How To Change Your Life For The Better And Finally Be Content And Happy?
Happiness isn’t frequent to come by. I know from experience. A few years ago, something hit me on what was otherwise just a regular morning. I was on my way to work, staring out of the bus window, when I began to reflect on my life for the first time in a long while.
Was I really where I wanted to be? Was I heading in the right direction? Did I even know what the right direction was?
I knew that I wanted to be happy. But the thing is, I’d always assumed that I WAS happy. But as I looked out of the bus window on that grey morning, I questioned whether this was true.
I was single, but I at least had a had a good job. I was living in a nice city, and I had friends, family and my health. I had a few savings. I thought I was content and happy enough.
But then I thought about all the times I’d snapped at people recently. I got irritated quickly, lost my temper with people, even those closest to me. Moreover, I’d grown to be really antisocial, and had started making excuses not to see my friends.
Does this sound like the behaviour of a happy person? It didn’t to me.
So I set about making some changes in my life. I read books and articles about happiness, talked to friends and cultivated their advice. I learned what we, as humans, have to do in order to be content and happy, even if momentarily.
I applied what I learned to my own life. And you know what? It actually worked. I became happier. Here is what I learned about how to change our lives for the better and finally become content and happy:
Start With The Basics
When I was starting out on my quest for happiness, I read about people who recommended that to be happy we must look deep within ourselves. This could mean praying, meditating, or asking questions about who we are.
This can all be a bit problematic if you’re not so spiritually inclined (as I wasn’t), and I soon realised that, for me, personally, this wasn’t the best route to being content and happy. At least not just yet.
Instead, I started off with the basics. This meant going to bed much earlier than usual and being kind to my body in many ways. It meant eating at the right time and not working as many hours as I was doing.
Do the small things that you’ve been neglecting for way too long. It’s a good place to start.
Stop Comparing Yourself With Others
This one definitely worked for me. The moment I deleted my Instagram app, the happier I became.
I used to compulsively compare myself to other girls. Not content with the way I looked, I was constantly flicking through Instagram profiles of beautiful women and growing terribly upset because they were far, far better looking than I was (even though, later on, I realized that many Instargarm photos are far from reality, they are often photoshopped).
It was damaging my self-esteem and life in general.
So I deleted the app and realised that comparing yourself to others is pointless. You can’t change who you are, and you should be grateful for what you have. We all have unique gifts that someone somewhere is always envying. Be yourself. Flaunt what YOU have.
If you have to question how helping others would help you, then you’re a cynic who needs to change their mindset.
Being a kind and compassionate person helps them but it also helps you. By doing something positive for someone else, you’re spreading positive energy, which you yourself absorb. It’s part of you.
And the smile on someone’s face when you practice kindness to them? It will make you feel amazing.
Give what you can without expecting anything in return. What you will get it contentment and happiness.
You might be a bit sceptical about this one, as many people are. But let me remind you of something the great American writer Kurt Vonnegut once wrote:
“You are whatever you pretend to be.”
In other words, if you’ve lost your self-confidence, by heck pretend to be confident. Play a role. No one will notice. And pretty soon, your confidence will actually return for real.
You can do the same with happiness. By deliberately acting cheery, you will over time actually be cheery for real.
Fake it until you become it. If you’re sceptical about this, just give it a try and see what happens.
Don’t be a negative person anymore. Always be positive. If something happens to you, take the positives from it.
Negativity just makes you feel bad, about yourself and the world at large. It’s unhealthy and an obstacle to happiness.
The more positive you are about life, the more success you’ll have. This in turn will create contentment and happiness.
Spend More Time With People
You’ll often hear people as they get older lamenting the fact that they didn’t spend as much time with their friends and family as they should have. It’s a common regret, but don’t let it be one of yours.
I make sure to spend some time each week with the people who are most important to me, and it’s improved my emotional wellbeing. I feel all the better for it.
When we are with other people, we automatically feel happier. Loneliness is horrible. If there is one thing you need to look after now so that it will still be there for you in ten years time, it’s your social life. Don’t neglect people.
Lastly, you just have to smile some more. It’s that simple.
Smiling instantly lifts your sprits. It plays a trick on your brain into thinking that you’re actually really happy.
And it always, always works.
So the next time you leave the house, leave it with a smile on your face. Smile at the bus driver. Smile at your colleagues. Smile at the waitress.