Does it ever seem like other people are happier than you?
You scroll on Facebook and see people having fun on their vacations, spending time with one another, or celebrating their achievements. You, on the other hand, are struggling along, just trying to make it through the day and coming home exhausted.
In an effort to console yourself, you try to rationalize why you’re in this situation and figure it must just be “bad luck”.
Over time, it can be frustrating. You could be sabotaging your own growth without realizing it. But the good news is that, if you pay attention to your thought process, you’ll realize that you can become in control of your situation.
So instead of holding yourself back, focus your energy on living positively. Happiness takes effort and a change in thinking.
If you want to start being happy, remember to:
1. Focus on improving yourself.
Don’t become fixated on other people’s successes. Never mind what that guy has or the accomplishments that girl has achieved. Focus on your own progress and growth.
It’s easy to become envious of other people when we only see the surface. When you scroll on social media, you’ll notice that people choose to present the happiest parts of their lives, which we compare to both our difficult periods and triumphs. Instead of focusing on other people, work on yourself.
When you focus on yourself, you put in the effort to make progress each day. There’s a sense of fulfillment as you work towards something. When you devote your energy to improving yourself, other people’s achievements and goals become less relevant.
2. Know that self-worth comes from within.
People will often disapprove of your choices when you decide to do something that’s unpopular. It’s up to you to decide how much you let other people’s opinions affect you.
You are in charge of how you feel about yourself. Happy people know that there’s always someone who won’t like them for whatever reason. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is this: are you doing what’s best for yourself and other people around you?
Confidence comes from accepting yourself, regardless of what others think. Confidence comes from doing what you believe in. And if you’re confident, people will see that and have confidence in you too.
3. Make a conscious decision to be happy.
You’re probably thinking, “Choose to be happy? Doesn’t it happy naturally?”
Happiness is one part circumstance, one (large) part mindset. If you constantly believe that you need that “one more thing” and then you’ll finally be happy, guess what? You will never be happy.
Happiness comes from practicing gratefulness. Things don’t always go the way you want them to, but at the same time, things that seem bad initially can end up being a blessing. Take a second and stop to appreciate what you have. There are some good things happening in your life that you might have taken for granted.
Being happy doesn’t mean staying stagnant. It means recognizing that you’re on a journey, wherever it may lead, and that you should savor the good things (and even the hardships) along the way. Embrace the challenges you might be facing and learn from them.
4. Stop clinging to the past.
Everyone has painful or embarrassing moments from the past. If you want to be happy, decide how you want to deal with painful memories.
Do you feel resentful and bitter about things? This could be crippling your ability to move forward. Or instead, do you acknowledge painful events, learn from them and then put them behind you?
Conversely, don’t let the good memories hold you back from progressing in your life. The best is yet to come. Happiness might take a different form or shape, but it’s there if you want it.
Embrace today. Now is the time to decide what you want to do and who you want to spend time with.
5. Surround yourself with people who are positive and supportive.
The people we spend time with influences who we are. Being with people who don’t support you when you try to improve yourself will bring you down if you let them.
If you notice that the people around you are toxic to your well-being, it’s time to go. It’s easy to remain surrounded by negativity when it feels like there are no other options available.
But there is. It’s better to be alone than with people who bring you down. Alone doesn’t mean being lonely.
Being on your own is a time for self-reflection, to find ways to improve yourself. And when you approach life positively and make the most of it, there’s a good chance you’ll attract people who feel the same way too.
6. Be truthful.
Sometimes it can be scary to tell the truth. You’re afraid of scaring other people away, or frightening yourself. On the other hand, telling the truth can be liberating.
The good thing about truthfulness is that you don’t have to remember lies, or feel bad about yourself. It means being not stressing yourself out all the time. When you hide too many things, the burden takes its toll on you.
Most importantly, stay honest to yourself. You are free to make your own choices, to live according to your own mantra, and to fight for what you believe in. Are you being truthful to yourself about how you want your life to look like?
If You’re Not Happy With Things, Then Change
You are the pilot of the airplane that is your life. If you’re not happy with something going on in your life, it’s up to you to change things. The responsibility lies on your shoulders.
If something is bothering you so much that you complain about it, do something. And if it’s something outside your control, then let go and focus on the parts of your life that you can take action on.
When you take the steering wheel into your hands, you gain a greater sense of autonomy than you ever had before.
Melissa Chu writes about creating great work and successful habits at JumpstartYourDreamLife.com. You can grab the guide How to Get Anything You Want.