Being Happy is Not Always Easy
Being happy is not always easy. Life is never going to be free of challenges or stress. Our lives get complicated. Complicated is not bad, unless your view of life is “half empty”. A negative outlook makes it even harder to see the bright side of a situation. With a “half empty” outlook towards life, nothing ever goes your way; making it next to impossible to be happy! There comes a point when you need to let go of inhibition or negativity and start enjoying life. We all have challenges and stress – why not be happy despite them?
Are you Happy?
It’s important when you do the below exercise that you are honest. If dishonest, the only person you are fooling is yourself. Fill in the below graph by asking yourself, how is/are my __________ (relationships, friends, career, finances, health, your general well being) and rate them as: Excellent, Good, OK, Not Good, Bad.
If you have indicated “Not Good” or “Bad” for an area of your life.
With time and a positive outlook, happiness will return. Remain positive and work towards happiness. It can sometimes seem easier to feel “Not Good” or “Bad”. Change is not easy, but the benefits of working on you far outweigh giving up. Have no fear for the unknown!
If you indicated “Not Good” or “Bad” for more than one area of your life.
You need to work on yourself. Prolonged periods of extreme negativity can lead to worse, sometime destructive, behavior to mask your depressed state. Be willing and open to accept change and humble enough to ask for help.
If you have indicated “OK” for one or more areas of your life.
That is cool! A small change or adjustment will get you to “Good”. Things could be better, but truth be told, everything is fine. Maybe there is room for improvement, small needed changes. You are moving in the right direction. Work on positive changes. Change can be slow; don’t let the small pitfalls inhibit your journey.
If you have indicated “Good” for one or more areas of your life.
Checking Good indicates that you perceive this area in your life to be secure. While there is always room for improvement, you are confident with your position in this arena.
If you have indicated “Excellent” for one or more areas of your life.
You are probably experiencing a high point in life. Falling in love, promotions, babies, graduations, and celebrations of any kind…. All the wonderful things that make us feel super amazing excited and happy. If you are feeling Excellent in one or more area in your life – congratulations and enjoy!
The Objective of this Exercise
Checking “Good” for all the areas in your life is the goal of this exercise. No ones’ life is “Excellent” all the time. Excellent is reserved for the wonderful highs. Checking good, indicates that you probably enjoy a wonderful balanced life. All the parts of your life are in check. You are in check.
Why are you unhappy?
When one part of your life is out of whack it can make your overall existence fall off balance. It’s easy to fall trap to a downward spiral of negativity when one aspect of your life isn’t going as planned.
When you are unhappy, it’s best to isolate the area of your life makes you miserable. Are you between jobs? Experiencing a life changing moment – like a divorce, death or loss of any kind? Are you lonely? Has weight gain caused you to be insecure? Are you bored? Once you isolate the real reason you are unhappy – compartmentalize it. Don’t use this shortcoming as an excuse for not seeking happiness and wallowing in negativity. Address your issues; don’t let your issues consume you.
How do you get happy?
Once you admit you are unhappy you are the only one who can change. Life challenges will always be there. It’s important to counterbalance the less pleasant aspects of your life with positivity. Having positive outlets makes it easier to cope with the harder moments. Stepping away and giving yourself a timeout may also enable you to handle or cope easier with difficult subjects. Don’t avoid your problems. Instead, increase opportunities to lessen negative pressures – make them less overbearing
Where do you go to get some of this happiness?
Stay busy with activities that make you happy.
Keep it simple- easy things. Try sitting in your favorite park and reading a book. Spend time doing something you love, like dancing in your PJ’s to your favorite tunes. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s fun and makes you feel good. Find activities YOU enjoy. Can’t come up with any ideas? Walking is easy and you never know what you will get into.
Start treating others like you would like to be treated. Being nice to others will result in people being nice to you.
It’s hard to be unhappy when you are smiling. Not to mention, smiling prevents premature aging and wrinkles, that’s something to be happy about.
Making these small steps will make it easier to get to a happier place. Stay upbeat, keep it positive, embrace health, LIVE HAPPY.
Susanne Veder Berger is an author, educator, business executive and mother, who currently lives' on New York City's Upper West Side. Susanne has held a variety of executive positions in the field of marketing for CitiGroup, the U.S. Tennis Association and a number of other companies and organizations. Over the past 4 years, Susanne has been working with inner city high school students in Brooklyn, New York helping them develop self-esteem, prepare for college and secure internships – Susanne Veder Berger's work in education is centered around the implementation of extra curricular activities and the development of student-run journalism programs.