Written by: Divorce

Happiness Is More Than Just a State of Mind

When I was going through my divorce, people would say, “Just be happy.” And I would look at them through sleep-deprived eyes and say, “OK … how?” And they would look back with a blank look and say, “Well, just tell yourself to be happy.” Yeah, well, that doesn’t work. Happiness is more than a state of mind. It’s a process, and it’s taking action. Yes, happiness should come from within, but you have to create it — and I’m going to tell you how.

  • Surround yourself with positive people. Anyone that will be a good support system for you, anyone that will lift you up and not bring you down. Avoid toxic people and keep close the people who are truly your friends. Negativity breeds unhappiness.
  • Take breaks. Exercise, pamper yourself or do whatever makes you feel calm and relaxed. I have learned how powerful meditation can be. I used to think I needed to plow through things and that breaks would set me back an hour, but being back in school has taught me how valuable breaks are to my mental well-being.
  • Love yourself. Look at your gifts and stop focusing on what you did “wrong,” like that embarrassing moment when you spilled your wine or wore an outfit that didn’t fit the event. There is so much more to you than those awkward moments. Nobody cares, and if they do, they are not worth having around.
  • Be grateful. Notice what’s right in your world. Put your focus on the positive. I used to hate rainy days, but now I am grateful for them because it forces me to slow down.
  • Keep a journal. There is tremendous power in the written word. It not only helps clarify your thoughts but also lets you see where you’ve been and where you want to go.
  • Accept that where you are right now is exactly where you are meant to be. The more you resist, the harder it becomes.
  • Visualize that what you think and feel you will attract and manifest. Visualization helps keep your thoughts and feelings positive. Do not sit and visualize how you are going to get even with your ex. That will only bring negativity to you as well as unhappiness.
  • Forgive. This is the key to you moving on. Have no regrets and bitterness. Forgive yourself as well as others.
  • Set boundaries — with the ex, parents, friends, children and, more importantly, with yourself. Know the lines you are willing to cross in terms of dating, finances and self-medication.
  • Connect to your higher power. It will give you amazing strength. I can’t stress this enough. Having spiritual practices and a belief system is so important to your inner happiness.
  • Be true to yourself. Take inventory on what you need and where you want to go and then stay on that path. Feeling empowered does wonders for your happiness quotient.
  • Don’t focus on what people think. Remember, no one is living your life but you. It is how you view your life that matters, not how others view it. Have the confidence to stand strong knowing that you are doing your best at this time.
  • Give to others. When you give to others, you step outside of yourself and your problems. For me, this is something that brings me great joy.
  • Say no and say yes. It may seem like I’m contradicting myself here, but there are times to say no and times to say yes. Don’t say yes to babysitting your neighbor’s dog when you have a full plate already. This is a time to say no. Don’t say no to hanging with friends because you have a never-ending to-do list or you need to clean the house. This is the time to say yes. I have missed many opportunities because I was a slave to my list, so I told myself, “This is going to be the summer of YES.”
  • Get out of your comfort zone. This is always a tough one for people, but it can be one of the most rewarding. Let me give you an example. I have never really enjoyed or put effort into landscaping, but during COVID, out of sheer boredom, I started building a firepit. It then morphed into building an attached patio. Of course, now I had to have flowers and plants to spruce it up. All of this was out of my comfort zone, but it has now turned into my meditative time. Not to mention, I feel pride in what I have accomplished. Getting out of your comfort zone can lead to happy surprises.
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Tags: , , , Last modified: May 10, 2021