Though happiness seems to be rare, it doesn’t have to be. Each and every one of us has the potential to experience joy — we simply need to decide that we want to experience positive feelings. Unfortunately, most people believe struggle is essential for happiness.
When it comes to achieving goals, including happiness, there is a concept commonly referred to as “be, do, have”. According to this model, if you want to achieve anything in life, you first have to be the person who truly desires, and deserves, a certain outcome. Once you become this person, you will then be able to do the things you are supposed to do to achieve your goal. Finally, you will succeed, and have what you desire.
Learning and applying this model can be a big breakthrough because almost everyone seems to have it backward. Most people desire certain things, and believe that once they get those things, they will be able to do what they want; and only then they will be happy. However as we’ve just seen, it’s not “have, do, be”, but the other way around: “be, do, have”.
Which is why you need to focus on yourself, rather than the external world, if you want to be truly happy. It sounds cliche, but chasing new things, particularly material objects, will only give you a short term high; having the right state of mind, on the other hand, will lead to true joy and fulfilment.
I am not saying you shouldn’t want more in your life — you probably should, especially if you are ambitious. But it’s crucial that you don’t exclusively rely on external factors to be happy. You must learn to have a positive attitude and mindset no matter what, otherwise you’ll always depend on objects, or other people, to be happy.
The law of attraction
I’m sure you’ve heard of the law of attraction already. Though most people have a general idea of what it means, there are two main interpretations of this law, or concept.
The most common interpretation is that if you focus and give energy to what you desire, eventually you will attract it. In other words, “you tend to attract what you want”. The problem is that while focusing on your goals gives you clarity, and motivation, it’s not enough to achieve them.
In reality, the law of attraction states that you tend to attract who you are. So according to this law, you need to become the kind of person who is able to experience a certain lifestyle, relationship, career, breakthrough, etc. — before it actually happens.
So again, it’s the same concept: be, do, have. If you want to achieve, or attract, true happiness, it must begin with you. Thus, “if you want to be happy, be”. Let’s have a look at how you can change your mindset, so you can attract more positivity and happiness in your life.
How to be happier right now
Here are seven things you can do to change who you are and your emotions. If you implement even just one or two of these things in your life, you will be happier and more fulfilled than the vast majority of people.
First of all, have faith. Have faith in God, the Universe, your intuition — anything that is bigger than you, and that you believe in. Know that there is someone or something guiding you to the path you are meant to follow.
Too often we focus on the negative, and think life is unfair. This creates a sense of frustration, powerlessness, and resentment.
On the other hand, if we are able to see the big picture, and understand that everything we are going through (or have gone through in the past) shapes our attitude and personality, makes us wiser, and leads us to the best version of ourselves, we will be happy.
Once we understand we are perfect; once we understand we are right where we need to be; once we understand all our past and current mistakes, frustrations, and adversities have a purpose, we will stop dwelling on every single thing we don’t like, and have faith in something bigger than us.
We have seen how many people focus on what they don’t like, and how that makes them unhappy. But another self sabotaging thought or behavior people have is focusing on what they don’t have. This is partly because they believe they need to have something in order to be happy.
Gratitude is the process through which we focus on what we do have, and experience joy as a result. We can focus on who we are (for example, our greatest skills, strengths, personality traits), the positive emotions that we experience, the positive things in our environment, and our accomplishments — big or small.
This will create a sense of abundance and, indeed, gratitude. By focusing on the good, we will be able to attract more good things. Some people like to keep a gratitude journal, where they note all the things they are grateful for, each morning or before they go to bed.
Change your environment
The biggest shift that you experience when you change your environment is that your awareness increases. Have you ever noticed that when you are in a new place (for example, when you are on holiday somewhere new), you notice and pay attention to everything around you?
This powerful shift in awareness naturally makes you happier, because it makes you focus on the present moment. When you are aware, your mind does not dwell on the past, and does not worry about the future. You are more spontaneous and consequently happier.
Besides changing your surroundings and those you interact with, you can practice meditation. During a meditation session, you detach from your thoughts, and you realize that you are not your mind — you are simply awareness. When you come to this realization, you are then able to control your thoughts: attract positive ones, and silence negative ones.
Your subconscious mind is not able to distinguish between reality and imagination (this is why we experience intense emotions when we watch a movie, even though we know it’s not real). If you use this to your advantage, you can change your mindset in a relatively short period of time.
An easy way to teach your subconscious to be happier is to practice daily affirmations. At first, it can seem stupid, and your rational mind will probably tell you to stop, because it’s a waste of time. However the longer you do it, the more you will notice positive changes.
You can say the affirmations out loud, write them, or read them silently — it doesn’t really matter, as long as you concentrate, and believe them. You can practice affirmation for happiness, self love, and gratitude. If you suffer from depression or anxiety, affirmations are a great way to heal your mental health issues, or at least deal with them in a constructive way.
Practice positive thinking as a habit
We know how important our thoughts are, and how they shape our existence. This is why positive thinking must be a habit, not something you do once in a while.
If you have been in a toxic environment for a while, or if you are depressed, it may be hard to be positive at first, but the beauty of positive thinking is that, just like most things in life, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
There is one trick you can use to change your mindset quickly: you have to pay attention to your thoughts; identify those thoughts that cause negative emotions; and silence them. Again, this may be hard at first, but once it turns into a habit, you will learn to control your mind, and automatically reject all thought patterns that make you unhappy.
Write down your dreams
As I’ve explained in this article, most people never actually take the time to write down what they want to experience and accomplish in life, so if you do, you will belong to the small percentage that is proactive rather than reactive, at least when it comes to planning your life.
Interestingly enough, when you write and read your goals and dreams, you become happier instantly, even if it’s going to take months, or even years, to accomplish them. Remember, our subconscious mind does not know what is real, and what we simply imagine.
By writing down what we want, we exercise our creativity; we find out what’s actually possible, and we may even discover our greatest purpose in life. This, in turn, makes us happier. Once you have identified what you want, you then have to…
Visualize your dreams
The last thing you can do to change who you are and attract the things that you desire is to visualize your dreams. Picture what you want in your mind, and be as specific as possible.
Think of the different colors and sounds that you would experience as if you had already accomplished your dreams; visualize yourself being the happiest you have ever been; pay attention to all the details; feel the joy, the excitement, and the positive energy.
Whether you believe in the law of attraction or not, you have to experience happiness in your mind before you can manifest it in the external world. If you don’t take the time to think about your dreams, and visualize them with great intensity, chances are you will never experience them in the physical world.
- Have faith in something bigger than you, and know that you are right where you need to be
- Practice gratitude; focus on the wonderful things that you have and that you are
- Change your environment to increase your awareness and focus on the present moment
- Practice daily affirmations to reprogram your subconscious mind; the longer you do it, the more results you will notice
- Develop the habit of paying attention to your thoughts; silence the thoughts that make you unhappy
- Take the time to write down what you want to experience and accomplish in life (very few people do this)
- Visualize your dreams with great intensity: you have to experience happiness in your mind before you can manifest it in the external world
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