Between juggling work, relationships, family and a social life, many women go through a rollercoaster of emotions. We can feel fantastic one day, and inexplicably sad the next. Life is a ride, that’s for sure, but there are ways to make sure it’s a fun one. Whether you’re ready to start living a happier life or you just need to cure a bout of the blues, these tips will put you on the right track.
Get on the fast
track to happiness
Do what you love
It sounds simple, doesn’t it? Spend more time doing the things you like — for example, spending time with family, going out with your girlfriends, doing absolutely nothing on a Sunday — and stop doing the things you don’t like. But thanks to work, finances and obligations, many of us spend far too much time immersed in things that make us feel tired, depressed or plain unmotivated. If you truly want to be happy, accept the things you can’t change and fix the ones you can. Hate your job? Quit. Insecure in your relationship? End it. Have you heard of the phrase “carpe diem”? It means to “seize the day” and grab opportunities, and it’s a brilliant philosophy to live by.
Trust your instincts
To start living a happier life, trust your gut. Experts say that we carry emotions in the pit of our tummies and they’re right. Think about the last time you were really nervous, scared or excited about something. Did you get a “sinking” feeling or “butterflies”? That’s your gut talking. Almost always, your first instinct is the right one. Start to tune into that visceral feeling that tells you something is right or wrong and you will be amazed at how much better your decision-making will become.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
It’s hard to not worry about the things that concern or stress you out. Women tend to over-think and over-analyse things, but the truth is, it’s not worth it. You’ll be far happier if you learn how to let the small things go, deal with the bigger problems, and spend more time embracing the good parts of your life — like your partner, friends and career achievements. Now, there’s a fine line between being a nail-biting “stresshead” and not giving two hoots about what happens. Be prepared for what may arise, but stop creating crazy “what if” scenarios in your head. No, you won’t screw up that important presentation, but if you keep stressing about it, you’ll forget your notes.
Stop trying to please others
For some reason, women are wired to put everyone else’s needs before their own. As mothers, wives, girlfriends and daughters, we make other people a priority and deal with our own needs last. While we can’t get rid of this biological trait, we can tone it down a bit. Always thinking about what other people want is a quick and easy way to make yourself feel inadequate at best, and miserable at worst. The fact is, you can’t please everyone. It’s just not possible. So instead of planning the huge birthday bash that your friends want, have the intimate dinner party that you’re craving — if they are really your friends, they’ll respect your wishes and be happy for you.
Open your mind
Try to have an open mind when it comes to new experiences, people and places. Every once in a while, do something that you’ve never done before. It can be as drastic as skydiving or as simple as sampling a new cuisine. When you go on holidays, repress the urge to create a minute-by-minute itinerary and leave some room for spontaneity. Surprise your partner with a gift or a romantic dinner for no reason at all. Make plans to visit your parents for a weekend. Accept a date from that cute stranger. Learn to forgive. Take care with your heart, but open it up more. And most importantly, give people a chance. You know the saying “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me?” Live by it. Allow people a second chance, but if they don’t treat you with the respect and care you deserve, cut them from your life.
Other tips for living a happier, fuller life:
- Don’t be so hard on yourself.
- If you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day, stop watching TV.
- If you are too focused on looking for love, stop — it will come when you least expect it.
- Don’t live with regrets — every decision you’ve made was exactly what you wanted at the time.
- Take the time to enjoy your food.
- Ditch the texts and snappy phone calls and start having quality conversations with people.
- Write your dreams and goals down and look at them daily.
- Travel as widely and as often as possible — it’s true what they say: Getting lost will help you “find yourself”.
- Never stop trying to learn.
- Life is all about the people you meet and the memories you create. Everything else just isn’t worth worrying about.
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