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After Asking Myself These 7 Questions, I Feel Happier

After Asking Myself These 7 Questions, I Feel Happier

In order to feel happier, take a look at what you do have and should be thankful for, instead of focusing on what you lack. There are a lot of questions that, when answered, will yield positive results for you. Here are seven things you can ask yourself to feel happier:

1. Am I loved?

I feel happier when I ask myself if I have loved ones in my life. Do you have people around you who truly, deeply care about you and whom you care equally as much about? Our relationships define us, and the quality of those relationships is in many way synonymous with the quality of our lives. Don’t settle for toxic friendships or unhealthy companionships; you deserve better than that. Build and maintain the positive relationships in your life to feel happier.

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2. Am I depended on?

When I’m thinking about the level of trust and faith others have in me, I feel a lot happier. Is there anyone that asks you for advice? That looks up to you? That needs your guidance? It’s nice to know you’re needed, and chances are that you’re needed by at least someone. Even if pessimism and self-doubt is more natural to you, try your best not underestimate your worth. Remind yourself of the people who depend on you and take pride in trying to live up to their expectations. When you meet them, and especially when you exceed them, your spirits will soar.

3. Am I without hope?

A negative question can sometimes lead to positive emotions. When you straight up ask yourself if things are hopeless, you’ll have a lot of trouble giving a definitive yes. You’ll start to think about all the reasons you have to say no to the question, reminding you of the hopeful things in your life.

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4. How far have I come from ______?

Think about your lowest point, even if doing so is uncomfortable. Then think about how far you’ve come from there. If you’re in a rut, remember how you’ve had it worse than you do now, and how all signs indicate that things will turn around this time, too.

5. Do I have options?

A lot of people’s decisions are made for them. They’re stuck at a dead-end job, trapped in debt, or bound by something equally constricting. Even if one of those situations applies to you, focus on the constrictions you don’t have that a lot of others are unfortunately held back by. I feel happier when I consider how many doors are open to me. Even if everything seems closed, you just have to keep looking. If you’re creative and persistent enough, you’ll find an opening into a better, more fulfilling life.

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6. Can I further involve myself in my hobbies?

Consider the things you already enjoy and find a way to make them even more enjoyable. Explore your hobbies and figure out ways to turn them into passions. One way is to take a more active role. Do you like looking at art? Start making it. Do you like reading? Consider becoming a writer. There are so many ways we can become more invested in the things we already love, so look into making that investment in order to feel happier.

7. What am I thankful for?

You don’t have to limit this question to Thanksgiving dinners; it’s one of the best things you can ask yourself all year. I feel happier when I consider what specifics I should be grateful for in my life. If you don’t immediately dwell on the negative you’ll quickly compile a healthy list of things you should be grateful for. You can even write them down, so you have a specific thing you can look at to feel happier.

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Featured photo credit: HAPPY/Leo Reynolds via flickr.com

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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