Are you happy, Truly happy in your daily life?
Do you get feelings of stress, anxiety, discomfort, boredom or sometimes find yourself asking “what am I doing with my life? Where am I going with my life?” Our emotional health is as equally important, and some argue even more important, than our physical health, financial security and other areas that we often put heavy emphasis on in our lives.
Societal norms and the consumerist world order we find ourselves living in, often bring forth feelings of inadequacy where we simply never feel we have enough, and even more devastating…we may think we will never BE enough!
How do you define happiness? What makes you happy?
If you take a mental trip back in time to when you felt happiest…often it will be related to:
- a connection shared with another person(s)
- a feeling of accomplishment / achievement
How can you increase your emotional health and create a consistent feeling of emotional well-being, whereby the exception is stress rather than the norm?
It starts with a simple decision…That you WILL!!! Want to! MUST change if you are to attain a balanced life.
It starts with taking responsibility for your own life and not waiting for things to change; people, circumstances or a miracle to take place…
Aladdin’s magic lamp will not fall out of the sky into your hands!
Change takes courage, it takes commitment, perseverance, self-discipline, but most importantly it takes DESIRE, a burning and unwavering need for this change.
If we want different results, then we must do different things or at least start doing things differently. If we really believe that we can do nothing about the daily events in our lives, then we simply do not make the effort and we become victims of our circumstances and surroundings.
Proactive people, on the other hand, simply will not accept that there is nothing that can be done – they will point out that there are always choices. It is by the decisions we make, our responses to people, events and circumstances, that proactive people can and do affect the future. We may have no control over what life throws at us but we always have a choice about how we are to respond.
You have probably heard that life is 10% what happens to you and the 90% how you react to it – TRUE!
Our emotional health begins with how we see life…we need to RE-learn how we see things. How?
Ask yourself this:
- How do you see your life?
- Are you a tourist in your own life or are you the boss?
- Are you leading yourself or allowing others to lead you?
- Do you feel forced or do you feel free to make choices on a daily basis?
Now once you decide, through a mental commitment to yourself, to become the captain of your own ship, start listening to your SELF-TALK:
When a situation happens that you do not like, do you blame others or yourself or do you look at how to move forward?
Biologically, we diminish our capacity to make effective decisions when we get angry or stressed…your brain literally slows down!
In scientific terms, the neurons fire less so you are basically getting less information and your ability to analyse a situation accurately is diminished! So how can you behave logically when stressed? You can NOT!
What happens when your stress level rises is that your adrenaline increases and you go into auto-pilot where you are “blinded” by your anger, stress, etc. and will often do things and say things you later regret. How many of us have had that happen (I am raising my hand
right now, are you?!).
So what do we do in such a state of stress?
Well there are 2 options:
- Decrease the frequency of such events, so that you PREVENT rather than repair the situation.
- Develop coping mechanisms to decrease your stress
level as quickly as possible with least damage. Happy, balanced people will tell you that their life consists of:
A supportive network of friends of family – get rid of undesirables whenever and wherever you can.
In fact, do not be afraid to purge anyone who brings you down, because they are toxic to your health.
Our feelings of guilt often prevent us from doing what is good for US, it may sound selfish, but who are you really helping by keeping negative people in your life? You know that you are right this minute thinking of at least one person that you know in your gut should NOT be in your life…what are you waiting for? This ‘housekeeping” task of riding your life of undesirables will decrease the likelihood of your stress level reaching dangerous levels.
When you surround yourself with supportive people, then you will find that you can cope with some of life’s most difficult situations, because one of the best coping mechanisms: a friend who will listen or a relative who will support you and allow you to lean on them.
This is your safety net and you are allowed to fall into it and with the right people, they will not let you get hurt.
Happy people also find themselves doing what they LOVE, following their passions.
They are not afraid to give up what is good for what is great! For any working person, chances are you spend more time at work than at home or anywhere else in your life.
So do you LOVE what you do? Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day Shockingly, only 32% of people say they do!
I know what you’re thinking:
“but I have responsibilities, a family to take care of, I must put food on the table, and anyway there are few opportunities in the job market so I have to take what I can get…etc etc etc…”
All of this might explain why you are unhappy in your work, but it does not justify!!!
- Research shows that happy employees are 20% more productive.
- Research shows that dissatisfied employees will often reach levels of stress where job burnout occurs and this employee develops physical ailments such as high blood pressure, depression, ulcers, among others.
Is it worth it to live your life doing something you do not enjoy, that you get no pleasure from?
We have this adverse reaction to pleasure, almost as if we do not deserve it, as if it impossible to even fathom that we can actually be HAPPY at work, much less in our life as a whole!
It does not have to be a dream, it is within our reach.
And this brings me to the final point. Happy people like themselves!
They enjoy spending time reflecting, they are not scared of being alone, they are confident enough to be themselves and to show only one face to all people rather than wear masks for different occasions. So in conclusion, the best prescription for Happiness:
Love yourself and BE yourself!
That is the start of the emotional well-being journey. Bon Voyage!