The search for happiness: a highly sought-after feeling. A common goal for millions of people spanning across every culture, gender, religion, age, and tax bracket. Aside from those who spend a lifetime attaining power, money and fame, what most people want most in life is to be HAPPY. Many of us see a therapist to fulfill that need, some of us may even take a pill to drown out the bad feelings and replace them with what we assume is “happiness.” I’m never too proud to admit that I’ve experienced coming and going bouts of anxiety and depression, and no matter what I did to escape it, my search for happiness continued to make me feel as though I was coming up short every time. However, over the last six months to a year, I think I may have the secret to happiness figured out. Happiness means something different to each and every person based on their individual needs, but what I’ve found is that happiness can be really quite simple to obtain if you look in the right place(s). I’m going to share what it took me a good ten years to figure out and the simple things that make me happy today, in this beautiful moment.
HOW to be happy and what makes ME happy:
-Accepting yourself as you are-
Finding peace within yourself and being completely content with who you are WITHOUT becoming complacent and settling is an amazing thing. It took me years to look at myself in the mirror and not only be at peace with what I look like on the outside but also be proud of how I think, how I love and who I am when no one is looking. The second you start to say, “OKAY, YOU GOT THIS” and living everyday with an appropriate, genuine amount of confidence is the second you find yourself smiling more. Insecurities will get the best of you and keep you from living your life the way it is meant to be lived. Good posture, a head held high, and inner strength that people can’t help but notice will lead you into a successful, beautiful world.
Whether I’m sharing some quiet eyes-closed sleepy time with a man who cares about me, a dog that is finally settling his energetic body down, or a beautiful baby who fell asleep on my chest while I was rocking her to sleep; turning my nap into a shared experience is always a million times more enjoyable. When my dog, who is always ON TEN finally gives in and curls his little body up against mine, I’m done for. Napping soothes the soul anyway, but sharing it with someone you care about- ULTIMATE happiness.
–A Netflix Binge-
Netflix is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to me. First it was the 5 straight seasons of Sons of Anarchy, followed by 5 seasons of Friday Night Lights, 5 of Breaking Bad, and now I’m on to 8 seasons of Dexter. I have the Netflix app on my iPhone and iPad, and for Christmas, Santa brought me a smart TV with a Netflix BUTTON on the remote! Technically, anywhere I go I can watch Michael C. Hall chop a serial killer into pieces. I work a lot, so the second I find myself with some free time on my hands, a three to five hour Netflix binge complete with all the essentials – a blanket, my dog, and some treats – brings me PURE joy.
Aside from the physical improvements a healthy amount of exercise will do to your body, working out regularly is good for your happiness levels as well. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins collaborate with receptors in your brain that trigger a beautiful euphoric feeling; similar to morphine. Not only that, but transforming your body into a vessel that is capable of doing things you never thought you could do and looking better than you ever thought you could look, will improve your self-esteem and self-worth leading you to live a HAPPIER existence.
-When my dog takes a dump OUTSIDE like a real dog instead of on the carpet INSIDE like an obnoxious shit-for-brains pest –
Poor little dude just can’t help but leave teensy nuggets where he definitely is not supposed to. Yeah…I know…trainer’s malfunction. Since pooping outside of the house in the great outdoors is a rare occasion, I feel truly happy when it happens. It’s the little things…
-Trimming the Fat-
Letting go of the individuals around you who no longer bring any good into your life is a GIANT step in the right direction when obtaining true happiness. Negative people, people who use you or keep you in their life for impure reasons, and people who, to state it bluntly, just kinda SUCK, will only plunge you down into their miserable little holes they call their “lives.” So my advice is to walk away. The moment you clear out all the negative, all the “clutter” and discover those few people who sincerely love you and have always had your best interests in mind, will be a beautiful and eye-opening moment.
-Eating peanut butter M&M’s-
…Need I go on?
-Letting go and FORGIVING –
I have never been shy to express how I feel about the dynamics of my family – specifically my father’s second marriage. I have had a notoriously dramatic, unhealthy relationship with my dad’s wife. I pulled every “Parent Trap” type of stunt to scare her away so that she wouldn’t be in my life anymore and I am ashamed to admit that I have been less than successful. In fact, every stunt I pulled only stuck a giant wedge in between my father and I. Hating my “step-mother” ended up not only hurting my dad, but as a result, hurting me as well. Forgiveness is no easy feat but as I grow and learn and have relationships of my own, I see that in order to move on and live a life full of love and happiness, I have to clear my body, mind and heart of hateful feelings towards everybody that has ever hurt me.
-Hugging a cute little goat-
Until my family adopted three baby Nigerian Dwarf Goats this summer, I never thought a farm animal would bring me so much joy. However, sitting outside in the pasture with a book and little goats on my lap made me feel so much inner peace this summer. So docile and friendly, my little goat triplets are THE BOMB.
-Spending 20 minutes a day watching absurd STUPID videos on Vine-
From the antics of comedian, Chris D’Elia, to wiener dogs wearing clothes, and a woman named Katie Ryan who posts videos of her four year old daughter who is true-blue comedic GOLD, this FREE app will change your life. Laughter is one of the best tools to achieving ultimate happiness.
-Appreciating and taking notice of “the little things”-
SO many people spend so much time being PISSED OFF to open up their silly little eye balls and witness the BEAUTY around them. A beautiful man makes you breakfast without his shirt on…APPRECIATE IT. Your mom leaves you a note telling you how much she loves you…APPRECIATE IT. A four year old tells you you’re her best friend….APPRECIATE IT. I guarantee you there is someone out there in this giant world genuinely happy with so much less than what YOU currently have. Basically, don’t sweat the small stuff, CHILL THE F OUT and open yourself to all the blessings this Universe has to offer.
The secret to happiness is pretty basic. It’s all about having a major attitude adjustment. In the last six months, I’ve stopped worrying about things I can’t control. Worrying only makes the things you DON’T want to happen, happen. Instead, visualize positivity. Close your eyes and think about the things you want to take place and the little things that make you smile and I swear, happiness will surround you. THIS I promise you.
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