Learning Happiness

It has taken me a while to realize that happiness is not something that will fall into my lap. It's not something that you sit back and wait for. Happiness is learned and chosen. 

Many people equate happiness with loving yourself, and I agree entirely. However, it's the convoluted idea of what self-love actually is that obscures true happiness. Self-love is not a bath bomb and wine every time you feel you want or need it. Self-love is not truly self-love if it has monetary value. 

To love yourself, you need to be comfortable in your own skin. You need to understand who you are and what your goals are for yourself and stick to your guns. You need to put yourself first, always and forever, because nobody's got you but you. Happiness can be found within, but it's the choices we make that contribute to it. These are a few things I've learned along my journey that have lead to increased happiness.


It's all about the little things

Celebrating small achievements and acknowledging all you have done so far has beneficial effects on your mental health. It forces you to acknowledge what you have done rather than what's not done. It helps lessen stress and increase positive thoughts. 


Accept the good and the bad

Realizing that you don't have control over everything that happens in your life is liberating. Truly and completely liberating. Life can hit you with some pretty hard stuff, like losses and illnesses, and it never seems to go easy on you when it does. While it can seem hard, acknowledging all the good in your life can help put some things into perspective. Understanding that sometimes you don't have control and you just have to go with the flow and roll with the punches, because realistically, at the end of the day, what has happened has happened and you can't go back. Even with the good things, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement. Enjoy the good things, cherish them and hold on to them, but don't let them overwhelm you. Acknowledge your gratitude and don't take anything for granted.


Lose the extra weight

People are essential to and present in our everyday lives. Therefore, people play vital parts that contribute to your happiness or our lack thereof. They have a strong influence on your mental health and can influence your thoughts and actions. Keeping those who demean and belittle you in your life is only harmful to you. It can be difficult shedding that extra weight of negativity, but once you do, you'll feel so much lighter. 


Treat your body with love and care

There is only one you. Taking care of yourself should be at the top of your priority list, always. Exercise and healthy eating play major roles in your happiness. A healthy diet and exercise can give you a clear head, which benefits your ability to make good decisions for yourself. Exercise releases endorphins or happy hormones, and, with good food, they can positively fuel your day. I have found that eating healthier and exercising regularly have helped me so much in my everyday. I feel healthier, I'm not so tired all the time, I have a lot more energy, and surprisingly I actually look forward to my workouts. Feeling good about myself and being more comfortable in my skin gives me more self-confidence, and I love myself more for it. 


In no means am I done learning happiness, because you never stop learning, no matter how old you are. Life is full of ups and downs, hardships and successes, and you can learn something from every situation you may find yourself in. It's your reaction and response in these situations that determine your course because happiness is a choice, and you have to choose it. You have to choose to have peace in your soul, stability in your mind, love in your heart, and to find gratitude for your life. There you will find happiness.