Valuable Tips for Your Pursuit of Happiness

It’s been said that everyone is pursuing happiness, whether they realize it or not. Others believe that pursuing happiness never leads to happiness.

Another group thinks that pursuing happiness is selfish. Which is correct?

No one knows for certain, but there are many clues regarding what is needed in order to feel happy.

What do you think would make you happy?

Happiness isn’t as easy to figure out as you might think:

1. Those that value happiness the most, aren’t the happiest group of people.

Studies show that people that prioritize happiness in life are less likely to be happy than those that don’t consider happiness to be important.

They are also more likely to report feeling depressed and lonely.

○ But maybe those that are depressed and lonely are more likely to place a priority on happiness.

You probably don’t list clean drinking water as one of your priorities, because you already have access to it.

If you lived in an area without it, it would certainly be on your mind.

2. Living a meaningful life is the best way to find happiness.

Without any sense of meaning in life, people typically resort to filling that void with the pursuit of power, materialism, or more hedonistic pleasures such as eating.

○ What is meaningful? There is no universal answer to this. You get to choose what is meaningful to you.

When you don’t live your life in a way that you consider to be meaningful, happiness eludes you.

You’re likely to feel guilty, and guilt and happiness rarely occur together.

3. There are several things that must be present to experience happiness.

Just like you need flour, butter, and eggs to make a cake, there are certain things most of us need to feel happy:

○ The ability to care for oneself and anyone else that person considers their responsibility.

In other words, it’s hard to be happy if you’re 42 years old and living on your sister’s couch.

You also won’t be happy if you can’t adequately take care of your children.

○ Something to look forward to. Have you ever noticed how you feel happier and more excited when you have something to look forward to?

It might be your birthday, a vacation, or something you’ve been saving up to buy. It could be anything that’s enjoyable to you.

○ Someone to love and someone that loves you. It’s important to have at least one special person in your life. It could even be a very close friend or a child.

○ Progress. We’re happier when we’re making progress with our lives.

Losing ground doesn’t feel good. Staying in the same place is boring. Progress is important.

○ Relevance. When you can do something that others need and appreciate, you’re more likely to experience happiness.

Do you matter? If don’t think you do, you’re going to be unhappy.

4. Avoid confusing pleasure and fun with happiness.

Happiness feels good. So, some people decide that the way to be happy is to feel good.

What feels good? Sex, food, alcohol, hobbies, and all other sources of fun and pleasure.

While these things can feel great in the short-term, the feeling doesn’t last.

We are all driven to move toward happiness. Some may believe the way to be happy is to be rich, famous, and powerful.

Others believe that helping others will make them happy. You have to decide for yourself what will lead to your happiness.

Remember that pleasure and happiness aren’t the same thing.

There are plenty of people that commit suicide each year whose lives were filled with fun and pleasure. There’s a difference. Go be happy!

A Proven Process for Using Affirmations Effectively

We all know that we should think more positively. But, it’s not easy to change our thinking. Our thought processes quickly become habits that are challenging to change.

Affirmations are one way to take control of your thinking. Not only are you thinking something positive when you repeat an affirmation, but you’re also avoiding a negative thought at the same time. That’s progress!

You might think that you know all about affirmations, but many of the common assumptions are incorrect.

There’s no point in wasting your time with affirmations that are doomed to fail. Educate yourself about affirmations before spending any time and energy on them.

The effective use of affirmations can have a positive effect on your thoughts and behavior.

Use these ideas to make the most of affirmations:

1. Understand the characteristics of an effective affirmation:

○ The affirmation must be in the present tense, such as, “I eat healthy food each day.”

A poor affirmation is: “I will eat healthy food each day.” That statement is in the future tense.

○ An affirmation must be positive. “I don’t eat unhealthy food,” is an example of our same affirmation stated in the negative, which doesn’t work effectively either.

2. List your current weaknesses.

The lower-rated areas of your life are dragging you down. It’s best to create affirmations that address your weaknesses.

Make a list of what you consider to be your weaknesses as a first step.

○ Which weakness is causing you the greatest trouble? Which one would you choose to turn around if you could?

3. Create 3-5 affirmations that address your greatest weakness.

There are thousands of affirmations you can find online, or feel free to invent your own.

Make a list and then choose a couple that give you the greatest emotional boost when you read them.

4. Avoid engaging in negative thought patterns.

Negative thoughts undo your positive thoughts. It’s like baling water from a leaking boat.

You can’t make real progress until you stop the leaks. When you notice you’re having a negative thought, stop yourself and repeat your affirmations to yourself.

5. Use your affirmations in different forms.

Avoid just thinking your affirmations to yourself. There are many other options. Use them all.

Cover all the bases and you’ll be more likely to experience success.

○ Read them.
○ Speak them aloud.
○ Record and listen to them.
○ Visualize yourself acting as if the affirmation were reality.
○ Repeat them to yourself silently.

6. Use your affirmations throughout the day, but also use a schedule.

Set aside five minutes, three times each day, to repeat your affirmations. You can do this during normal alone time in your life.

You might repeat your affirmations in the shower, driving to work, your lunch break, driving home, or in bed at night.

7. Be prepared to change your behavior.

Affirmations ultimately produce changes in your life when your behavior changes.

Affirmations aren’t a form of magic, but they can change your focus and beliefs. Be ready to use those changes to facilitate changing your behavior.

Affirmations can be an effective way to begin changing your life. Affirmations can be effective if they are structured properly, address your weaknesses, and are used consistently.

Give affirmations a chance to work for you. Use the process to create a few affirmations and use them for 30 days. Notice the changes you experience!

Once you’ve addressed one weakness, move on to another. Everyone should have a few affirmations in their pocket regardless of how successful and happy they may be. You can always enhance your life further.

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Cheers, Helene Malmsio

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by: Helene

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