Tuesday Thoughts: Steps to a Happier Me

“How do I achieve happiness?”

Just like questioning how to lose weight, how to get better grades, how to find love or how to get your dream job, there is no one answer. People are going to tell you to work hard and plow through the tough times, do whatever you want and not give a cahoots about the world, believe in faith, live in the present, and it can get so confusing that the thought of absolute bliss and happiness actually stresses you out! That’s what it did to me, at least.

There was actually a time where I was afraid of happiness. I was afraid of it because I knew that one day I would be sad again and I’d wish for happiness to come back.As someone who thrives off of commitment to one thing, I saw happiness as a flaky ex that would leave me and come back over and over again. As a result, I found myself turn towards stress. I’d multitask, procrastinate, overachieve, plan out way too many projects, over-expand my ambitions–I started to crave stress like how someone would crave nicotine. It was because stress put me on my toes. I always had something to look forward to, something on my mind, something to occupy me. If there was nothing I had to worry about I’d create a project or find something so far in the future to stress about. Pretty much everything that crossed my eye seemed somewhat threatening because I would stress about it!

I thought that stress would be the vehicle to happiness. All I have to do is get X Y and Z done. All I have to do is just accomplish more. All I have to do is to find other things that I can look forward to. But I was just setting myself up for disaster and disappointment. The more I piled on my plate, the worse I began to feel. I’d find myself crying every week out of the blue–I’d just start tearing up out of anxiety, an unpleasant state of emotion that doesn’t have a set root.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

As the weeks passed by, I started to develop a friendship with someone I was faintly acquainted with two or three years ago but who was now in a lot of my classes, hence we’d work together on a lot of class projects and what not. And while learning how passionate he was about fixing and renewing many parts of his car (seriously. That’s all he’d talk about.) and building other cars in general, I found that pretty much every time I’d see him, he was incredibly happy. At first I didn’t really understand why. He didn’t have a lot to talk about besides school and fixing cars, but I realized that’s all he needed to sustain his happy lifestyle. I soon found out that my path to happiness was all wrong. By trying to find “solutions” or “explanations” for happiness, I was pushing myself farther and farther away from it.

I truly believe that happiness sometimes has no rhyme or reason. It doesn’t even need either one. We see destitute people on the streets with the brightest smiles and then people living in mansions like kings and queens with the most pained tears. Happiness is a state of mind that can be felt anytime, anywhere and by anyone. Like I said before, happiness is achieved in so many different ways. My way might not work for you and you may even have to do the opposite things to achieve happiness. But below are some steps I found that work for me personally, no fail. They have led me to becoming a more matured and spiritually enlightened individual every time I practice at least one of them.

  1. Be yourself. Five years ago, I’d obsess about trying to please everyone to the point where I’d let people trample over me like a rug. I thought I was earning respect, but in reality, I was losing it. I stopped caring about this just starting last year, but I was also so fixated on making everyone believe that everything in my life was going well. I eventually fell into this vicious emotional binge-breakdown cycle: weeks of joy, weeks of apathy, weeks of 30-60 minute breakdowns nonstop, and repeat. By being transparent, I finally found that I could express myself truthfully again, and the right people came to comfort me when I didn’t need to impress anyone.
  2. Simplify. I always admire minimalists because they seem to never have any emotional attachments to anything, yet are so emotionally and spiritually abundant in their character. They’ve inspired me to minimalize some parts of my life as well. You don’t have to go all out minimalist and start the packing parties in order to gain the benefits of simplification. Start off small by cleaning out some of your cupboards, donating some unused clothes, getting rid of clutter on your desktop, deleting some photos off your phone, or just looking into what you’re doing with your life and eliminating what you find isn’t allowing you to grow. It is much harder than it sounds, but when you finally let go of something, it is so freeing. I found that stress was the same as mental clutter, and by acknowledging it and learning to let go, I gained so much happiness afterwards, and it was because I no longer had that responsibility.
  3. Don’t conform. This kind of coincides with #1, except this requires finding yourself instead of being yourself. I almost went to my first high school party last Saturday because I was curious about the experience, but I ended up listening to my gut and didn’t attend. The truth of a matter is, I haaaaaaaaate parties and the idea of them. I could be ignorant of what occurs at a party, but why would you want to spend a whole night trashing somebody else’s house, socializing with people about the most surface-level topics, sleeping with someone I don’t know and putting myself at risk for getting drugged? I stopped conforming to what I disagree with and what doesn’t interest me, and while I may feel left out at times, I know that in the long run, I am doing myself more good than harm. I would rather do what I love in solitariness than do a boring, meaningless task in a room with a million people.
  4. Eat real food. Yeah yeah yeah, you’re expecting me to go on a tangent all about eating your fruits and veggies because they contain vitamins and minerals that activate “happy hormones”. But there is so much more to the connections between mood and food (hey that rhymes!): research has shown that because refined sugar and fast food disrupt blood sugar and immunity, these processed foods are correlated to causing depression and degrading mental health. Plus, pure sugar itself works like a drug where you get high for 30 minutes or so, but you quickly crash into a nauseating hangover, hence making you repeat the cycle all over again. On the other hand, you can actually eat your way to happiness if you increase your levels of serotonin in your bloodstream! Fruits and vegetables, dark chocolate, green tea, probiotics or any sources that contain vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, complex carbohydrates, tryptophan, folic acid, selenium and thiamine are your best go-to’s.
  5. Exercise. “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!” Thank you Elle Woods for your Legally Blonde lines that have made history. It’s no wonder that those diagnosed with mood disorders are recommended to start an exercise regimen. It figures that by increasing the amount of endorphins in your body gives you the runner’s high while increasing serotonin levels! Whenever I feel extremely down, working out never fails to relieve all of my stress. You exert all of your negative energy out of your system in such an efficient way!
  6. Surround yourself with people who make you better. This doesn’t include solely people who are kind or fun to hang around with, but rather that, people who have ambition and people who help you grow. They don’t even have to be people you like–you’ll be surprised as to who will benefit you in the long run. I’ve been forced to deal with people whom I just seem to never fall on good terms with, and I’m grateful for them because I’ve A) proven them wrong, or B) proven to myself that I could improve in some way. I thank the students who tried to cheat off of me because I learned to stand my ground, I thank the teachers who made my life difficult because I ended up working hard towards grades and a college acceptance I could not be more proud of, and I thank everyone who put me down because I proved them wrong and achieved what I thought was impossible. So sometimes it’s okay if you don’t end up liking someone that you end up having to develop some kind of relationship with as of now. You never know what you might learn about other people and frankly, about yourself.
  7. Smile. For no fucking reason. Seriously, just try it. If all else fails, try again. Again, there doesn’t need to be rhyme or reason for happiness.
  8. Dare to dream. A lot of people I know who use the law of attraction find that they lead happier lifestyles from more hope and positive thinking. Practicing the law of attraction requires no wishing. You feel the presence of what you want as if it’s already there. It sounds totally weird, but trust me on this one. If you believe that you have confidence when you want confidence, you are that much closer to having it. If you tell yourself that you are a compassionate person, you will more likely have compassion. Just believe in yourself.
  9. Travel the world. No, you don’t have to book a ticket to the Galapagos Islands or somewhere crazy expensive and extravagant. It could be as close to you as the outdoor mall that’s just a couple miles away or even your neighbor’s backyard. Traveling simply gives you a new perspective. I love exploring Los Angeles and seeing what it has to offer. It’s amazing what new things you find and learn about when you simply open yourself up to them, even though they were there for your whole life! But, if you do have the time and the money to travel to a different state or even country, I highly recommend that you do so when appropriate. Just don’t overpack and allow a little spontaneity here and there. In the meantime, instead of crawling in your bed and watching Netflix this weekend, maybe take a walk outside or drive downtown to check out what you’ve been missing.
  10. Make someone laugh. It always makes me at least three times happier when I’m talking to a person and I hear that person start laughing. It’s such a contagiously beautiful energy that is so powerful because you want to laugh to and you just feel so elated hearing it! What’s even better is when you are the source of that laugh. Sometimes you don’t even have to try making someone laugh and just be yourself. In my experience, people find me a lot funnier when I’m natural, not when I put up a show. Ah, who am I kidding. I’m already a show myself. 😜

I hope that this post resonates with you or inspires you in some way because it’s something that is really close to my heart. I’ve been super afraid of speaking up about it since I wasn’t sure how people would react, or if people would react at all. But if this post helps even only one person, then I’ve already done my job. Like I said before, there is no single path to happiness and I’m simply sharing my story on how I achieved as much as I have today. I’ve been through a lot and I’m more than willing to share with all of you if it will possibly benefit another life.

Have you ever struggled with finding happiness? What are your best ways to boost happiness?


7 thoughts on “Tuesday Thoughts: Steps to a Happier Me

  1. I think BEING YOURSELF and GIVING NO FUCKS are two HUGE KEYS to finding your happiness. I think GIVING NO FUCKS comes first, because once you give no fucks, you can accept who you are and BE YOURSELF. If people don’t like you, that’s fine… You have options and you DO NOT need to hang out with the people who do not like you and put you down. They’re not worth your time or energy. I do me all the live long day and I am happy to report that everyone in my life accepts that and perhaps even loves it? I mean, if they didn’t… They wouldn’t continue to talk to me right?! It takes time to find yourself, but when you do … Man it’s wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hell yeah they are! I’ve learned not to give a single one after I discovered that you’re never going to be able to please everyone, so might as well not even worry about it. I didn’t realize it then but a couple years ago, I was hanging out with people who weren’t benefitting me at all and I did have to let them go. That has made such a big difference in helping me find myself!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this!! It seems so easy…to just be yourself…but it can be hard!! Especially with all the social media “stuff” out there making us second guess ourselves. I am learning more and more to just be myself!! Everyone might not like it or agree with it, but it’s ME! Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy you did, Kim! Thank you! I absolutely agree with you. It’s so easy to mistaken what we see on social media with real life! I watch your videos and it’s so much fun to see your vlogs with Annabelle and your mini adventures! I always appreciate how honest you are with your viewers and open to feedback. Love you too! ❤

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s