First, Be Yourself
If you let the standards of society drive who you are, you are not living your own life. You are living as a drone or a robot. While you have to abide by the laws set out by society, you don’t have to listen to its guidelines. You will be happier when you define how you want to live. No one ever stands out by being the same as everyone else.
When you make the decision to live life as you see fit, you will find that it is a very freeing feeling. For example, maybe you went to law school not because your dream was to become an attorney or judge, but because they wanted you to be a lawyer. Perhaps you have always wanted to be a photojournalist. What usually happens? You either stick with it and hate what you do or you find the opportunity to do something more fulfilling.
How do you determine what is going to make you happy? To answer that question, the next time you find yourself daydreaming, try to pay attention to what it is you were daydreaming about. If the same thing comes up frequently, this can be a great clue as to how you want to live.
How Does Mindfulness Help?
You may have thought mindfulness was only about being calm or helping you deal with stress. But did you know that mindfulness can help you lift your mood and become a happier person more of the time?
It’s easy to get stuck in a negative mindset and stay focused on the things that aren’t working in your life. Your self-talk can become all about your weaknesses or failures. Negativity becomes your habitual way of thinking.
Mindfulness can help you turn that around and get into a more positive thought pattern. As a bonus, mindfulness also has positive health benefits by reducing stress and enhancing your resilience and mental capacity.
Here are three ways mindfulness can help you out of the negativity spiral and into a happier state of mind.
Stay in the now
Practicing mindfulness can help you refocus your attention on the here and now instead of anxious fast-forwarding to future problems or brooding over past mistakes. Mindfulness slows you down and reconnects you with what is happening at the moment. You can notice and appreciate the good things that are in your life right now. Being mindful can also help you stop being reactive and instead be more thoughtful in how you respond to people and situations.
Be more connected
Mindfulness brings you into a deeper connection with yourself and with others. It gives you time and mental space to work out what matters to you, and what are your values and beliefs. You learn that happiness lies in knowing yourself and being comfortable with who you are.
And when you are your authentic self, you can connect honestly, openly and straightforwardly with other people. Relationships can become more profound and more heartfelt.
Enhance contentment and gratitude
One of the beautiful effects of mindfulness is the release from the treadmill of consumerism. You stop investing in externals for your happiness. Money, external approval, worldly success, and possessions no longer hold sway over your self-worth. Mindfulness focuses your attention on what you can control. Living an authentic life, attuned and aligned with your values encourages and supports your inner wellbeing. Your happiness becomes self-sufficient.
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