In our recent enough past, humanity was primarily focused on survival. We have recently learned to be depressed and anxious with all the stimulation in the world. Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener, who works in the field of positive psychology, and surveyed a group of Maasai warriors in Kenya about their happiness. The Maasai don’t have the things that people in the developed world consider to be happiness generators, such as material wealth, but they still think of themselves as happy.
This doesn’t mean that wealthy people can’t be happy — it just means that being wealthy doesn’t automatically confer happiness. According to Dr. Robert Holden, founder of The Happiness Project, “those looking for happiness often don’t realize they already have it” Being happy with yourself isn’t so much about pursuing it, but finding things that you can do to help you recognize your happiness.
Self-acceptance simply requires accepting one self, flaws and all. This is different from self-esteem which is that you perceive as weaknesses or flaws. This is different from self-esteem, which is a measurement of how worthy we see ourselves. In fact, psychotherapist Albert Ellis argued that people with extremely high self-esteem typically base their self-acceptance on conditions, such as how well they measure up in comparison to others.
According to Dr. Leon Seltzer, “if deep within us we’re ever to feel — as our normal state of being — happy and fulfilled, we must first rise to the challenge of complete, unqualified self-acceptance. Seltzer calls it a challenge for a reason; you may be combating years of feeling guilty, judging and criticizing yourself.
Establish Attainable Goals
How do you know that you’ve set a goal that you’re more likely to achieve? One way is to use a technique called SMART:
- Specific — Be as precise as possible. Instead of “exercise,” your goal should be something like “exercise 30 minutes per day.”
- Measurable — Come up with a way to measure your success. “Play guitar better” isn’t measurable; “learn how to play one new song per week” is.
- Attainable — If there’s no way you can reach your goal, you’re setting yourself up for failure. “Save $100 a month” isn’t attainable if you only have $50 left in your checking account after paying your bills.
- Realistic — Your goal should stretch you, but not necessarily be easy. “Never drink coffee again” may be less realistic than “only drink coffee once a week.”
- Timely — Set a clear time frame in which you want to reach your goal. If you don’t have a deadline, you may not feel motivated to push yourself.
Learn to Forgive
Harboring feelings of resentment really just hurts us. According to Dr. Deepak Chopra, the writer Philosopher and teacher, we chose how to react to pain and suffering can be optional. The energy taken up with resentments could be better spent on pleasure and educational activities. Forgiving people is good for mental and physical health.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
A 2008 study conducted at the University of Nebraska examined data from surveys about health, happiness and life satisfaction. Its conclusion was that healthy people are generally happier and that happy people are generally healthier. One of the study’s authors, Dr. Mohammad Siahpush, stated that “there are indications that as you become happier and more satisfied with your life, you tend to become healthier as well”
Making time for fun will not only reduce stress in the body overall, but it will contribute to a sense of well-being which will help you to obtain personal happiness.
Donna Lee writes for DearJane in Australia. She is a nurse looking aster aged and disabled patients. To help with their dignity and to improve patient lifestyle she opted out to start a boutique online store to service this need.