Let’s talk about how to be happy
We live in a world where we’re constantly bombarded with advertisements of the thing that will make you happy. Whether it’s trendy fashion so you can “stand out among your peers” or it’s a new beauty treatment so you can “have the perfect body”.
It’s always one thing or another and always something that you have to buy. While I am a 100% advocate for financial freedom and success for women (and I believe you should go get yo’ money honey…*snaps fingers two times*), I also believe that the things that bring true joy in life are not those things that are bottled and sold.
My life is not perfect and there are bad days. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed, but when I wake up in the morning and when I go to sleep at night, I can honestly say I feel joy in my heart. I am honestly and truly happy. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t always like this.
I’ve had to overcome abuse (physical, emotional, and verbal), bullying, low self-esteem, depression, anger management problems, self-doubt, and the list goes on. Sometimes I still struggle with self-esteem, depression, self-doubt, and anger management issues. No one is perfect, right?
I didn’t have a “fair” start to life but hey, life isn’t fair. So what? I never allowed myself to be a victim of my circumstances. I have always believed your happiness is your own responsibility and that it is something you create.
Read UnitedCuties’ article on Ridiculously Easy Self-love Habits That Work and let’s get into my top five tips for being a happier woman.
5. Don’t live your life trying to be accepted by others.
Understand that people are different and that’s perfectly fine. Understand that YOU are different from everyone else – and that too is perfectly fine. People don’t HAVE TO accept your lifestyle choices. They are exactly that…YOUR LIFESTYLE CHOICES… and no one else’s.
Know that you don’t need to justify your choices to anyone and you don’t need people to accept your choices because they are your choices.
If you go around trying to change everyone’s way of thinking so that they accept yours, then you will be setting yourself up to be miserable and unhappy, as that is an unachievable goal.
Just do you and love you (provided you aren’t knowingly and intentionally messing up someone else’s life along the way). There are people who will like you and what you do and there are people who won’t. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.
4. Do the things that make YOU feel good about yourself.
Do your hair, wear make-up, exercise, dress up in fancy clothes, wear your heels. Or roll out of bed with your hair a mess, no make-up on, sweat pants and t-shirt, eat a slice of pizza. Whatever makes you feel good about yourself.
The key here is that you still FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF after you have done whatever it is you do. Don’t eat a whole box of pizza and then hate yourself because you’ve cheated on your diet.
Don’t force yourself into a tight “sexy” dress just because everyone else thinks you need to dress more feminine if it makes you uncomfortable. Don’t leave the house without make-up and then feel insecure all day because everyone is staring.
Remember the aim is to feel good about yourself for doing what you do. So volunteer at a soup kitchen (or whatever doesn’t creep you out). Make your bed, do some laundry, call your grandma and tell her how much you love her. Kiss a baby for God’s sake!
Fill your days with activities that once completed – and while in progress – make you (I’m gonna say it again) feel good about yourself. You are in charge of your life and you have way more power than you give yourself credit for.
Don’t do something you know you might regret tomorrow. Don’t say he/she made me do it. You are responsible for your own actions. You are in control of your life.
You’ll be a lot happier when you come to accept that. Don’t do something JUST to be cool or SOLELY to please someone else if it makes you unhappy or makes you feel bad about yourself: if it contradicts with your core values in life. You are in charge of your own life. Learn to set healthy boundaries.
3. Don’t impose your beliefs and lifestyle choices on others.
Understand that people are free to live their lives however they choose to and it’s not your place to dictate to others what they “NEED” to be doing with their lives. In the same way, you shouldn’t let someone dictate to you how to live your life.
You can offer suggestions because you care, but understand that people don’t HAVE to accept your opinions. They don’t HAVE TO take your suggestions/advice. And that’s okay. If you try to fix everything and everyone, you are in for a very unhappy life.
Let people make their own choices and mistakes so they can learn from them. You don’t have to accept their choices, but everyone has their own lives to live and their own choices to make – their own lessons to learn and their own path to travel.
If someone else’s choices contradict with your core values and you are incapable of seeing past those choices, move on with life. Who says you HAVE TO be friends? Don’t let anyone else impose their beliefs and lifestyle choices on you either. Remember the golden rule: do unto others what you will have them do unto you.
2. Set standards for yourself.
Know your worth. Know what you are about. Set realistic standards for yourself and don’t settle for anything less than you deserve. Be willing to walk away if your needs are not being met and you are unhappy (just don’t forget about reciprocity).
You are surprisingly more in control of your life than you think. It is perfectly alright to have a certain belief system that may grow, expand, and even change over the years, but constantly changing to adapt to the current crowd is a definite no-no. Constantly adapting to “fit in” with the current group of friends is a definite no-no.
You should have your own standards and your own values that define who you are at the core. You have to know who YOU are and what you are about (this requires self-reflection).
While belief systems may change over time due to exposure to new information (try not to be closed-minded), you should never settle for less than you deserve.
Important core values to have include, but are not limited to:
- I will be treated with respect because I am respectful to others. You don’t have to like me but you will respect me.
- No one is ever allowed to talk down to me because I am your equal. You may be in a different position or status than I am but you are not better than I am and you will not talk down to me.
- You will respect and value my time the same way I respect and value yours. You will treat me the way I treat you and no less. I will not settle for less than I deserve.
- I will stand up for what I believe is right and will not compromise on my beliefs simply to fit in or be liked.
1. Learn to love yourself.
Self-love is one of the greatest things you can attain in life. When you can wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and be completely in love with the person you see (because damn she’s hot!), that’s one of the most amazing feelings in this world.
Self-love means seeing yourself in a positive realistic way. It means taking care of your total self (mind, body, and spirit). It means not comparing yourself to other women – or men.
Okay, so you have a few stretch marks…uum are you forgetting the fact that a living human being spent nine months in your body? Okay, so you’re a few pounds “overweight” (and I put overweight in quotations because I think sometimes what I see being classified as overweight is just fine) but so? So you’re a bit on the skinny side…. again…so?
If YOU have a problem with your stretch marks because you just don’t like how pronounced they are, that’s fine. Do something about it. There are lots of safe ways to improve the appearance of stretch marks.
If YOU have a problem with your weight, because of health reasons for example, then fine. Feel free to make the necessary changes. There are plenty of healthy diets you can follow to gain or lose weight.
But never – and I mean NEVER – let someone else’s opinions determine what you should feel or how you should see your body. If you are healthy and happy in your skin the way it is – emphasis on healthy – then to hell with everybody else’s opinion.
The way I see it? The only person whose opinions of you hold any true weight is yourself. The only person who can truly and honestly validate your existence is YOU.
It’s very easy to let what others say and think get to us and even control our lives. It’s easy to forget to love ourselves and even to fold on our values. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we’re allowing it to happen.
But it’s something we have to force ourselves to be conscious of until it becomes second nature. And considering the fact that the voices and opinions of others are so many and so loud, it’s easy to let it overwhelm you. But developing a strong self-image and self-confidence will be your shield!
So work on building that up – it might not be easy but it is possible. One of my strategies was to look in the mirror every day and tell myself “you are beautiful. You are worthy”. Basically retrain my brain. You can do it too.
I will write more on how to develop a strong self-image and self-confidence in future posts but for now, remember you are Powerful. Sexy. Classy. Unapologetically WOMAN.
Remember sharing is caring so don’t forget to share this article with all your lady friends. Let’s empower each other. You can also join the discussion in my Facebook group or leave your comments below. I would love to hear from you.