How to be Happy No Matter What’s Going on in Your Life Right Now

If you’re stressed out, depressed, feeling unfulfilled or just bored with your life, you aren’t alone.

Sadly, only 1 in 3 Americans believe that they are “very happy.”

That means that approximately 66% of us are just going through the motions of living (or worse), rather than actively enjoying our lives. But it doesn’t have to be that way! You can be happy!

How to Be Happy No Matter What

There are so many things you can do to be happier, more excited about life, and an all-around better person.

As someone who has struggled with severe stress issues, depression, and a way less than perfect self image, I want to share with you the tips that have helped me the most in my endless search for happiness.

No matter what your situation is, no matter how long you’ve felt the way you feel, and no matter how you’ve tried to be happy before, know that you can be happy.

You deserve to be happy. (click to tweet)

Here are a few ways you can actively pursue you own happiness ideal.

5 Tips on How to Be Happy No Matter What:

1. Be thankful for the things you have

Jon Gordon, author of a simple yet life-changing book called The Positive Dog, says that it’s nearly impossible to be both stressed out and thankful at the same time. His suggestion: when you start feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed, think about all the things in your life that you’re thankful for. Every little thing.

Be thankful for the roof over your head, your family, your friends, and the opportunity to make money at your job. Literally everything you have is something to be thankful for.

Start doing this daily and you’ll be able to minimize your negative feelings and make room for the positive ones.

2. Change “have to” to “get to”

I recently wrote about this on my personal blog, but it’s been such a huge help to me in maintaining my happiness that I feel it bears mentioning here too. For every single thing in your life that you think about negatively (i.e. I have to do laundry, I have to pay rent, etc.) swap out the phrase “have to” for “get to.”

You get to do laundry because you have clothes to wear, unlike many children in developing countries.

You get to pay rent because you’re lucky enough to have a roof over your head.

When you start using this trick, you begin to see just how fortunate you really are – and how small even your biggest stressors can be.

3. Keep a behavior journal

Okay, stay with me on this one. At the risk of sounding like a pre-teen, keeping a journal of your feelings is a great way to get some perspective on your life! Mainly, if you focus on a single thing that you want to change – an attitude, a behavior, or even a relationship – you can analyze out how you handle that obstacle on a daily basis and track the ways that work best for you to improve it.

For example, to manage my stress, I started a stress journal and wrote down everything that stressed me out as it happened each day. At the end of the day, I took 10 minutes to write down how stressed I felt on a scale of 1-10 for that day. I also wrote down ways that I could improve those feelings and what my goals were for the end of the week (i.e. to turn a consistent stress rating of 9 into a 4).

I swear, within a single week my stress had dropped off significantly.

While not everyone may see the same results within the same timeframe, this is a great way work toward a happier life.

4. Do what you want

If you aren’t living for yourself or something that you strongly believe in, well, start! (click to tweet)

Do you want to learn a new language, go back to school, find your soul mate, or move to another country?

Don’t let anyone tell you that the things that you want out of life aren’t possible. You only get one life, so why spend it doing things that you aren’t passionate about?

Do what you want and you’re sure to be happier and feel more fulfilled in no time.

5. Actively try to better yourself

Finally, one more great way to be a happier person is to always work toward a better you.

Don’t confuse this with a negative self image of who you currently are. Rather, accept and love yourself for exactly who you are right now and work to give that perfect person an even better future.

Try a new exercise routine, learn a new skill, or volunteer to help others. Even if your efforts don’t result in any major life changes, you can still feel great knowing that you’re always striving for improvement.

These suggestions are just the tip of an endless iceberg. Research shows that there are many things you can do to boost your happiness and get greater satisfaction out of your life.

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Now it’s your turn….

How do you try to be a happier you?

Tell me in the comments section below!

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About the Author:

Kayla Matthews is a productivity blogger with a passion of healthy living and helping others. Check out her blog Productivity Theory to read all of her latest posts!

What your self-talk can do to you…

We all have it.

Every single human in the world has their very own self-talk that is continually going.

It can be positive, negative, it can build you up, bring you down, make you smile, make you sing, make you cry, make you go completely bonkers but can also make you incredibly successful, happy and motivated.

You know what I am talking about right? That little angel or devil on your shoulder, telling you what you can or can’t do.

We make our way through each day with what we say to ourselves in our head. We make lists, recall memories, think, plan, prioritise, organise, tell ourselves off, give ourselves a pat on the back, laugh… it never stops. Our brain never stops this constant self-talk. We need it, it’s what makes us get up, move, sleep, eat, drive, work, play… it’s what makes us live.

What your self-talk can do to you

Self-talk also determines how we feel. It controls our confidence, self esteem, ability to socialise, our anger, our joy – basically our overall happiness.

It’s so important that we give our self-talk some attention and take control over it. Your self-talk, like your brain, is linked. Every word you say to yourself in your head gets linked to feelings and these feelings, well, they make us feel how we feel. Now I don’t know if you know, but words have energy, I’m not going all crazy here, but it’s true – trust me, even the ones you don’t say out loud can literally turn water black. I have seen and done my own home experiments on this.

What is your self-talk saying to you? Is your self-talk positive? Is it negative? Does it go around in circles? Are you too tough on yourself? Are you too easy on yourself? This in fact is just as bad. Do you manage it?

Are you in charge???

[Read more...]

5 Commandments to Thriving as a “Caretaker”

I dropped off some soup to a good friend recently because she was working, as she usually does on a Saturday, and I was thinking it would be nice if she came home to a nice dinner. She lives up the block from me so it didn’t feel like too much trouble.

Truth is that same weekend I did a lot of favors. I walked a friend’s dog while she was away for the weekend, picked up my sister at the bus stop when she worked late, and helped my other sister with her two little boys. Often people find this puzzling because I am a single mom and when my children go to their dad on the weekend I am often not doing as much relaxing or partying as one might imagine.

Truth is, I love doing nice things for the people I care about. It makes me feel good. I give out to the world the love and caring I would hope to get back

I’ve been called a classic “caretaker.”

5 Commandments to Thriving as a CaretakerPhoto by Karolyn Petrucci

What kind of person is a caretaker?

If you look it up in Psychology Today they will tell you I have some issues

A caretaker puts the needs of others before their own. They aren’t really good at taking care of themselves. They have a hard time saying No. They are usually out to “fix” or “save” their partner.  They do not like conflict.  A lot of times they have low self esteem and anger issues. They can’t understand why others do not behave the same way. In essence, this trait develops due to certain experiences during their youth.  The caretaker normally would have been brought up in a home where their emotional needs were not met.  It would not be uncommon for a child of an addict or a child with a parent who is somehow unwell to become a caretaker as an adult.

Hmmm… so I took a really long look at myself in the last few years.

The process of self-discovery

The divorce:

I went though a divorce between 2009 and 2010. Looking back, I would say the relationship was flawed from the start.  With hindsight I can definitely see that I entered into the relationship as the caretaker.  I actually knew it. I remember thinking that he is a good guy, he just needs a little direction. He was very happy to be taken care of for the most part. My ability to take charge and run with it suited him fine. It felt normal and comfortable. I was happy to do it.

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Here’s what happens when a couple cooks together

Why It’s Important to Have a Healthy (Food) Relationship with Your Significant Other

It’s all too easy for couples to fall into the same old, take-out routine. When “Honey, do you want pizza for dinner?” and “Hey, how about Chinese tonight?” become your daily dinner-talk, it’s time to change a few things.

Not only does cooking healthy food at home help your body and your health, it’s also a great way for couples to spend time together.

When couples cook together...

I know what you’re thinking: “But we’re SO busy!”

That may be true, but being busy is no excuse to neglect your significant other, and it certainly isn’t an excuse to eat take-out 5 nights a week.

My husband and I cook together regularly, and we have a great time doing it! That’s why I’d like to share with you what I feel are some of the most important reasons to have a healthy food relationship with your significant other:

Reason 1: It encourages you to be an awesome team

When you and your spouse cook together, you naturally decide who does what tasks, you maneuver around one another, and there’s usually a fair amount of passing salt shakers and spices back and forth.

When you act as a team, you not only get your meal prepared faster, but you’re also more satisfied with your dinner, and you get to interact with one another throughout the entire process.

Unlike my grandparents’ version of cooking dinner, which involves my grandfather watching TV while my grandmother cooks in the kitchen, cooking dinner with your spouse lets you catch up on the day, laugh together, and spend what precious little non-working time you have in each other’s presence.

What happens when you order takeout? You sit on the couch and shovel pizza into your face, right? (I do.) Doing something active and engaging with your spouse to get dinner ready is a much more proactive way to eat together. Not only will you have a healthier relationship, but you’ll find yourself eating healthier foods as well.

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