How can I be happy?

Happiness is often misunderstood as a feeling we get only after achieving something or when something positive happens in our life. In reality, its a feeling that we can experience at this very moment. Lots of people wish for happiness in life without realizing that they are already happy and sometimes they think that happiness can only be found in the external world.

Here are a few ways to discover your inner happiness

Focus on what’s good

We have so many things going on in our life. It is natural to like some elements in your life and dislike some elements. However, in order to realize your own happiness, focus on what’s good in your life. Most things in your life have some positive aspect to it. You either overlook those aspects or discount those positive aspects and focus on what’s bad.

Everything has its own flaws and imperfections. We often make the mistake of thinking that if these flaws or imperfections weren’t there then that would make us happier.

You can feel your happiness right now if you want. Just close your eyes and focus on everything in your life that you like. Whatever you labelled as bad in your life, think about ways in which it is actually good. You’ll see an instant change in your mood.

Express your thoughts

It’s a suffocating feeling to have something to say to someone but holding it back for different reasons. The feeling of “I should have said something” always weighs us down. So, express what is on your mind more often. If its a situation where you can’t, then at least express those thoughts to yourself, it can provide some relief. Avoid ignoring your own thoughts and feelings.

Deal with regrets and guilt

It’s impossible to live a perfect life with no mistakes of any sort. Naturally, all of us have regrets and guilt about something in our lives. But what leads to unhappiness is not the regret or guilt, rather the fact that we never come to proper terms with them. Understanding about certain mistakes, or setbacks in your life is essential to happiness. If you never understand them, then you will see yourself as the reason for those mistakes. But the truth is, there is always a reason for why those mistakes happened by you in the first place. Identifying it and understanding it will help you move on. You should be able to explain to yourself in a convincing manner why the mistakes of your life happened.

Learn to say no

Even though It may come across as a surprise, most of us aren’t actually aware of what we like and what we dislike. Of course, there are a few people who are aware of their likes and dislikes. But those who are not, end up doing things that they don’t like. Give importance to your own happiness and learn to say no to things that you know will not make you happy. Before you can do that, you need to take time to understand what kind of an individual you are, and what are your preferences and viewpoints in life.

Cognitive Distortions

Cognitive distortions are, simply put, errors in thinking. Recognizing these distortions will help you understand how to deal with them and avoid them.

The following are the 10 most common cognitive distortions (as laid out by Dr.David Burns in his book “Feeling Good”) that lead to a bad mood and unhappiness. The compilation is courtesy of .

All-or-nothing thinking: You look at things in absolute, black-and-white categories.

Overgeneralization: You view a negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.

Mental filter: You dwell on the negatives and ignore the positive aspects of a situation.

Discounting the positives: You insist that your accomplishments or positive qualities don’t count.

Jumping to conclusions: You conclude things are bad without any definite evidence. These include mind-reading (assuming that people are reacting negatively to you) and fortune-telling (predicting that things will turn out badly).

Magnification or minimization: You blow things way out of proportion or you shrink their importance.

Emotional reasoning: You reason from how you feel: “I feel like an idiot, so I must be one.”

“Should”statements: You criticize yourself or other people with “shoulds,” “shouldn’t,” “musts,” “oughts,” and “have to’s.”

Labelling: Instead of saying, “I made a mistake,” you tell yourself, or “I’m a loser.”

Blame: You blame yourself for something you weren’t entirely responsible for, or you blame other people and overlook ways that you contributed to a problem.

Hope this helped you understand that happiness, is actually within you and you can access it anytime you want.


One response to “How can I be happy?”

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