Submitted by Sammi Siegel
Clinical psychologists believe that happiness is a product of realization. One must allow oneself to go through a process to feel happiness. They explain the following phase:
Accept the Pains. You must get in touch with your situation. Sometimes people deny their hardship, thinking that if they don’t face them, they will be happier. But it’s the other way around. Allow yourself to go through the pains.
Choose Not to Stay in Pain. They say this is “self-empowerment.” You can either be bitter about the pains and feel very powerless. Or you can do something and feel powerful enough to handle them. It’s a choice to live with or without pain.
Forgive Yourself, Other People. But before forgiveness comes in, think about how other people hurt. Then realize that you can see yourself for what you actually are and not how they want you to be. So finding happiness is no longer rooted outside, but it’s inside you—what you see, how you view things, what you want. Then it leads to your choice: to live your life with yourself.
Take Responsibility for Your Life. We sometimes allow ourselves to let other people, circumstances, or pains in the past to rule our lives. So we become very unhappy and very bitter because we live blaming others for who we are, where we’re at, or how we should be. It’s an exhausting process because you’ll forever be blaming other people. Don’t be bothered by what others think who you are or the standards they set. Take responsibility for your life.
Learn to Let Go and Trust Yourself. To be happy means learning to let go of expectations from yourself or from other people. You can’t always have your way. At work, you can’t always be sure your strategies will work or your plans will happen. But before you let go, have a deeper trust in yourself.
Learn to Receive Blessings. Think of the little things that make you happy or the people that give you assurance where you’re good at. This is called receiving. Most of us have reasons to be happy, only that we don’t see them or we take them for granted. We need to have little eyes and little hearts too, and realize that all things that make us happy have been there all along.
Have Somebody to Turn To. Even if you’re in turmoil, there are people who will support you. But often we stick with people who make us very unhappy. If you’re unhappy, seek people who will nurture you or look for a partner who will serve as a well-spring of inspiration.
Be Hopeful. Hoping is better than being optimistic since it’s whole and real. Because sometimes, one’s optimism can be a denial of hardship. It’s easy to be optimistic about things, but inside you, you’re anxious about them. Hoping is deeper. It’s something you look forward to even when you recognize the difficulties and pains. The more hopeful a person is, the more he recognizes how bad the situation is, and lets himself to bear it. In the end, he knows it will bear good results. You don’t deny difficulties. You’re touching ground instead.
Keep the Faith Alive. There’ll be points in your life when you can’t handle problems alone. Think about someone who’s more powerful, and who loves you dearly to take care of you. Having faith in God will give you hope.
You Can Actually Give Intangible Gifts Even Without Your Conscious Effort. People will tell you later that you’ve helped them, and gradually, you will feel you’re making a difference in their lives. That’s a deeper gift. When you help others, they affirm you by saying, “You’re good.” Then you realize that you’re a good person and your goodness is not merely based on meeting deadlines or getting a raise. It’s more of proving your self-worth based on being loved for who you really are and not simply for the result you can deliver or the money you can contribute to the company. This strengthens your positive attitude towards difficulties in life.
Be Grateful. You have to develop in yourself the sense of gratitude. You should be thankful for what you have. But you should recognize that there are things you can do to improve your life.
It’s All in the Mind. We are unhappy because we think we are. Unhappy people are attached to their unhappiness. They refuse to change. When one thinks negatively, then he attracts negative thoughts. If you think that a tragedy will fall on you, somehow you fulfill it. Unconsciously, you make it happen.
Money Isn’t Everything. People accumulate more and more money but the amount of happiness they can “buy” gets smaller and smaller. Although more money may bring greater feeling of empowerment, studies show that personal relationships, spirituality and feelings about oneself most directly influence well-being.
Discover the Best Friend in You. We can all change for the better. You can be happy even with yourself by discovering the best friend in you. Get real. Don’t be hard on yourself with those high, unattainable goals. It’s time you don’t look for happiness outside you.