This article summaries 3 habits to form the foundation under 12 happiness habits summarised in upcoming articles and ebook.
How you see yourself and treat yourself matters. It matters to your health, brain, and emotions. Do you ever ask how can I be happy with who I am, no matter what?
How you see yourself matters to the people you love. Who are the people you enjoy the most? Chances are they are emotionally stable and friendly. This is your best you..stable, healthy and easy to get along with.
I notice articles popping up online a lot about how to be successful. The tips are helpful, but to use the tips and enjoy the process, you need to like yourself, the people around you, and your world in general.
What ‘your happiest self’ doesn’t mean
You may notice a common theme throughout my writing about happiness and what it is not about.
In the process of liking who you are unconditionally, i’m not talking about excusing bad behaviour or living with perfectly balanced emotions. When I observe myself on a bad day, my mood isn’t great mood when something goes wrong. But we’re capable of noticing these moments and finding ways out.
Here a few things happiness is not:
Defining happiness as feeling good all the time. This isn’t helpful and may hinder your happiness in three ways. First, to ‘feel’ happy, we could choose not to help others so we can do our own thing. This could be selfish and impact our friendships. Second, having negative feelings helps us understand the benefits of feeling good and how to avoid situations where we feel bad. Third, we could avoid a goal because we don’t feel good while we are doing it. Examples of this include studying, exercising, or helping someone at work complete a boring but essential project.
So, what are three things that form the base layer to other happiness habits? These are three things that make other habits successful. They are the sugar inside the cake mixture and give your life flavour, strength, and the ability to press on during the struggles and stress we face as busy mothers and professionals.
Three habits to use in your thinking and being
Fight daily to accept yourself. My article here explains this in more detail. This is not just liking what you do and say. The process goes deeper than liking yourself one day, but not the next because you failed in some way. Visualise self acceptance as a straight line through a wavy line. The wavy line represents the fluctuation of problems and successes and the straight line is a constant view of yourself. This article at positive psychology program defines self-acceptance as “an individual’s acceptance of all of his/her attributes, positive or negative”. This is hard to do when we make mistakes, say things we didn’t want to say, or just fail in some way due to our weaknesses. For some of us (including myself), being attracted to goals and achievement can make self acceptance harder to grab onto because we want to succeed. But I urge you to accept yourself and enjoy the life you have.
Be kind to yourself and others. This is an action of self compassion when things don’t go the way you expect or prefer. I write in more detail about this here. If you have experienced a big loss in your life (death of someone you love, lost a job, lost a relationship), extend kindness to yourself in words and actions as you seek help from a psychologist or counselor.
Find your strengths, choose to focus on them, and notice the strengths in your family and friends. Think about what is good about yourself and the people around you. More detail on living to your strengths can be found in my article here.
What to look out for as signs you’re activating these habits:
When you make a mistake, you take the action you need to improve things, without guilt or berating yourself. For example, if you say something that upsets another person, you can apologise and still enjoy the day.
You are less reliant on other people accepting you. You want to be kind and treat people well but if they don’t treat you well, you can still enjoy life and have a successful day.
You know what you are good at and don’t dwell on things you do less well. For example, other people you know might love late nights and love to socialise at a party, but you are an introvert and you’re happy knowing you love to read in a quiet place at night. No guilt or shame attached.
You take care of yourself and others in a balanced way. You don’t feel guilty taking time away from family for exercise and rest because this kindness to yourself allows you to be kinder to others.
I’m the creator of Minutes to Happy and your go-to counsellor and wellness coaching companion.
I’m here to guide you in becoming your bravest self (no matter what wellness worries and chronic health challenges are plonked in your path).