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What I’ve learned about happiness.

How I went from being on the floor, snotty nose and crying to living a joyful, abundant life.

Matthew Hamilton Unplash
Matthew Hamilton Unplash

Read this very carefully because this is a public service announcement of sorts.

Do you want to be happy? I’m not talking about temporary happiness that lasts for a short time and then you feel like crap all over again. I’m talking about joyful happiness that sticks around even when times get tuff. With only 33% of Americans reporting that they are happy it seems like a myth for someone to say they actually have a 3 step formula to making this happen.

The truth is I used to be in the 67% with the rest of America wondering when I will be happy and start living my dream life. It took me literally being on the floor, snotty nose with tears streaming down my face to finally get it. I could no longer live like I had been living and needed to make some real changes to my mindset, and fast. So, through research and life experiences I have come to terms with my own happiness and want to share with you the 3 changes that I made.

Forgive yourself for anything you’ve done in the past and while you’re at it, anything that you’ll do in the future.

The research is out; anger and stress can contribute to the worsening of diseases such as cancer, autoimmune disorder, and heart disease. There is no better friend to anger and stress than unforgiveness. We are taught to forgive others from a very young age, but what about forgiving ourselves? Somewhere in the back of your mind, there is that one thing you did or that one person you hurt that you just can’t seem to live down. Accept the fact that you did the best with what you had at the time. Could you have done some things differently? Maybe. But all mistakes come with a lesson learned. You are perfectly imperfect so take the lesson with you as you move on.

Stop listening to what “they” say.

They don’t know your life. And real talk, they probably wouldn’t have survived half the stuff you’ve been through anyway.

“If you live for people’s acceptance, you will die from their rejection.”

Lecrae

Stop allowing people to put their mouth on your destiny. How many times have you not done something you really wanted to do for fear of being judged and talked about? What about the times you did things to fit in or to not be left out? Take back control of your identity by being your own person. If the people you are around can’t see the beauty in you, it’s time to get around some new people.

Learn how to encourage yourself.

In a room full of people understand that you are the only person responsible for your happiness. Develop a routine of encouraging yourself. It could be through meditation, reading scripture, listening to upbeat music, or daily affirmations. But whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to slip down the rabbit hole of negativity. Why do I say you must learn to encourage yourself? Because just like me, one day you may look up and all you have is you.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it is a starting point. If you could just master these 3 things you will be well on your way to living a life full of joy. Above all, remember that you have one shot at life on this Earth, don’t waste a minute of it being unhappy.

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