Today, I consider myself an extremely happy person, but it hasn’t always been that way. The truth is that I’ve made HUGE strides to get where I am today. I had to dig deep inside myself to access authentic joy. I used to cry myself to sleep every night. I felt lifeless, numb, and bored with life.
I'd obsess over my day and feel tremendous guilt and anxiety tied to my eating disorders, drug addictions, poor choices in men, and unfulfilling job.
We get what we focus on.
I did whatever I could to avoid the feeling that I hated my life and myself — I tried to numb myself with food, drugs, codependent relationships, etc. It was a vicious cycle. I felt so much pressure to be happy, which only kept me more miserable.
I thought I needed to get a new job, a thinner body, and more money in order to become happier, but this mentality just kept me unhappy. I was always waiting for the next thing.
Looking back now, I see that the real transformation in turning my pain into purpose was learning how to shift my mindset in each moment. We get what we focus on. If I wanted a healthier and happier life, I needed to focus on that. Small, moment by moment mindset shifts helped pull me out of depression and led me to find my purpose and passion as an author, life coach, and teacher.
If you're having a bad day, month, or even a bad year, instead of waiting for your happiness to come in some achievement or big life change, start small by shifting your perception in this moment.
Here are 10 simple ways to do it:
1. Remind yourself as much as you need to: You get what you focus on. If you don't like what you see, change your focus.
2. Instead of asking How can I get?, ask What can I give? The energy of giving rewards your soul.
3. Joy is contagious. When you do what brings you joy, you uplift the world.
4. Remember what's meant to be will always find a way.
5. Any troubling situation is designed to show you what needs to be worked on.
6. Maybe you’re exhausted because you’re tired of acting stronger than you feel. It's okay to be vulnerable.
7. Say what you need to say. There is freedom in self-expression.
8. Things don’t happen to you, they happen for you.
9. Treat yourself more kindly. When you nourish the inside, the outside will flourish.
10. Experience is the best way to learn. What you’re going through is preparing you for what you asked for.
To create your own happiness list, grab this free Love Your Life to the Fullest guide.