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 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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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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?