• Worry about yourself. What other people think of you isn’t something you should go looking for. It’s not something you need to know or care about. Focus on yourself, if you love yourself then you will always attract people who will love you too.
• Putting yourself first doesn’t make you selfish. You need to take care of yourself before you can do a good of taking care of other people, whether you have a friend who needs a lot of support or a handful of energetic children and not much help with raising them – make time for yourself. You deserve it, because you are important.
• Make it count. “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” ~Unknown. Grab opportunities, be spontaneous and throw caution to the wind now and then.
• Now is the only time that matters. It’s easy to fixate on the future, believing things will be better when x,y and z are done or you’ve achieved something specific. What matters is the journey, rather than the destination and being happy right now is a big part of how we get there.
• Let go of the past. At some point, whatever has happened in your past has helped to make you who you are today. Sometimes we need a little extra help in getting over traumatic events, and that’s OK, but so long as we like ourselves then we will be happy with what has shaped us.
• Love yourself. Throw out your scales (LINK), accept your beautiful postpartum body, appreciate your unique personality and learn to love yourself. Eat healthily, exercise and take care of yourself in the way that you deserve. Happy, self-confident people attract positive people.
• Own your emotions. It can be easy to blame other people for upsetting us, but it is equally true that we can only ever hope to change ourselves and our own reactions rather than the actions of others. Being more present and conscious can help us to think more carefully before we react and from there we can choose to be more constructive. This has the knock on effect of being more confident as we are less at the mercy of our feelings.
• Follow your dreams. Watching children grow and pushing them to succeed is a magical thing. Their lives are so filled with hope and wonder, the possibilities seem endless. Whatever your age, the same is true of you. Children are also much more likely to succeed in something that makes them truly happy if they see their parents achieving their dreams too.
• Go with the flow. Nothing in life is certain and it will take you in directions that you don’t expect, sometimes in good ways and sometimes in bad. Much as we like to plan, things don’t always work out in the way that we hope. Being adaptable and learning to enjoy the ride makes life’s disappointments easier to overcome. Looking to the big picture, the unpredictability of the journey is what makes it so exciting.
• Give. Be a kind, generous and loving person. Give your time, money and affection to others without ever expecting it in return. Letting go of expectations helps us to focus on the wonderful feelings that our giving can create. There is a true sense of freedom and happiness when we invest in the happiness of others.
What to read:
The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun Grethen Rubin
Everyday Alchemists Happiness Handbook Natalie Fee