How to be happy

Now that I’m happy and confident in myself, it can sometimes be difficult to remember how I was before I achieved this. Telling someone that they look great, and should be content just the way they are, rarely works. It’s like someone telling me not to worry: just because you said it, doesn’t make it happen. My worrying doesn’t have a nice straightforward off-switch. Telling someone that they don’t need to have a spouse/career/family by a specific point in their life to be a success, doesn’t automatically stop someone from feeling like a failure. Telling someone they’re not fat just makes them focus on the last word you said.

My journey to self-confidence started with realising a number of things, including: (a) what is right for other people isn’t necessarily right for me; (b) focusing on myself isn’t selfish; and (c) being happy with my life just the way it is doesn’t need to be considered ‘settling’. Concentrating on good things and thinking about what made me happy was, inevitably, far more productive than dwelling on the bad stuff. I sometimes blog about things like boosting body confidence and how you shouldn’t get hung up on size, but body (and other) insecurities arise for many different reasons and manifest in a number of ways, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best we can all do is to concentrate on the positive things in our lives, as far as we possibly can. Hopefully this approach will also help the people we come into contact with to break away from their negativity too.

4 thoughts on “How to be happy

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  1. I honestly think one of the best shortcuts to happiness is reaching out and 'doing good' for other people. I was having a really rubbish day a few weeks ago, for no good reason; feeling really down about everything and nothing in particular. Instead of doing what I was tempted (in a rather narcissistic way!) to do, which was to ask people for validation and support and compliments, I reached out on Twitter and asked people if they'd like to hear a compliment or something nice about themselves. Lots of people, it turned out, said they could really use it – and I sent out a few unsolicited ones too.

    Thinking hard about amazing things about my wonderful friends – sometimes big and important things, sometimes specifically important connections (like saying nice things to a lovely ex), sometimes small but awesome things I've noticed – really made me feel so much cheerier about everything. The more I tried, the more I seemed to be able to come up with an endless list of good things (which is always a great feeling – but when you're feeling down, it's hard to do that about yourself) – and the more I realised what wonderful friends I have. Plus, it had the added bonus of really cheering people up and touching them, which really helped me feel like I was spreading some happiness in the world.

    It perked me up much more efficiently than pretty much anything else. I'd recommend telling lovely people how lovely they are as a pick-me-up for anyone 🙂

  2. I'm watching Eat, Pray, Love at the moment (yawn) and it's weird, because I'm pretty sure if Julia Roberts stopped moaning and read your post she'd feel much better!

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