I often catch myself wondering about what it actually feels like to be happy. Is it a state of mind that you’re simply born with or without?
Is there such a thing as happy people? Do happy people experience sadness every once in a while? What am I even doing here? What am I living for? What makes me happy, really?
I eventually learned that being happy doesn’t mean that you’re happy all the time; no one is and that’s okay. Part of our human journey is to be able to experience a wide horizon of emotions. How can one know what happiness means if they’ve never experienced its opposite?
How would we be able to tell if something is colored in red if we’ve never seen something green, or any other color for that matter?
I also came to realize that happiness comes from within; if you’re not internally happy then no external factor can help you be happy. You can be in the most beautiful place on earth and still feel miserable if your heart is painted with blue.
That’s why it needs to come from within. When you’re in a happy state of mind, you start to see the world in different colors.
You manage to find joy in just about everything you do. You find laughter in the most gruesome spaces. You find silence amid all the noise.
But how does one achieve this state of mind? Well, it’s something that you need to work on; it requires actual change and putting yourself outside your comfort zone.
So, how can I change my life and be happy?
1- Who You Hang Out With Matters
You don’t get to choose your family, but you get to choose who your friends are; so choose carefully. Whether we want to believe it or not, our friends have a huge impact on who we are and even who we become.
I used to hang out with empty and closed-minded people. My friends’ favorite activity was drinking; not once did we get together and had nothing to drink.
Alcohol brought us together and drinking meant being an exclusive member of this club. I remember the sick feeling in my stomach that comes along with drinking.
I remember how my body started to feel paralyzed after the 3rd glass. I remember the voices in my head that started conversing loudly after hours of drinking. I remember it all.
Not only that, but my friends’ favorite topic was other people; they loved gossiping. Gossiping can be very toxic; imagine how toxic it became when it was associated with drinking?
My body was intoxicated with alcohol and my heart was intoxicated with gossip; I was tainted. Believe me, you will start seeing the world differently the minute you let go of negative influence.
Losing my friends meant that I was sober and it meant that I was no longer engaging in nasty conversations about other people.
2- What You Eat Matters
The food you eat influences you in more ways than you think. It’s a scientific fact that consuming sugary foods and drinks can increase your chance of having depression. Depression can be dangerous because it never gives you a moment of internal peace.
Moreover, the excessive consumption of junk food can increase your cortisol hormone, aka your stress hormone. You will be easily blinded to happiness if your stress levels are constantly high.
Consequently, eating a well-balanced diet and committing to a healthier lifestyle will increase your chance of combating depression and anxiety disorders. That doesn’t mean that you should completely abstain from eating fast food; it’s all about finding the perfect balance.
3- How You Treat Yourself Matters
Do you speak to yourself in kind words? What kind of language do you use when talking to yourself?
Negative self-talk can ruin your every chance at being happy. If you constantly tell yourself “I’m such an idiot”, “I’m ugly”, “my body is disgusting”, or “no one likes me”, then your brain will actually start believing this. Think of it this way, there’s a tiny human sitting in your brain who is actually listening to the words you tell yourself.
Also, do you give your body a chance to rest when it demands a break? Or do you keep pushing it further and further to a point of possible burnout?
It’s good to remember that the mind and body are connected; one cannot exist without the other. If your body is exhausted, your mind will be exhausted too.
If your body is rested and taken care of, you will give your mind a true chance of happiness. You can never have a happy mind and a tired body; the same way you can never have a happy body and a tired mind.
4- What You Do Matters
How do you spend your days? What does your day look like? Do you spend your day binging on food and Netflix?
Do you spend your day sitting around doing absolutely nothing? Do you spend your day scrolling through Instagram and hating everybody because you’re so busy with the nasty game of compare and contrast?
What kind of goals are you working on? Do you have any goals at all?
Have you figured out what you like doing? What is your passion? What makes you wake up every single day? What are your dreams?
Truth is, finding out your passion and going after it will give you fulfillment in ways you’ve never imagined. Finding out your passion will give you a sense of purpose; you will feel obligated to fulfill that purpose and truly work hard to achieve it.
And remember, you are not here on earth merely to waste time. You are here to live.