If you met me today, you would be surprised to know that not long ago I was severely depressed. Like, sick for three years with dysthymia depression, depressed.
Why am I telling you this? Because my story has a happy ending! (Or, should I say beginning?) In fact, now I’m one of the happiest people I know! And it just goes to show that if I can be happy, anyone can.
On my journey out of depression, I set out on a determined pursuit to find happiness. What I realized was that happiness is something we have to cultivate inside of ourselves, for ourselves.
4 Ways to Cultivate More Happiness in Your Life
Here are the top 4 ways to cultivate more happiness in your life, ways that helped me get to where I am today.
You would be surprised to know how much potential happiness is tied up in resentment towards others and yourself. Forgiveness is the most powerful key to unlocking personal freedom and happiness. When you forgive something or someone (including yourself) you are letting go of the need to label and punish in exchange for freed up space in the mind and the heart. Space that can ultimately be filled with love, rather than resentment.
Studies have even shown that forgiveness is the quickest way to put your brain into an alpha energy state, the highest there is. It’s like a shortcut to bliss. So forgive everyone, all the time. Even if they don’t deserve it. Because the forgiveness in not for them, it’s for you.
2. Give Thanks
Gratitude is one of the most powerful tools to cultivate more happiness in your life. Not only does a gratitude practice train your brain to look for the positive things in your life, but it literally raises your energetic frequency. Which, in plain English, means it puts you in a better mood.
Gratitude has been proven to reduce stress, enhance empathy, and improve psychological and physical health. In a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, practicing gratitude even lead to fewer doctors visits! In my personal experience, practicing gratitude helps with sleeping well, feeling better, and changing your perspective on life.
Every morning, right when you wake up, write down just three things that you are thankful for.
Try this exercise for three weeks and watch your life change before your eyes.
Your perception will be more skewed towards positivity and your mind will constantly look for new things to write about. Plus, every time you appreciate life you are giving it permission to send you more things to be thankful for! It’s a beautiful cycle, the more you appreciate the more you are given to appreciate and so on.
Love is the most powerful emotion of all, and even that is an understatement. Love and happiness go hand in hand. Just ask any person what’s most important in life and they will give that exact phrase: love and happiness.
Practice being in love as much of the time as you possibly can. I’m not just talking about romantic love, I’m talking about being in the space of love. Where you choose love over fear. When you love your life, love your friends, love your work, love your outfit, love plants and animals, and most importantly love yourself.
The thing about happiness is, you have to really want it. You have to want it so badly that you prioritize it above everything else.
Everybody says they want happiness, but not everyone is willing to pay the true price: happiness. You have to choose happiness for yourself, fully and unconditionally. Most people decide “I’ll be happy when I land that new job,” or “I’ll be happy if my husband acts in a way that pleases me,” or “I’ll be happy when I have something to be happy about.” This is an extremely limited and conditional lifestyle, where you place happiness outside of your control and more notably, outside of yourself.
Instead of leaving it up to chance, decide that no matter what happens, you will choose happiness because that’s what you want and deserve. Even if you’re mad at your ex husband, your cat dies, or you mess up at work… you choose happiness.
And, as a bonus, as soon as you make this commitment to yourself, the universe will support you in your decision and conspire to show you just how happy you really can be. Prioritize it over everything. Choose it for yourself. Decide that nothing is more important, and nothing will be.
Happiness is your birthright, all you have to do is claim it.
~love, Luminita 💫