Five Hacks For Living A Happier Life

A happy life is found by embracing yourself —your scars, experiences, body, talents and abilities. So often you’re pulled out of joy by self-judgement and an unwillingness to accept the ups and downs of life.

While some people may require deep — and even physiological — healing to do it, being loving and compassionate to yourself is the cornerstone of a happy life. When I say happy, I don’t mean the impossible land of unicorns and rainbows where everything is perfect an you fell great all the time.

What I mean is being content with yourself no matter the circumstance. I mean being able to accept, not resist, when things are messy and complicated. I mean showing up in the way only you can, and making the best choices to support yourself in the process, even if other people want you to be something you’re inherently not.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” —Emerson

1. Say Yes To It All

If you want to be ridiculously happy, you’ll have to learn to be tragically sad too. Or maybe anger is your bag, even though you hate that damn feeling.

But as soon as you try to turn it off, numb it out or ignore it, you shut down all the good juju too. Trying to stop half of your feelings actually means you’ll only be halfway happy.

You’re human, bad shit is going to happen, and it’s ok to get mad or sad about it (see #4). Some incredible, ecstatic things are going to happen, too, and it’s ok to celebrate and enjoy them. Say yes to it all.

“Experience is not what happens to a man, it’s what a man does with what happens to him.” —Aldous Huxley

2. Do What You Love

Being bored or hating what you do is the surest way to be miserable. Find something that excites you and nurture it in your life.

Maybe you’re stuck at your job, but your hobby is what brings you alive. Maybe you can’t do it every day, but you can spend a few minutes thinking about it, looking at pictures or making plans for when you can.

3. What Other People Think of You is None of Your Business

There will always be haters. Some people will feel threatened by your success and will try to keep you down. When they do, remember they’re projecting their unhappiness, not yours.

Learn to walk away, or at least find a technique to shake it off if it tries to stick to you. Then, surround yourself with cheerleaders who support you and challenge you to be your best self.

4. Make Smart Choices

Every choice moves you towards happiness, or away from it. Make choices that align you to long term happiness rather than short term pleasure. Even the tiniest actions count…

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito.” —Anonymous

5. Stop Fighting

You can’t live a happy life with the ball and chain of your past hanging off you. Grieve, cry, scream, puke, yell, stand on your head, see a therapist —do whatever you need to heal and then let it go so you can get on with living your dreams.