How to Find Happiness in Every Moment
Happiness is something that most people in the world want, but it seems to be the one thing that is hardest to get. Everyone wants to be happy, but happiness is elusive. Many think that money may be the answer, but in the end even that seems to only bring temporary relief. The modern world we live in is a cold one. Real and authentic human communication is quickly being replaced by technology. Most people have to fend for themselves which is all the more reason why happiness is slowly becoming the only real thing to strive for. But the question remains, how is happiness found?
The first step to finding happiness is to let go of the past. This is the hardest step for most people because the past is the combination of all the experiences that make us who we are. It's all the memories of our successes, but it's also the memories of everything we have ever done wrong. We can't be happy in the present if we don't let go of the past. The past holds us back from what we could become in the present and in turn the future. It's that little voice inside your head that tells you "no, you can't do this, remember when you tried and failed?" "What makes you think it will be different now?"
The past also holds all the people that have hurt us and didn't believe in us. At least it should hold all those people because there is no room for them in our present if we are to find any hope of happiness. We have to forgive them, let them go, and leave them in the past where they belong. We have to forgive them even if they're not sorry which is the hardest thing in the world to do. As long as we hold on to the anger caused by how we were mistreated by people, they still have a hold on us and prevent us from being happy. We have to cut all ties and let them go. They already caused pain in the past, there's no point in holding on to them in the present and future and letting them steal anymore of our time and energy. This is harder for some people because people from their past are not that easy to let go of. For example, they may have to stay in touch with an ex-boyfriend or ex-husband because they share a child and there is no way they can have no communication. In this instance, it is best to think of that person not in terms of how they hurt you, but about the best of times in which they gave you the greatest gift in the world; your child. If we have to keep hurtful people from the past in our present lives, we must either think of the best times we had together or remember all the lessons we learned from the hurt they caused us. This will make it much easier to move on and find happiness in the present.
Once you let go of the past, in whichever way best suits your particular needs, it is now time to find peace within yourself. The biggest part of the job is already done because most people can't find peace due to events and people of the past. Now that it is taken care of, the peace will come much quicker because there is nothing holding you back except yourself. This is the time to work on you. Being proactive and productive in your life will bring you peace. Taking a day or two off work when life becomes too much is okay, but it slowly makes you miserable if all you're doing is watching television all day and not moving ahead in your life. Write down goals and achieve them. It feels really good to cross things off a list once you have accomplished them. If your work isn't making you happy, figure out why and try to find a job that does fulfill you. Maybe that means going back to school and finding a better suited major for you. Even accomplishing things around the house are great if you are a stay-at-home Mom. It feels great to get things done and feel like you are doing something with your life. Maybe finding peace means losing that extra weight that's been bringing you down for so long. Going to the gym and working out will build confidence, strength, and eventually peace with yourself when you see the weight come off and you actually like the reflection in the mirror once more. For others, finding peace could be seeing a therapist for extra guidance and advice. Finding peace within ourselves comes in many different forms for different people so find what works for you and do it.
Finding happiness also means keeping the right people in our lives. These are the people who love us unconditionally and pull us up when we are feeling down. These are the friends we go out with who make us laugh and who we know we are going to have a good time with no matter what we do. It's the significant other who believes in us when we don't believe in ourselves and never lets us give up. It's the parent who shows they care even when we don't treat them right. These are the people you want in your life and who will always be there on your path to happiness. If people in your life are the opposite and bring you only stress and pain, then it's time to reevaluate who you are keeping in your life and why. Life is tough and keeping people around who only make it tougher is only going to make you more miserable. It's time to seriously consider your support system and group of friends to see who makes the cut or not. The price is your happiness!
Finding happiness also has to do with the way you think. I know this from personal experience because I was always one of those people who thought of the worst case scenario instead of the best. What's the worst possible thing that can happen? And then I would worry about it because I'm also a worrier. That got me nowhere and wasted a lot of time I could have been happy. It's important to tell yourself that the worst case scenario will most likely not happen. Every time your teen comes home past curfew doesn't mean they've run away. Every time your child disappears in the grocery store for a minute doesn't mean they've been kidnapped. These are extreme examples to demonstrate the power of our thinking and how it can hurt us. Let's say you have a big presentation at work tomorrow and you're super nervous and thinking about all things that can go wrong like you forget your speech, everyone laughs, you stutter, you spill coffee all over yourself, basically everything that can possibly go wrong. Now stop yourself and think the opposite. What if I do great and everyone loves my presentation? What if I do even better and surprise myself? Now you're in a different mindset and not freaking yourself out. The truth is, you can't know how something will go until it happens. And if something goes wrong, you'll deal with it then. There's no use in wasting your life now before anything happens because what if it doesn't? What if everything goes great? Now you've wasted a bunch of time and achieved nothing. There goes your happiness and peace of mind.
In the end, it's the little things that count the most. Happiness doesn't have to come only when big goals are accomplished, it can come at anytime you let it come. Personally, I think it's important to always have things to look forward to, regardless how small they are. Sometimes to get through a task I think about the movie or book I'm going to read later and it gives me strength because I have that something to look forward to. Maybe it's going to a restaurant for a dinner date with a friend, or going to a concert or show. Anything that gives you something to look forward to and makes you want to wake up each morning with excitement for the day ahead.
Following these steps is the key to long-term happiness. The kind that we all want but have to work really hard to get. The happiest people are the ones who choose happiness when they could choose any other emotion. You have to actually want it more then anything. Any minute of any day, all of us can choose to be happy and block out what makes us unhappy. Even if it's just for minute. Happiness is like the silver lining, it's always there in every situation, we just have to make a choice to see it.
Happy by Pharrell Williams
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