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8 Reasons Why We Find It Hard To Realize Happiness

8 Reasons Why We Find It Hard To Realize Happiness

What is happiness? It is the inner state of positive emotions and feelings.  It is a harmony between physical and spiritual world. We are happy when we enjoy our social life, work, family and we have enough alone time to renew within. For each of us happiness is something different. To define happiness is harder than to be happy. Because happiness is an emotion, a way of thinking, feelings and life itself. It is not something we can understand, have a recipe and just make it. Happiness must be discovered by ourselves. Happiness is an experience in which we can understand more, be ourselves and learn gratitude.

But why it is so hard to be happy? Is it because we don’t live in this very moment and become disappointed about the past or worried about future?

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Marcel Proust

1. We live in the past or future.

There is always something to be disappointed about in the past. The mistakes grow bigger day by day and eat us from the inside. They can destroy us and take away the will to live, to challenge and achieve. We become afraid from the future, loss and mistakes. Fears overtake our will and energy to be and live.

Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present, to live better in the future.

William Wordsworth

2. We don’t live in this moment.

If we don’t live in the moment, we can’t notice the blessings and miracles around. We miss opportunities and lose the potential of every day.

Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.

Wayne Dyer

3. We live in rush.

And then we start to live in rush. We try to runaway from yesterday and chase the future and live it as fast as possible being afraid of failures and unknown.

We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.

Bill Watterson

4. We forget to appreciate and be thankful.

When we are a constant rush we forget to be appreciative and thankful for what we had, have and will have. We can’t be kind, gentle and positive with other people and express gratitude.

Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

Voltaire

5. We compare ourselves with others and want what they have.

When we start to compare our lives and ourselves with other people, we think that we will be happy with what they have, doing what they do, but it’s rarely true and often, we don’t see the unhappiness behind of a lot of what our neighbor might have.

How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.

Marcus Aurelius

6. We don’t know what we truly want.

To be happy is to understand the point of life. If we don’t take time to feel it within and try to become fulfilled with something that others do, we end up feeling empty and lost. We can’t be happy or find happiness if we don’t know where we are going. Each moment wanting something else.

A lot of people get so hung up on what they can’t have that they don’t think for a second about whether they really want it.

Lionel Shriver

7. We lose reality.

Sometimes it is easier to hide from reality and forget about anybody and indulge in fantasies and virtual world. To take a look at our life and if there is something we want to change and have different and go for it. Not to hide from problems or pretend everything is alright. But have a clear vision where we are right now and where we want to be and what stand in the middle. We can have a big dreams, but without action it is just a fantasy.

One of the greatest moments in anybody’s developing experience is when he no longer tries to hide from himself but determines to get acquainted with himself as he really is.

Norman Vincent Peale

8. Our priorities are messed up.

We have to find balance between living for ourselves and for others. It is easier not to take responsibility for our life and spend each day for others than to realize what we want and set up our needs in first place. What is more important for us – our inner world or put in order the outer world?

Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.

Stephen R.Covey

Happiness is to know what we want, see clear steps to achieve it and embrace each day with gratitude and faith. Choose to make this day as happy as possible and be in the moment. Notice how much there is to be happy and find the key to never lose your happiness but create it pure and rich in colours.

Featured photo credit: Sad lonely woman walking alone into the woods via shutterstock.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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