by Lovisa Woodson II
It's true. Happiness is an inside job, but we know it sounds easier than it really is. Well, that is until you develop the right mindset. Being truly happy requires you to look within. Maybe you feel happy overall but you're still looking to improve life fulfillment. As a Mindset & Fulfillment Coach that's exactly what I help women do.
If you're reading this article, I'm sure you're hoping to gain some insight into how you can lift your spirits and feel better about life. There are many ways to boost your happiness but I'm going to focus on how to get an instant boost, impactful methods for lasting results, and techniques in your control. We're going to focus on your mindset and how you can do the inner work to create your own Happily Ever After.
1. Know What You Want Out of Life
Okay, I know this can be the hardest part so I'm just going to go ahead and rip the band aid off. Sure, I could let you take baby steps and slowly build up to this, but the fact is, you'll gain much more clarity when you start here.
I'm currently surveying women to help them discover what's holding them back from living their dream life. Nearly 50% of them don't know what they want and almost 30% don't know what their next step is. Does this sound familiar? You can take the quiz here.
Knowing what you want out of life is the foundation to being happy. It helps you effectively set goals and assists with providing a roadmap so you can steer life in the right direction. If you dream big and believe in yourself, knowing what you want will also keep you motivated and charging forward.
At this point you're probably wondering how you'll figure this all out. I'm going to give you an activity to help make it easier. Ahhhh...exhale. It's the same activity I used when I first started my dream life journey and needed to get clear on where I was going and what was needed to get me there. I had to determine my values first. Continue reading to learn how.
2. Determine Your Values
When you understand your values you learn what drives you and it's easier to find answers to the million dollar question, "What do I want?" In order to understand the importance and impact of this process you have to go through it step-by-step. It's the first exercise I have all my students complete prior to beginning their first lesson in any of my courses. It's called the Value Determination Process by Dr. Demartini and I've created a free mini course on my site that simplifies things for you. You can access it here.
3. Stop Waiting
Are you waiting for something to happen or things to change to be happy? Waiting for life to get easier, for more time, or the perfect moment? Maybe you're waiting for a promotion or new job? Waiting to find the perfect mate or friends who get you? Are you waiting for more money or to lose weight to feel good about life? Most people are waiting for something so if you've learned to carpe diem you're very fortunate.
It sounds cliché to say life is short, and not to be grim, but we are only here for a short while though some days seem too short and others way too long. It's still the same 24 hours in a day we each get. How you choose to spend your time will determine your happiness and overall life satisfaction. Choose wisely. Stop waiting and make every moment count.
4. Take Control
You're in control of your own life, your emotions and how you respond to situations. Taking control means you recognize you're responsible for you own happiness and no one can take it away from you unless you allow them to. Don't allow yourself to be a victim or bothered by the behaviors of others in situations where you have control.
It's not to say you'll always been in control of everything in your environment. However, you have control over yourself so be mindful of how you allow things to affect you. Control what you can, change what's in your power and learn to surrender to what you can't.
I get it. Adulting can get in the way of many things especially if we allow it to. But life is so much more than working, paying bills, and being a responsible adult. Never stop dreaming and never stop chasing your dreams. If you can dream it, you can do it!
Spend time each daydreaming with your head in the clouds (or your journal). Visualize what you want most out of life. Write it down. Imagine how good it will feel when you are living out your dreams. Dream big...
6. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude turns what we have into enough. I've a huge fan of practicing gratitude. It's a great way to give yourself an instant dose of happiness. There's just something about being grateful for all you are and all you have - big and small. They have some amazing gratitude apps that prompt you to practice gratitude.
What I love most about this practice is turning what I'm grateful for into affirmations by being grateful for something I desire in the future. To do this simple begin your sentence with "I am so happy and grateful now that..." For example: I am so happy and grateful now that I have positively impacted countless lives through my Black Bride articles. Believing is seeing, so believe it's already yours.
7. Normalize Self-Care
In my previous article I reminded you that self-care should be a part of your daily routine. Make it a normal ritual instead of a treat after you're already burned out or just for a special occasion. This is essential to keeping your mood elevated. Self-care ensures your feel good from within. And when you feel good on the inside it makes it harder for others to rob you of your peace and happiness.
Consider making these things a part of your self-care routine. Exercise regularly and stay active. Your mind and body will thank you for it. Get adequate sleep. Have a set time to wind down and go to sleep. You'll be well-rested and more productive. Your goals will thank you later. Avoid the news and limit time spent on social media. So much you see and hear through these platforms are out of your control and can be very negative. You'll notice a difference in your mood almost instantly with these small changes.
8. Be Kind
Let me first say, there's a difference in being kind and being a sucker or a people pleaser. Being kind means smiling more, being polite and courteous. It means treating others with compassion and grace. It does not mean allowing people to take advantage of you because you are too afraid to say no.
I make this distinction because I often hear women say, "I'm too nice" or "I'm tired of being nice." Don't ever change yourself of stop being kind because of other people. Change the people around you and if you can't do that you must learn to change your response to their behavior. But always be kind for you never know what someone is going through.
9. Give More
Again, this doesn't mean overextend yourself or allow yourself to be taken advantage of. I'm talking about genuine generosity. I have a few charities I automatically contribute to monthly; I love making donations to children shelters or providing a stranger with a meal and sometimes a little cash. I give freely without concerning myself with how my contributions will be used or spent.
When you give more, it warms your spirit in a way nothing else seems to do and makes you feel good knowing your small (or big) act of generosity can make a significant difference. After all, it is better to give than to receive. No contribution is ever too small when it comes from the heart.
10. Build Meaningful Connections
I know it can seem trendy to dismiss people, or block and "delete" them from our lives but that's a sign of two things: a lack of maturity and/or a lack of meaningful connections. Yes, some people are toxic and don't deserve our time and energy. However, the people we're surrounded by are a reflection of us in some way. So, before you dismiss them it's important to look within and understand why you attracted this person into your life in the first place.
When you build meaningful connections, you don't want to lose them and take time to work out your differences. When you have the right friends, they feel more like family and you go out of your way to hold onto them.
Happiness doesn't have to be fleeting. You can learn to live a happy and fulfilling life by determining your values, knowing what you want and going after it. Sure, you'll run into so obstacles along the way. It's how you grow. You'll learn to enjoy the journey and the process along the way and increase your happiness day by day.
How do you keep your spirits lifted and own your happiness? Let us know in the comments below.
About the Author
Lovisa Woodson II is a dynamic entrepreneur and visionary with nearly 3 decades specializing in beauty, creative, and financial services for women. As the "Women & Money Coach", she has a focus on mindset and fulfillment for ambitious millennial professionals, entrepreneurs, and women of influence. She educates, develops, and empowers them to lead with purpose and authenticity, be impactful, and financially independent. You can learn more about her work and coaching program at womenandmoney.co.