Blog by Tracy Butz, CSP
If there was a magic pill to make you feel happier, what would you pay for it and would you take it? Many people would consider paying a lot of green to avoid feeling blue.
In fact, providing your basic needs are met, happiness is said to be determined more by the state of your mind than by what conditions exist or circumstances happen.
Therefore, my prescription for pleasure, or true happiness, can actually be achieved by reshaping our mindset, attitudes and outlook. Here are 18 recommended remedies to help prevent the pessimism, treat the tears, nip the nag, and cure the crabby:
1. Choose your thoughts. Every day, choose your thoughts the same way you choose what clothes to wear.
2. Express gratitude. Many of us could be a lot happier if we practiced gratitude for what we already have rather than focusing all our attention on what we don’t have.
3. Let go of anger. Holding a grudge or holding onto any type of anger won’t do anything but cause resentment. Dwelling on the past is only going to hold you back from having a better future. Hate is a very heavy bag to carry; let it go.
4. Forget perfect. Perfection is a fallacy of irrational thinking—the more we try to be perfect, the more disappointed we will be. Rather than shooting for perfection, aim for your finest, and you will rarely let yourself down.
5. Fight the disease to please. Resist being overly concerned with impressing, winning the approval of, or incessantly pleasing others, especially when it’s at a personal cost to you. Instead, pursue and set healthy boundaries by knowing what you like, need, want, and don’t want, and then making choices which are aligned with those needs and wants.
6. Teach your lips to say no. Understand that you are free to say yes or no. And, when appropriate, you should do so without feelings of guilt, anger or fear.
7. Be your authentic self. Try not to compare yourself with others. Everyone is unique in his or her own way. Embrace your features along with your flaws. Be the best you that you can be.
8. Smile. Turn that frown upside down. After all, smiling is infectious; you can catch it easier than a cold.
9. Challenge negative opinions others have of you. What others think of you should never outshine what you think of yourself.
10. Lighten your load. Unless you have a large red “S” on your chest, you likely don’t have super powers, which may be what it would take for one individual to conquer the evil, mile-long to-do list. Instead, ask for and accept some help.
11. Forgive yourself and others. Move on from past mistakes and difficult situations. Holding on to these negative feels is very burdensome.
12. Own accountability. When things go wrong, be accountable for your mistakes without pointing fingers at others.
13. Expect mutual benefit in relationships. Whether at work or at home, healthy relationships should provide value and benefit for both parties. It likely won’t be the same for each of you, but it should be a shared venture.
14. Welcome feedback. Some feedback is positive, and some is constructive. Understand the intent of the other person, and try to look past how it was delivered. Choose to learn and grow from feedback you receive.
15. Refuse to take on the problems of others. It is admirable to help others through difficult situations; however, there is a big difference between offering assistance and accepting another person’s problem as your own.
16. Celebrate successes. Celebrate personal accomplishments by treating yourself to a movie, taking a vacation day to do what you want, indulging in a small treat, etc. Additionally, get in the habit of noticing and applauding the success of others. By recognizing another person’s achievements, you are demonstrating value and appreciation for their effort and results.
17. Respect yourself. Feel an inner confidence and assurance, independent of praise from others. Remember: nobody can make you feel inferior unless you give him or her permission.
18. Be respectful of others. Look for positive and honorable qualities in others.
Being happy is a deliberate choice; a choice we make every moment of every day. Don’t target the tumultuous; instead, focus on the fantastic and be happy!