How to increase your happiness does not come with a miracle answer, although being mindful allows you to be present and helps you accept what you’re thinking or feeling with a judgment-free attitude. When you are mindful of your thoughts and behaviors you are able to release stress and worry while increasing your sense of peace.
How Being Mindful Works
When you are focused on the present moment, choosing to be happy right here right now, then tomorrow isn’t part of your thought process and can ease your anxieties.
Part of choosing to be mindful gives you space to remove ‘secondary emotions’ – which often lead you to act out or react negatively. For example, if you’re angry because your anxiety won’t stop pestering you, the anger is your secondary emotion.
I remember being frustrated every single day for a really long time. And I would lash out at anything and everyone – maybe not directly but definitely passive aggressively. I am not a fan of the jerk I used to be but I am glad I learned to be more mindful even if it was through crack-open-my-soul kind of experience.
Why Being Mindful Works
Being mindful creates a change in your attitude which allows you to be more accepting and opens you up to more happiness. When you’re more accepting, you’re less critical of others and yourself. This takes practice and not every day will be a success but the more you are staying in the moment, the easier it will become over time.
At some point, you may have learned you need to be hard on yourself because you don’t feel good enough for whatever reason. Perhaps you were told you needed to earn an ‘A’ in a particular subject but ended up receiving a ‘B’ and you could feel the disappointment. One single instance of this can change everything. And it’s challenging to give up the notion to berate yourself when you make a mistake or when things don’t go the way you planned. But when you can recognize that you did the best you could with what you knew and had – it can help put things in perspective for you.
I still get frustrated but I’ve learned to take a step back and look at the situation at hand, choose how I really want to feel or with what kind of attitude I want to solve the problem and try looking at any situation from a different angle.
As much as I like to live with my head in the clouds, there’s something to be said about being realistic. The change in attitude and your feelings aren’t going to develop overnight. You can increase your happiness by setting a specific goal that can be evaluated.
Instead of setting a goal of “be happy in two months” try something more like “write in my journal for thirty minutes a day.” The smaller, more realistic goal will allow you to see accomplishment earlier, and you can slowly build it up until you no longer have to tell yourself to do it.
You can train your mind to use acceptance as your primary thought instead. And journaling can help you clear the mental clutter you’ve been hanging on to. And it’s literally my go-to for any time I am frustrated or angry about something or even getting my feelings hurt. It helps when I can write it out, read it and then reflect on it.
Find a Purpose
This may be easier said than done but part of being mindful is having a purpose in life. This allows you to focus on the positivity instead of the negativity. A purpose doesn’t have to be a job, but it should be something that makes you feel good, and that helps you make a difference in the world. This could be clearing out your closet and donating the clothes, or volunteering at a local organization to something you find important.
Whatever you choose, commit to it and remain aware of the positive changes it has on your life and attitude.
Happiness isn’t some elusive goal that you have to spend your life chasing. It’s something that you can achieve right now through the power of being mindful of your thoughts and behaviors and choosing to live boldly in the present.
And if you don’t know where to begin or struggling with how to be more mindful, or even journaling – than join me in The Gathering, where we together will work towards you having the kind of life that feels good and you will increase your happiness in the process.