Feeling better about your life by adopting a more positive attitude (and how to do it).
One of the things that people desire most is to be happier with their lives. They see people on the streets or on the internet who truly are happy, and wonder why that is, and why they can’t get that. However, being happy is very easy.
Eighty percent of life is in attitude. People who are happy all the time have chosen to be that way. They are optimists. Optimists are people who believe that setbacks are temporary, and that the problems are not entirely their fault. They assume that life is basically good and that setbacks will end soon and turn out well. These basic assumptions usually lead them to get exactly what they expect.
Pessimists, on the other hand, believe that setbacks are going to happen no matter what they do, that they will last longer, and that they are entirely to blame for the problems. They don’t think life will turn out well, and for them, it usually doesn’t.
The secret to being happier is thinking happier. Believe that things will be okay, and that problems will not last forever. When a problem does come up, look at the potential positives of the situation (maybe an unplanned pregnancy allows you to quit a job you hate), and then look at the worst case scenario. If you can look at that and realize that even the worst case scenario really isn’t that bad, then life in general can’t be that bad.
Appreciate the little things. If you happen to see a rainbow, or your child draws you a picture, or an old friend phones, count yourself lucky. There are a thousand little blessings like these in life, and the optimist treasures each one of them. The pessimist considers them “unimportant” or even a “distraction” because there are so many big, important problems going on. The pessimist is so problem-oriented that he fails to see the smallest blessings in everyday life.
Choose your battles wisely. If you always seem to be battling someone about something, stressing yourself out and thinking that everything’s always a mess, just stop fighting. Is it worth it to argue over what your toddler chooses to eat for dinner tonight? Is it worth it to get the cable guy in one day earlier? Just let the little things go instead of letting yourself stress about them.
Realize how much control you really have. People who feel in control of their lives are much more likely to be happy than those who don’t feel they have control. You can choose where you live, what job you have, how you raise your kids. If there’s something you’d really rather be doing, you can choose to make that change, and find a way to make it work. As an independent person (even with a spouse and kids), you really can make major decisions for yourself. You can also control little, everyday things: would you like to go to the grocery store now or later? Would you like to go to the gym today or tomorrow? How long would you like to stay at your friend’s house for a play date? Maybe you don’t always want to do these things – but you at least have control over when, where, and how they’re done.
Always believe in happiness. Yes, sometimes things will not go your way. But you can handle that – life without any problems would be thoroughly boring and unchallenging. Approach each problem as a challenge that will teach you a good life lesson and leave you happier in the end, for having had to deal with it. It may not be pleasant at the time, but every cloud can have a silver lining, every problem be a blessing in disguise.
Stop thinking “if-only.” Don’t wait to be unhappy until your son starts doing better in school, or until you don’t have any bills to pay, or until your mother stops yelling at you. All of those things ARE life, and you would not have life without them. Accept your life as it is, and learn to appreciate it. As soon as you realize that you’re not waiting for your life to start, but you are living it and developing it all along, you will be much happier (and much more likely to strive for what you really want, instead of settling for what’s “okay” for you). Whatever you have or don’t have, you could be a lot worse off.
Life really is how you perceive it. Choose to feel happy, in control, and to accept and solve problems as they come at you. Soon you will be happier, which will make those around you happier, which will make life feel absolutely beautiful.