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Happiness Expert Shares Tips on Boosting Personal Growth During COVID-19

Resilience and happiness specialist shares advice on taking control of our narrative and fulfilling our greater potential during COVID-19, and beyond.

As we are in the throes of a new way of life at a distance from other’s, it has never been more difficult to stay positive, motivated, and healthy. On the other hand, happiness cultivator and licensed psychotherapist, Michaela Johnson, perceives this time apart from people, not as isolation, but as time to grow closer to oneself. “There has really never been a better time (with a better excuse) to be the YOU, you want to be.” (Johnson, 2020). Michaela is the host of popular iTunes podcast, Be You Find Happy, and award-winning author of Teetering on Disaster, a memoir of Johnson’s life and journey of self-actualization. As an expert on the subjects of happiness and resilience, Michaela shares the very methods she uses to push past the noise, and succeed through authenticity. 

Take Responsibility

Ultimately, the pursuit of happiness begins and ends with your everyday decisions. “You are in control of your choices…your choices to buy into the fear, your choices to be productive, your choices to take care of your mental health with mindfulness and meditation. When you realize the power you have over your day, you can begin to see all that you can create.” (Johnson, 2020) Once you’re able to take responsibility for the choices you make to do, or not to do, you’ll realize the power you have to make the changes you’ve been wanting to make in your life. 

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of actively bringing your attention to your present experiences and sensations, both internally and externally. Mindfulness allows you to fully engage with your reality, as it is in the moment you’re experiencing it, without judgement. This creates an honest awareness within oneself of the current self and stage of life you’re in. “I’m a huge advocate for taking time out daily for mindfulness and meditation. Meditation is the most effective method of mindfulness practice. Apps such as InsightTimer, Calm, and Headspace provide guided meditations that help you tap into your mindfulness state. YouTube is also packed with guided meditations to reach your mindfulness state. “I absolutely love InsightTimer (a free app) which has thousands of guided meditations.” (Johnson, 2020) 

Be Honest with Yourself

“Above all else, you have to speak your truth with grace, be clear with what you need, ask for validation when you need it.” (Johnson, 2020) Honesty, both with others and yourself, is critical to growth. In order to identify the changes you need to make and how you can realistically begin making those changes, you need to first be brutally honest with yourself about the issues you’re having and why those issues exist. 

Journal Your Purpose

Journaling is a widely known phenomenon in personal development. When done correctly, with direction, psychological studies have shown that journaling helps enhance mental clarity, truthfulness, and promotes self-improvement. This is why Michaela has developed Empowered, a Motivational Journal for Women, which guides the journaler along a thought-provoking path to realize their true purpose. “Empowered was created for any woman who feels stuck in her life, who wants to take a deep dive into realizing her full potential and seeing her dreams to reality. My goal was to create a journal that put into practice many of the tools I’ve used for myself and have taught my clients about journaling and self-expression.” (Johnson, 2020)

Live Your Purpose

Journaling is just one of the first steps to discovering your purpose. Once you’ve successfully identified your why, the final, continuous stride one must take is to live it. “Happiness is a constant reset. It’s about learning how to speak your truth with grace and live a courageous life of authenticity. You’ve spent years living by someone else’s rules, and losing sight of what you really want in life. Tapping into your true self is going to be a process. Don’t judge yourself, just allow. There’s beauty in this idea…when you fight the storm, you sink, when you let go and float, the sea takes you to new places you never could have imagined.” (Johnson, 2020)

Happiness is an innate pursuit, one in which we are born striving to some day reach. Happiness is one of the many reasons we quit the day jobs we hate to pursue a living doing the thing we love. We read stories of successful entrepreneurs who escaped the “rat race”, started their companies, and have achieved genuine happiness in their new chapters of life. As entrepreneurs, we also know first-hand that these stories don’t reveal the whole picture. We all have our individual starting points, monsters to fight off, plot twists, and revelations – Identifying and understanding who you are, and where you are in your own journey, are your skeleton keys to unlocking your full potential as a person and entrepreneur, and ultimately achieving your happiness.

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