on simple pleasures to enrich themselves

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” – Cicero.

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There is no need for fancy holidays or expensive electronic devices. Some people have discovered that the simple pleasures of life, such as a walk in the park at twilight, tending a garden, picking flowers, and reading a good book can be more than enough to enjoy the pleasures of life.

7. Someone gives thanks every day for what they have

We take so much for granted. Steve Taylor has written about how important it is to practice gratitude and appreciation after a long journey through India. There have been countless experiments carried out by psychologists which show that once you start practicing gratitude and counting your blessings, you will have better health and it is the foundation for your well–being. So, you see, my father was right!

Featured photo credit: Kristina H. on content strategy/ Jeffrey Zeldman via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy and Become Positive

7 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy and Become Positive

Negativity affects ourselves and everyone around us. It limits our potential to become something great and live a fulfilling, purposeful life. Negativity has a tangible effect on our health, too. Research has shown that people who cultivate negative energy experience more stress, more sickness, and less opportunity over the course of their lives than those who choose to live positively.

When we make a decision to become positive, and follow that decision up with action, we will begin to encounter situations and people that are also positive. The negative energy gets edged out by all positive experiences. It’s a snowball effect.

Although negative and positive thoughts will always exist, the key to becoming positive is to limit the amount of negativity that we experience by filling ourselves up with more positivity.

Here are some ways to get rid of negativity and become more positive.

1. Become Grateful for Everything

When life is all about us, it’s easy to believe that we deserve what we have. An attitude of entitlement puts us at the center of the universe and sets up the unrealistic expectation that others should cater to us, our needs, and our wants. This vain state of existence is a surefire way to set yourself up for an unfulfilled life of negativity.

People living in this sort of entitlement are “energy suckers”–they are always searching for what they can get out of a situation. People that don’t appreciate the nuances of their lives live in a constant state of lacking. And it’s really difficult to live a positive life this way.

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When we begin to be grateful and appreciate everything in our lives–from the small struggles that make us better, to the car that gets us from A to B every day–we shift our attitude from one of selfishness, to one of appreciation. This appreciation gets noticed by others, and a positive harmony begins to form in our relationships.

We begin to receive more of that which we are grateful for, because we’ve opened ourselves up to the idea of receiving, instead of taking. This will make your life more fulfilling, and more positive.

2. Laugh More, Especially at Yourself

Life gets busy, our schedules fill up, we get into relationships, and work can feel task oriented and routine-driven at times. Being human can feel more like being a robot. But having this work-driven, serious attitude often results in negative and performance oriented thinking.

Becoming positive means taking life less seriously and letting yourself off the hook. This is the only life that you get to live, why not lighten up your mood?

Laughter helps us become positive by lightening our mood and reminding us not to take life so seriously. Are you sensitive to light sarcasm? Do you have trouble laughing at jokes? Usually, people who are stressed out and overly serious get most offended by sarcasm because their life is all work and no play.

If we can learn to laugh at ourselves and our mistakes, life will become more of an experiment in finding out what makes us happy. And finding happiness means finding positivity.

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3. Help Others

Negativity goes hand in hand with selfishness. People that live only for themselves have no higher purpose in their lives. If the whole point of this world is only to take care of yourself and no one else, the road to a long-term fulfillment and purpose is going to be a long one.

Positivity accompanies purpose. The most basic way to create purpose and positivity in your life is to begin doing things for others. Start small; open the door for the person in front of you at Starbucks or ask someone how their day was before telling them about yours.

Helping others will give you an intangible sense of value that will translate into positivity. And people might just appreciate you in the process.

4. Change Your Thinking

We can either be our best coach or our best enemy. Change starts from within. If you want to become more positive, change the wording of your thoughts. We are the hardest on ourselves, and a stream of negative self talk is corrosive to a positive life.

The next time you have a negative thought, write it down and rephrase it with a positive spin. For example, change a thought like, “I can’t believe I did so horribly on the test–I suck.” to “I didn’t do as well as I hoped to on this test. But I know I’m capable and I’ll do better next time.”

Changing our self-talk is powerful.

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5. Surround Yourself with Positive People

We become most like the people that we surround ourselves with. If our friend group is full of negative energy-suckers and drama queens, we will emulate that behavior and become like them. It is very difficult to become more positive when the people around us don’t support or demonstrate positive behavior.

As you become more positive, you’ll find that your existing friends will either appreciate the new you or they will become resistant to your positive changes. This is a natural response.

Change is scary; but cutting out the negative people in your life is a huge step to becoming more positive. Positive people reflect and bounce their perspectives onto one another. Positivity is a step-by-step process when you do it solo, but a positive group of friends can be an escalator.

6. Get into Action

Negative thoughts can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate. Negativity is usually accompanied by a “freak-out” response, especially when tied to relationships, people and to worrying about the future. This is debilitating to becoming positive and usually snowballs into more worry, more stress and more freak-outs.

Turn the negative stress into positive action. The next time you’re in one of these situations, walk away and take a break. With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths. Once you’re calm, approach the situation or problem with a pen and pad of paper. Write out four or five actions or solutions to begin solving the problem.

Taking yourself out of the emotionally charged negative by moving into the action-oriented positive will help you solve more problems rationally and live in positivity

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7. Take Full Responsibility, Stop Being the Victim

You are responsible for your thoughts.

People that consistently believe that things happen to them handicap themselves to a victim mentality. This is a subtle and deceptive negative thought pattern. Phrases like “I have to work” or “I can’t believe he did that to me” are indicators of a victim mentality. Blaming circumstances and blaming others only handicaps our decision to change something negative into something positive.

Taking full responsibility for your life, your thoughts and your actions is one of the biggest steps in creating a more positive life. We have unlimited potential within to create our own reality, change our life, and change our thoughts. When we begin to really internalize this, we discover that no one can make us feel or do anything. We choose our emotional and behavioral response to people and circumstances.

Make positive choices in favor of yourself.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny” ― Lao Tzu

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Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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