How to Be Happy

How to Be Happy

I am not a yogi. I get angry in traffic. I get way too sad over TV show plot lines. I am known to go from smiley to hangry in under ten seconds. I am not always dog-just-let-out-of-the-gate-happy. I don't have the secret sauce for happiness. But what I do have are a couple of ingredients. Without further adieu, here's how to be happy:

Don't read the comments.

Sometimes it's better to let other people's opinions be just that...other people's opinions. What someone thinks about a topic or about you does not realistically have to affect you. Try to isolate yourself from unnecessary negative criticism. You don't pay your rent with people's thoughts about you. Let 'em go. 

Controlling other people’s feelings is a no-no.

You do not have to take on other people's problems. You are not responsible for any unhappiness that your friends and family might be experiencing. And if you are, address it. If someone else is sad, let them be sad. You can't control what has happened in other people's lives. You can support them.

Self-care vs. Self-obsession

When I hear the term 'self-care,' my initial reaction is to roll my eyes. Deeply into the back of my brain. In a culture that's so self-obsessed, do we really need more terms that begin with...'self'? Much to my dismay, the answer is a super loud and super resounding, YES. Self-care is important. Self-obsession is not.

Self-care is described as a 'preventative medicine.' It's the 'action to preserve or improve one's own health' (exercise, nutrition, or a long bath with plenty of bubbles and a face mask...). Self-obsession is when interest in oneself excludes other things. Explore what self-care means to you. It's yours. And it's fun!

Don't wallow.

Communicate negative feelings you may be having. That is my recipe for getting over your anxieties. Look someone in the eye and tell them all about what's stressing you out. If you try to deal with things completely on your own you'll be tempted to wallow. I pinky-promise (now you know I mean it) that being open about your feelings in an actual conversation will make you feel at least 10% better. 

Stop following everyone you know.

There's a case to be made that being informed is important. World news, the weather, the latest release of your favorite TV show. You, however, do not need to stay up-to-date on the person you knew peripherally from high school. It is a rabbit hole. You will go down it. You'll compare your job, your body, your relationship, your dog, and maybe even your mental health. Knock it off. Stop mindlessly scrolling through the sea of your past. Get off Facebook and put on some sunglasses. Your future is bright when you start living and stop scrolling. (Would you like some wine with that cheese?)

What are your secrets to happiness? As always, totally and obviously asking for a friend xx

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