Today, more and more people are having a hard time achieving happiness. There are a lot of people out there who don’t want you to realise the fact that you are the one in control of your happiness. We’ll explore the reasons why this is and exactly what you can do about it throughout this article.
Tip #1: Stop Listening to External Opinions About You
The first thing we must realise, when attempting to achieve a fulfilling sense of happiness, is that this cannot be achieved while we are dependant on outside forces to create it for us. True happiness comes from within. This is a phrase we’ve all heard many times, but what does it actually mean? To me, it means you should define yourself internally and not allow the opinions of others to shape your perception of who you are. When we rely on what other people think of us, we become powerless to some degree because although we are responsible for our actions and intentions, we can’t possibly be held responsible for how others respond to them, and so our happiness is left to chance.
But it’s not always easy to make yourself the source of your own happiness, and our culture is designed to trip you up. It’s in the interest of big companies to convince us that we must seek happiness through external means such as with the acquisition of material goods and services that they want to sell to us. How many times have you bought a McDonald’s to cheer you up when you’re sad? Or maybe it was some nice new clothes that you felt you required. In fact the media in general is designed to reinforce that redundant belief, so it’s important that we realise it’s not true.
The problem with filling the void of sadness with fast food and clothes is that it’s not a permanent solution to the problem. If you’re sad, it’s because the thoughts you’re thinking and beliefs you hold at a subconscious level are not in alignment with what you actually want consciously. The developmental biologist, Dr Bruce Lipton, estimates that we operate from our subconscious minds 95% of the time! So the key here is to find a way of changing those subconscious beliefs that we’ve been programmed to hold into ones that are more useful to us, and I’ll definitely be doing an article on that in the future so stay tuned for that.
Tip #2: Use Reframing
With any situation, it is our understanding of it and the way we interpret what happens that decides how we feel about it. We don’t experience reality objectively; we simply focus on an incredibly small bandwidth that is decided by what we are thinking and what we believe. If you could convince yourself at both a conscious and subconscious level, that shoes didn’t exist, you wouldn’t be able to perceive them. This is how stage hypnosis works; by temporarily getting someone to believe that their hands are glued together, that’s what they experience. So it’s important, when striving to become happy, that we realise that we have the ability to perceive reality however we like. Is the glass half full or half empty?
When someone shouts at us, it isn’t the act of them shouting at us that makes us sad or angry, it’s our belief that they are shouting at us because they’re a bad person and they hate us and they’re trying to hurt our feelings. If we understand that they’re shouting at us because they want to help us to realise something that would benefit us to know, and that they’re trying to protect us in some way, then that same event would no longer be upsetting. There are positives for us to glean from any situation.
Even when we do feel sad, we can still frame this positively if we understand that emotions are not good or bad, they are just signals that help us. When we do something that makes us happy, that’s our cue to repeat that action because it served us in some way. When we experience negative emotions, that’s simply our body telling us not to do that thing again. So next time you feel sad, rather than fighting the feeling and getting yourself more worked up and stressed, view it as the positive intention that it truly is, and thank your emotions for reminding you not to do that thing again.
Tip #3: Live in the Moment
The idea that we can only be happy when something happens sometime in the future is false and disempowering. The past and the future are just concepts to describe things that have already happened or might eventually happen “in the now”. Nothing ever happens in the past. When that thing happened, it happened “now”, and similarly when something that we might regard as a future possibility eventually happens, it also will happen “now”.
This means that the only time we can decide to take action towards any goal is now. If your goal is long-term, it is still much more effective to consider what step you can take now towards achieving it, rather than waiting to do something in “the future”.
Living in the moment means to live more consciously and to be more aware of what is around us, and what our options are. This allows us to choose to experience things that make us happy, rather than having things happen to us that make us sad, as if through no fault of our own.
If something that happened in the past is holding you back, realise that the thing that is making you upset is not the event itself but your memory of it, and this is not real. Not like this moment that is happening now is real, at least. The only way our memories of the illusion that we call the past can affect us is if we choose to spend our present moment focussing on them, at the expense of what is happening now. So an easy way of overcoming this problem is to simply transfer your focus onto what is happening now, because you can’t do both at once.
Tip #4: Have Acceptance of What Happens, Good or Bad.
If we accept that all that is truly real is what happens now, and we understand that what happens now is transient and ultimately quite meaningless, we can learn to accept what we are currently experiencing and know that it will soon pass anyway if our focus remains on the present moment.
This means that rather than thinking of yourself as “Ryan the bin man”, (if your job is not appealing to you and not what you ultimately want to do as a job) you can think of yourself as a person who is currently experiencing collecting rubbish, in that present moment where you are currently doing that. When you’re not doing that, you’re currently experiencing something else. Whether that’s watching the TV, or reading a book, or anything else. The point is that it’s not productive to give ourselves these permanent titles, and to think of ourselves within these limiting terms because that perpetuates the idea and our sense of who we are in our minds, and ends up causing us to remain working in the job we don’t want to work in.
When we are currently experiencing something that is uncomfortable, we might as well have acceptance of it if the alternative is resisting it, since that is what will cause us to become stressed and unhappy. If we accept it for the temporary experience that it is and realise that it won’t last forever, we can become empowered and optimistic.
Tip #5: Realise That We Create Our Own Reality
Many of us don’t believe that we have any control over what happens to us; we think that things happen due to luck and random circumstances. The problem with this is that if we feel dissatisfied with our current situation and we don’t believe we can affect it in any why, all we can do is to spend our time thinking about why we hate our jobs and why we hate our lives and how everything is so rubbish. But here is a fact: by focussing on the things that we don’t want, at the expense of what we do, we are actually causing what we don’t want to keep on happening.
A lot of the time, when we’re sad and we don’t know why, it’s because we haven’t taken on the responsibly of discovering what we actually do want. But the empowering realisation we must have is that everything is how it is within your life right now because of you.
Everything you either want or don’t want begins as a thought and this can either be a positive or negative thought. Because we live in a universe that is governed by energy and vibrations, each thought has a specific kind of vibration. In fact, everything has a vibration and this includes us. What happens is, by thinking the same thought over a period of time, we start to become a vibrational match to that thought. Put simply, this means we will start to attract situations and people that also vibrate at that frequency. The only way for us to manifest what we do want is to consciously think thoughts that are in alignment with achieving it. It can also help to think thoughts that a person who has already achieved that goal would think because by doing this we can become a match to the end result of what we want.
Tip #6: Raise Your Frequency
We’ve just been talking about what your vibrational frequency is and now we’re going to discuss the importance of keeping your vibrational frequency at a high level. This is really another way of saying, “be more conscious”. When we’re in a low frequency, we’re in a decreased state of consciousness. This means that our perception is limited and so we are less able to be aware of what we need to do in order to achieve a positive outcome to a situation. The higher our vibrational frequency, the wider our awareness is. When we’re in this state, it’s much easier for us to be able to find the right way of acting in order to achieve what we want.
Increasing your vibrational frequency is really about deliberately causing yourself to feel positive emotion. So how do we go about doing this? Well, we already know that every time we think something, that thought has a specific positive or negative vibration. The thoughts that we think determine our emotion we experience because by repeating a thought, we take on its vibration and feel whatever emotion that vibration corresponds to. So if we aim to focus on thoughts that hold a positive vibrational frequency, such as thoughts of compassion, love and acceptance, we will start to hold that same frequency over time and this is what creates positive emotion.
Tip #7: Always Try to Respond With Compassion
When we have an awareness of how our thoughts and actions affect us, we understand that whenever we react negatively to someone or something, it doesn’t serve us in any way. What it does is cause our vibrational frequency to decrease, because of the negative thoughts that come with reacting negatively and this will put us in a negative emotion.
This is why it’s so important that we always try to find compassion for the people and situations that anger us. Everyone has something good about them, and we can choose to either focus on the qualities they have that we like and can identify with, or the ones that we find frustrating. If we can find a way of focussing on our similarities with someone and what we like about them, we will be able to remind ourselves that we’re basically the same as them and that our differences are insignificant in comparison. By doing this, we will remain in a high vibrational frequency and keep ourselves in a positive emotional state.
Tip #8: Help Someone
There’s a lot of research that suggests that people who spend their time helping other people out of altruism experience great emotional and health benefits. Perhaps it simply takes your mind off the things that would normally make a person unhappy and diverts your focus onto more positive things. Or maybe there’s something deeper going on. We all like to feel connected to other people, and feel supported and appreciated, and perhaps we can achieve this by helping others.
There are plenty of these random acts of kindness that you can do for free. You could surprise your partner to breakfast in bed, call a friend and ask how they are, or even just smile at a stranger in the street.