Though my project happy (as I call it) is a work in progress I want to share with you 3 tips that have helped me on my journey.
“To be happy, I need to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right in an atmosphere of growth.”
I have thought about this a lot and I have realised that it is really important. When you are working on your own happiness (as I am, in a way), it is essential to understand what makes you feel good, what makes you feel bad, and what makes you feel right. These sound like such basic things, but really, most of us don’t think all that much about them. One thing I have learnt over the past year is to really pay attention to my body.
When I find that I’m angry or irritated, I start thinking about my body and often find that there are external factors that are making me feel even more aggravated (like being cold or hungry) and these are things I can change. Recognising what makes me feel bad – such as being too hungry or tired- helps me to make myself feel better by, for example, taking a break from what I’m working on or by grabbing a snack. This is a small example, but it really goes to show that simply paying attention to what makes us feel good and bad can make a huge difference in our lives. So what do I mean by “an atmosphere of growth”? Well, learning and growing are things that have always been important to me, but it wasn’t until recently that I realised just how important they are when it comes to happiness. Growth can be scary at times, but it really is an important aspect of living a positive life.
“But the fact is, you can’t change anyone but yourself.”
It’s hard for a lot of people to realise this one, but it’s so true. It is often very tempting to believe that we can change others. After all, sometimes we can make subtle differences that make it seem as if we are changing them. However, over the past year, as I’ve done quite a bit of changing and I have really come to realise that, contrary to what I might want to believe sometimes, you really can’t change anyone but yourself.
I have found that that can be one of the most frustrating things about having the goal to be happy (or even simply being invested in personal development): no matter how much you change, that doesn’t mean those around you are going to change. Likewise, no matter how much you choose to focus on happiness and positivity, it doesn’t mean those around you will do the same. What it really comes down to is acceptance. You have to accept others for who they are and you have to surround yourself with people who accept you for who you are.
Through meeting different people and doing a lot of reading I have learnt a lot about what different people think about happiness. Happiness can be a very unique thing and what makes one person happy might not make another person happy. While a focus on happiness can be a great thing, filled with tons of benefits, it can also be really hard to make changes in your life when those around you are not at all interested in making them. It is tempting to want to change other people, even if you think it would be best for them to change, but you need to remember you really can’t change anyone but yourself.
“One reason that challenge brings happiness is that is allows you to expand your self-definition. You become larger.”
Over the last a year or so ago when I really started thinking about happiness (and how unhappy I have been) and I have found that my self-definition really did change. I was turning into someone else, and, as the quote above says, I found that I was becoming larger. I was beginning to see the world from different angles and to understand that happiness and positivity were based on a variety of factors, some of which were out of my control.
While I desired to be happy, I also recognised that it presented a really big challenge for me. Undertaking the challenge was, in and of itself, an act that caused me to growth and expand as a person. Now that I’m here, two years after starting this blog, I realise that who I am has changed significantly. The way I define myself – my self-definition – has shifted and I have begun not only to think of myself differently, but to see the world and others through a new perspective as well. Because I really work on being happier (and, yes, it’s a lot of hard work!) but I don’t take my happiness for granted. I see it as a part of who I am, but also as something separate from myself, something that I have worked hard to achieve.
Over the past couple of years, I have most certainly become a larger person. My view of the world is bigger and it is growing every day. One of the greatest benefits of having my project happy is that I’m constantly challenging myself and urging myself to see the good in situations where I would see the negative. I have grown more in the past few years than I can ever remember growing and I think a great deal of that has to do with my desire to live a more positive lifestyle as well as the most amazing cheerleaders in my life.
Thanks for stopping by,
The Girl Who Writes xXx