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Last Updated on June 15, 2020

10 Things You Need to Learn to Live a Truly Happy Life

10 Things You Need to Learn to Live a Truly Happy Life

The older we get, the more that we experience life and the more that we learn what truly makes us happy.

“Happiness is a how, not a what. A talent, not an object.” — Herman Hesse

Personally, happiness has always been an intriguing point of interest for me. I have always seen happiness as the epitome of all success that life can bring. If you’re happy, then surely you’ve got everything sorted, right? What more could you want?

Happiness comes in many forms. The good thing is it can be extremely different from person to person. Why is this a good thing? You can tailor everything you do in your life to bring out the happiness in you. You can actually learn to be happy. There are however, a number of key themes that span across all individuals for finding happiness.

To bring out the best in you and help you live a happy life, there are 10 things that you need to learn.

1. Learn to Say I Love You

For some reason, this can be a hard one for many people, particularly with immediate family members. Generally, as you grow older you will come to realize what your family (particularly your parents) have done for you throughout your life and you will learn to become more grateful for what you have. Learning to say “I love you” can make your relationships blossom, and it builds transparency, honesty and trust, ultimately helping you in becoming a happier person.

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2. Learn to Forgive

Have there been times in your life where you have felt betrayed or let down? Have there been times when you have felt that you have let others down? Although sometimes hard, forgiving others and being able to forgive yourself is essential for being able to move forward and regain a positive outlook in life.

Learn in this guide: How to Forgive and Live a Happy Life Again (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Learn to Say No

Do you struggle with saying no to people, events or situations? Without saying no, you can become overwhelmed and experience imbalance in your life.

Learning to say no is essential for being able to focus on what you truly believe in, what you value and what is important to you in your life.

Take up The Gentle Art of Saying No.

4. Learn to Live Your Passions Every Day

Do you currently incorporate your passions into your everyday life? Spending even the smallest amount of time living your passion each day can have a huge impact to the way you feel and to what you want to achieve in your life.

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Don’t know where to find your passion? Try this: How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life

5. Learn to Eat Healthy And Exercise Regularly

The old saying goes ‘you are what you eat’ and even in this day and age the saying is truer than ever. The amount of information on health and wellbeing these days is absolutely enormous.

Scientifically proven through the release of endorphins, eating healthy and exercising regularly can help you live a more fulfilled life and help you feel happier on a daily basis.

Take up some of these healthy habits that will drastically improve your life.

6. Learn to Connect Deeply

Are you afraid of connecting deeply with others at the thought that you may be making yourself too vulnerable in doing so?

Making yourself vulnerable and connecting deeply with others is actually not that hard. Connecting deeply with others can help you become more relaxed, open and honest, helping you to be yourself and ultimately help you become a much happier person.

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7. Learn to See Life Differently

What’s unique about you? Are you creating your own life and your own lifestyle? Life is not meant to be taken so seriously. Life is simply about enjoying the time that we have.

We only live once. The older you get the more you will realize how fast time slips by, reminding you to slow down and appreciate the moment.

8. Learn to Set Your Goals

Do you set your own goals and work towards them? Or does the World around you do it for you?

We normally get brought up in a society where parents tell you what grades you should aim for, the media tells you how you should live your life, and your teachers tell you how to go about your schooling.

Setting your own goals, focusing on them and pursuing them will enable you to follow what you truly believe in, live by your values and ultimately help you live a much happier life.

This article can help you to set goals: How to Set Goals and Achieve Them Successfully

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9. Learn to Count Your Blessings

What do you take for granted? As you grow and become more aware of the world around you, you will come to realize that you are extremely blessed. Perhaps you are blessed with good health, a good community or the freedom to live a life that you choose. The fact that you have the ability to connect to the internet right now in your leisure, read and learn is a blessing that many do not have.

What do you have in your life or what experiences have you had that other people may have not? Remind yourself of this every day. Counting your blessings will help you take to the World with a positive outlook and a mindset to make a difference.

If you need some reminders on what to be grateful for, here they are: 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

10. Learn to Give

Giving is a fundamental and essential ingredient for happiness. There is no doubt that the more you give the more you get in return.

Giving to others can enhance your relationships, build trust, but most importantly, it can make a difference in the life of someone else, and this is the ultimate in happiness!

Final Thoughts

Have you mastered the 10 key ingredients for happiness? Which ones do you feel would benefit you the most? What can you do today to ensure you go to bed tonight feeling super-happy? Start to take action and live a happier life from now on.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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Brendan Baker

Brendan helps people who feel stuck doing work they don't like start to make a difference and an income doing what they love.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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