5 Steps To A Happy Life

5happy

Hey guys!  I’ve been a bit quiet so far this month, and there’s a deliberate reason for this.  I have a ton of courses going at the moment that require my (mostly) undivided attention, but also, I just feel like a needed a “break” from online life.  This probably sounds a bit opposite —  if I want a “break” from online life — why am I online making a list right now?

I know it seems sort of backwards, but I do have a point.

I think.

I don’t know about you, but a lot of the time that I spend online (or looking at social media) is sucking my soul into an abyss.  It could be that I am still struggling with my big move overseas or that I’m am trying to focus on creating my livelihood — whatever the case is — I just feel that I needed to break free and reassess/clear where my head is at.

hold on. okay, you were saying?

I don’t think that it’s all the Internet’s fault; I mean, it’s there whether I get myself sucked into said “abyss” or not.  It’s just that taking this tiny breather from inundated chaos has made me focus more on the things that derail my happiness.

I’m sure you’ve read all about how social media can make us all feel inadequate by comparison to others or how reading the news headlines can both inspire and dampen our spirits.  I am personally guilty of having spent most of my adult life (and by most, I probably mean all but the last 10 months) looking for external sources of happiness.  At the very least, I was looking for ways to distract myself from myself.

The fact of that matter is, you can’t be truly happy about anything if you’re not outsourcing that happiness from within yourself.  I don’t know the secret to happiness, but I do know that there are things we can all stop (yes, I said stop) doing every day that will bring us closer to inner peace and fulfillment than we ever dreamed of.

[Tweet “Tweet this: You can’t be truly happy about anything if you’re not outsourcing that happiness from within yourself. via @BeetsPerMinute”]

You know how the Internet is totally full of lists?  I do lists.  We all do lists.  I mean, after all, the average human being has, like, less than a 10 second attention span.  You may not even be reading this sentence right now.  So with that, I’m going to start listing some things, and I’m going to reel you back in.

5 Steps To A Happy Life

1.  Stop caring what people think.  I’m not saying I’ve given up bathing or that I’m walking around with my middle finger up 24/7, but I’m just saying — the older wiser I’ve become — the less inclined I am to care what people think of me:  what I’m doing, wearing, saying, eating, or how I’m living my life.  I encourage everybody to just live their own life and stop caring what the hell anybody else thinks.  Don’t give anybody that much power over yourself.  If another person cares that much about what you’re doing with your life, chances are they are pretty miserable in their own, and perhaps they need to worry a bit more about that.

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2.  Stop living a distracted life (in other words, BE PRESENT).   I am working SO hard on this one, and I feel like, the less I’m on my phone or computer, the more time I have to actually enjoy time with my husband or reading a book or meditating.  YES, I have been meditating. I’m no longer making excuses for what I’m not doing and will not apologize for not doing something better.  Find ways to constructively create your day and do so with intention and take some time to appreciate the right here and now.  

3.  Stop feeling like you have no control over your thoughts.  Actions are born from your thoughts, so what you think is crucial.  If you think that you’re a failure, you’ll act like one.  If you think that you’re fat, you’ll create an environment that facilitates those thoughts.  I’m sure you can think of a time when you’ve thought something into reality — I sure know that I have (a lot!).  I’m actively participating in the cultivation of my own thoughts and therefore my actions.   It’s true what Richard from Texas told Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat Pray Love.

 

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4.  Stop being your own worst enemy.   I am so guilty of being my own worst enemy.  I do it all the time.  There are many times when I didn’t need a single person in the universe to doubt me, because I could take care of that all by myself.  The truth is – this is truth:  in the very same way we can create doubt in ourselves, we can create encouragement and support.  It’s all in the effort, and let’s face it, if we’re going to make an effort, why not make it one that pats us on the back rather than kicks us in the ass?  Right?  Right.

5.  Stop destructive thinking about your past.  This is separate from living in the present.  I have spent a lot of time living in my past and very little of it from a constructive point of view.  It is so easy to look back and say, “I shouldn’t have done this or I should have done that” — we all do.  However, instead of “shoulding” –which is a destructive thought — we are better suited saying, “I didn’t and I’m grateful.”  Look, we all have things we regret having done or not having done, but by virtue of those things we have grown and become who we are now. It IS possible to think of the past (even those unsavory bits) constructively, and that is by making the best of what is going on with you TODAY.  Making today the best it can be will heal the way you think about your past.

I love this quote so much I “should” have it tattooed on my forehead (okay, maybe not…)

“Make the present good, and the past will take care of itself.”

 

It’s so true, though, isn’t it?  If we just focus on making now good, we will have a harder time viewing the past as “mistakes” and an easier time reminding ourselves how inconsequential those perceived “mistakes” are to our potential for happiness now.

[Tweet “Clear and center your mind with 5 Steps To A Happy Life Now via @BeetsPerMinute http://wp.me/p5q00n-TZ”]

I’m linking up with Healthy Diva Life for the Marvelous in My Monday link-up

Do you ever stop and think about whether or not you’re happy?  Do you practice any of these steps or do you have any of your own to share?

 

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22 Comments

  1. June 8, 2015 / 10:31 am

    Oh yes yes and an AMEN on no more distracted loving. (LOL or living :-))

    • Erin
      Author
      June 8, 2015 / 10:34 am

      AMEN! Agreed in full! Thanks Carla! 🙂

  2. June 8, 2015 / 12:53 pm

    It can be so hard to find a good balance between a real and online life. Sometimes I think it is good just to disconnect a little bit and truly necessary.

    • Erin
      Author
      June 8, 2015 / 1:01 pm

      I agree, Lauren! I definitely got so much from my mini techno-tox.

  3. June 8, 2015 / 1:45 pm

    Holy smokes, this is exactly what I needed to read today. You ARE a wise woman, Erin! Thank you for sharing this!

    • Erin
      Author
      June 8, 2015 / 1:55 pm

      Awww so glad it helped! Seriously — live by it! <3

  4. June 8, 2015 / 1:54 pm

    I had to take a break on Fri bc Neil had his surgery and I always like doing things like that. I got behind on blog reading and then realized that hey, if I can skip a day for posting then I can also skip a day of reading. It’s not the end of the world!

    • Erin
      Author
      June 8, 2015 / 1:59 pm

      Sometimes life just calls for it. I honestly feel so much more focused now too. Blogging requires balance as much as anything else does! I hope Neil is recovering quickly! 🙂

  5. June 8, 2015 / 2:25 pm

    Number 1 is the hardest for me. I hate to admit that I do judge people in my mind all the time and it feels awful! I know it’s because of insecurity or shame that I’m feeling about myself. Lately I have actively been ‘catching myself in the act’ when I do this and trying to let go of that judgement and deal with my own feelings rather than making it about someone else. I have a lot of practicing to do but it feels good to take control of my thoughts. Thanks so much for this post!

    • Erin
      Author
      June 8, 2015 / 2:38 pm

      #1 is so hard. They all are, but I literally stop myself now when I start feeling judgmental. It’s human nature, but if we can can get control of not allowing others to judge us, it should help us not want to do it to others. It does take practice and I’m at it myself daily — believe me! Thanks for reading and sharing, Keli! 🙂

  6. McKenzie
    June 8, 2015 / 2:49 pm

    OH! DA WISDOM!
    I’M SO F’N PROUD OF YOU! U R BEAUIFUL xxxxooo

    • Erin
      Author
      June 8, 2015 / 2:51 pm

      I’m proud of me too. #ModestMouse <3

  7. June 8, 2015 / 7:32 pm

    Brilliant. Erin, this is so well written and so true for me at the moment. I’ve digested each and every one of these 5 important steps you’ve written about.

    I love motivational posts like this, but you’ve got the 5 most important here, making it so much easier to remember on a daily basis!

    Because I’ve had to re-arrange my time recently (as you’ve read 🙂 ) to concentrate on what matters to me, to get things done, I’ve actually found myself reading less rubbish which I’d be learning nothing from at all. As you say “Find ways to constructively create your day and do so with intention”. I couldn’t have put it any better myself!

    Oh and good luck with all of your courses too. I hope you’re going to write more about them here, when you get the right time to do so? 🙂

    • Erin
      Author
      June 8, 2015 / 7:41 pm

      Thanks so much, Neil! I love writing these types of posts — I’m actually getting a life coach certification next — so they’ll be plenty more! I’m glad you’re taking these tips in; it’s a list of the things I’ve been continuously annoyed about with myself, which I have been working on, and I think most people can relate to them as well. I appreciate you taking the time to read my posts, when you can, as I know you’re a busy fella! Thanks for the well wishes and if you keep creating awesome recipes, I will keep giving motivating advice! Deal? 🙂

  8. June 8, 2015 / 10:11 pm

    Erin this is the most marvelous of all MIMM posts! Outsourcing happiness…brilliant!

    • Erin
      Author
      June 8, 2015 / 10:35 pm

      Thank you, Jill! 🙂

  9. June 9, 2015 / 4:19 am

    You have some really interesting things here, especially number 2. I recently wrote about how I was taking time off this summer from blogging and yet here I am at 10pm reading and commenting, all in in effort to avoid an emptiness in my life. Erin, you’ve struck a chord with me. Do I fill the space because I am avoiding something? Personally, it’s a deep and complicated answer and one that I’ve tried many times to answer — I think just being still and quiet is the probably the answer, in other words, I need to get back to my true self. Not easy!

    • Erin
      Author
      June 9, 2015 / 5:43 am

      I think sometimes it’s not even necessarily that we’re trying to fill an emptiness so much as we feel guilt about “not doing”. I am working on that with being present. I think sometimes I feel like I have to constantly be doing something rather than just being. We get away from ourselves because now we are constantly overstimulated by everything around us. I love my phone, but I hate how attached to it I am — sometimes I turn it off and I can’t help but feel like I might as well be in survival mode in the desert — “how will anybody know why I’m not answering them/what if I’m missing out on something?!”. How could any of miss anything these days? Ya know? Anyhoo, I am going into one of my rants here, but I think we all have this burden now to feel like we have to explain our absence or need to have more personal time. Social media and blogging are wonderful (I mean how else would we have met? ;)), but, at the same time, they do impose another set of responsibilities and rules for engagement on us. That being said, we can still have control over these feelings. Maybe just set aside time that is just blog related and stick to that schedule. I think we could all do with that sort of structure, because it isn’t necessarily healthy for us to always feel the obligation of being ” plugged in”. When we free up that time and don’t feel the need to justify it – it’s amazing how much more connected we feel to ourselves. Hopefully this makes sense!! <3

  10. June 9, 2015 / 1:52 pm

    I think you can tell through my videos and blog posts…. That I stop giving FU**s A LONG LONG LONG LONG LONG time ago! ha ha ha!! And doing that has made me the happiest person on the planet 😉

    • Erin
      Author
      June 9, 2015 / 1:53 pm

      GiGi, you’re living proof that just being you and not giving a single fu** is definitely the way to roll! Lol

  11. June 10, 2015 / 3:58 am

    Hi Erin! Great points all around. And I must say that I have to make sure I’m “present” when I’m with others. I am guilty of looking at my phone or letting my mind wander to my to-do list, and that’s just not right. I also agree that sometimes social media can leave us feeling badly, but it can also lift us up and provide inspiration, so I guess it’s all about how you internalize it. Good luck with all of your classes! 🙂

    • Erin
      Author
      June 10, 2015 / 5:42 am

      That’s very true! I totally agree that there’s loads of motivation on social media too — our blogging community is proof of that! I just worry that I don’t “unplug” enough in real life. We are all so distracted these days, because we have so much access to everything — so it’s good to consciously make an effort to be present as much as possible! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Ashley! 🙂

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