Tag Archives: happy

Why is it So Hard to be Happy?

You want to be happy. You want to be less stressed. You want the good times to outweigh the bad. So why is it so hard to be happy, even when you want it?

For many of us, we’re going about happiness the wrong way. Thanks to our culture, the media, and just plain misunderstanding, we’re looking for happiness in all the wrong places. (And I want to be clear, here: if you struggle with mental health challenges like depression and anxiety, it’s not your fault. You aren’t depressed because you’re looking for happiness incorrectly. For you, it’s hard to be happy because of the chemicals in your brain, not because of your behavior. Keep reading if you want to, or bookmark this for later, but know I’m not talking to you).

But for most of us, a better path to happiness is possible. It just requires a few behavior shifts.

The Bad Stuff Really Does Outweigh the Good

Your brain isn’t your best friend when it comes to happiness. Your brain is wired to be much more sensitive to bad news and threats than it is to good things That makes sense when you think about your caveman ancestors, who needed to be ready to run if they caught even the smallest glimpse of a predator. It’s called negativity bias, and it’s a system that evolved to keep you safe from threats. But in today’s world, you don’t need to run from predators quite so often, yet your brain still pays more attention to negative experiences versus positive ones.

Scientists say it takes 5 positive experiences to outweigh 1 negative experience. But the real key isn’t to just have 5 positive experiences, you have to notice that you’re having them! So as you go about your day, take note of the good things that happen. Did someone let you merge on the highway instead of being a jerk? Did your colleague praise your work? Did your kid say “I love you” without being prompted? If you force yourself to pay attention to the good stuff, too, you’ll find it easier to outbalance the bad stuff 5 to 1.

The Happy Social Media Effect

Social media has its good points. It can help us feel more connected to our networks, which is a strategy that can build happiness. But many people feel more dis-connected when they spend time on social media. The online world allows us to glimpse all the fun, happy times other people are having, and we naturally compare our own lives to what we see on the screen.

I love the Anne Lamott quote “Never compare your insides to somebody else’s outsides.” But that’s exactly what we do on social media! We see the bright shiny image that the person on the other side wants us to see, and that’s all. And then we compare that to our own internal worries, doubts, and struggles, and we come up short in comparison. But the person posting on social media has worries, doubts, and struggles, too! They just aren’t posting those moments. If you need to take a social media break, do it. Or at least hide the people who make you feel less-than. Make social media work for you, not the other way around.

You Can’t Chase Happiness

If you want to be happy, it makes sense that pursuing happiness should be a priority. But that’s the exact wrong way to go about it. In fact, research suggests that pursuing happiness can lead to decreased happiness. Especially in the US, our cultural expectations for pursuing happiness can lead us down the wrong paths, like expecting a big work promotion to make us satisfied.

Instead of chasing happiness, it’s more important to chase “meaning.” Meaning is the idea that we know our purpose and are fulfilling our purpose. Meaning isn’t as in-the-moment joyful as happiness might be, but meaning provides the long-term satisfaction and contentment that lasts. To start chasing meaning instead of happiness, think about the moments when you feel like you come alive. Think about serving the greater good. Think about what drives you to keep going. When you tie all those concepts together, you’ll be on the road to finding your meaning. And meaning makes your heart glow for a lifetime, while happiness can be fleeting.

It’s not easy to be happy. But it IS possible, if you pay attention to the things that truly matter.

Courtney Clark is the luckiest unlucky person in the world! At age 26, she beat cancer. But five years later, doctors told her that a routine scan of her brain showed an aneurysm that was about to rupture! What would you do? Courtney realized as she laid in bed that she had a choice to make on how to move forward! Now she teaches others how to make that same choice too, no matter the situation! Call 888-766-3155 to book Courtney for your next virtual or in-person event.

Do You Always Believe the Best of Every Person?

thoughtspowerDo you allow negative thoughts to feed your feelings about others? Since most of what we hear is not always positive, it is a choice to decide to believe the best and not the worst of every person and situation, isn’t it?

Is this hard to do? In some situations it is easier than others, but we must be on guard to not let the negative thoughts pop up instead of valuing and caring for others! How about when you are driving and others are not as careful as they should be? Does ‘road rage’ automatically set in? Do you ever stop to think about what might be causing the person to drive like they are?

This is an easier one for me to handle, but for some I have seen this rob them of their joy, peace, and concern for others, and whenever they get in their car they expect to see bad driving and it becomes a way of life as to how they let their feelings react to it. Funny thing is, the other driver didn’t even know the impact they had, we let them control our feelings and emotions willingly.  In doing so, we not only robbed ourselves but we also brought others that are around us into the same mindset as well!

What about those that have intentionally hurt your business, family, and others?  This is really pushing the choice of finding and believing the best in a person because we are focused on what they did, not on the why, aren’t we?  I have not always been perfect at handling situations that involve confrontation and not letting my feelings explode! How about you?

However, I have finally realized, thanks to a great book by Joyce Meyer, called “Living Beyond Your Feelings” to truly live a purpose driven life and be successful and happy, I have to have a plan to not let my emotions and feelings run wild, and to face each person and situation looking for and believing the best and not the worse. This also includes seeing and believing the best of yourself too! No more negative talk about yourself, as this is not helping you see and believe the best in others!

Joyce shared, a great way to get in the mindset of thinking this new way is when you feel those emotions and feelings of negativity start to build is to immediately think of things that make you happy. Flip your mind off the negative feelings onto something that changes your attitude and the situation. It won’t take long to see that you would rather live in positive thoughts about others and yourself than live in the negatives. You never know when you start looking for and believing the best in others it not only changes your life, but it could change their life too!

Have a great week believing the best in yourself and every person, and love to hear how it works for you!

 

Are You Having a “Happy New “YOU” Year Yet?

new youHappy March 1st! We have completed the first two months of the awesome New Year, and how are “You” doing?  Have you made the changes you planned? Are you on track to be the best you can be? Or did the “winter fog” set in your mind, and you haven’t been able to shake it yet?

No matter the place you are in, there is still time to get on board and get to doing what it will take so that this time next year, you will be able to look back and say: “I am so glad I decided to ……………….. and now I am living better, and helping others do the same!”

Here are 3 Solutions to get You back on track:
1.      Make a plan every night for the next day- don’t just let life happen- live intentional
2.      Take 15 minutes every day and clear out the clutter- either in your mind, your work place, or your home
3.      Ask for help from others in the one area you are struggling-even if you have to pay for it, and listen and do what they tell you!

Look forward to hearing how you are living a New “YOU” Year!

HappyNewYOUYear

 

 

“Simply” Sue