In Pursuit of Happiness


Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony – Gandhi

Most people expend a great amount of time looking for happiness in all the wrong places . They chase dreams rather than live dreams. Their lives are stimulated only by addictions, religions, and even other people in a futile attempt to fill the void with purpose and meaning. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within.

Happiness is a state of mind based on how worthy you feel. How you feel about yourself is a direct result of the accumulated experiences you have had, particular growing up.  For instance, if you grew up being made to feel worthy, valued, loved, protected and respected, most likely you feel happier.

On the other hand, if your experiences led you to feeling unworthy, unloved and disrespected, you may be unhappy, have low self esteem, weak boundaries and lack confidence.

Your internal critic (the negative messages received and embedded in your subconscious) may attempt to sabotage your happiness quotient which will in turn affect your level of self-confidence and self-esteem.

Self confidence is the realistic and positive expectations you have for yourself, your abilities and others. Self confident people exude a sense of control in their lives.

Self esteem is what you think of yourself.  If you think you are insignificant, unworthy, devalued, that is the perception you will also present to the world. How you allow yourself to be treated and the way you show up to the world has the greatest impact on your self esteem. No one can make you a doormat unless you willingly lie down.

Fear is another negative influence that dictates how you feel, think and interact in your relationships with others.  Each time, you don’t speak up for what you deserve, want and need, you allow fear to rule.  Fear is an emotion and one that you have complete control over.  Your choices are to let fear rule or you rule fear.  Fear is the biggest obstacle to growth and change.

Procrastinating and putting off needed actions you believe you must take, is acknowledging that you really don’t have the necessary confidence to carry them out.

Your happiness depends on the expectations and mindset you have about happiness.

To quote the actress, Betty Davis – “You will never be happier than you expect. To change your happiness, change your expectation.”

Here are some tips to get your happy dance on…

  • Maintain a sense of humor; everything is not a matter of life or death. Try to find the humor in stressful situations.
  • Lower your worry quotient.  Worrying about things over which you have no control will overwhelm and deplete you. Concentrate on the things you have control over. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you must worry, allow yourself 5 minutes to dwell on the situation and move on to something more productive.
  • Be flexible.  Things will not always go the way you want but if you are adaptable, you won’t raise your blood pressure by trying to have it your way. Allow for a change in plans.
  • Schedule wisely. Don’t add more things into your day than you can reasonably handle.  Over scheduling leads to frustration, anger and resentment.  Avoid it. Set clear boundaries around your time.
  • Happiness is a series of choices you make that determine how you react or respond to a given situation.  Remember, no one but you can determine your happiness.  Make wise choices based on the things that are important to you.
  • Set realistic  expectations for yourself and others. Make sure your expectations aren’t rooted in faulty beliefs based on negative experiences.

Gladys Anderson - Life Coach, Therapist, Author



About the Author:

Gladys M. Anderson is a certified group coach, personal life coach and a licensed marriage & family therapist.  Gladys helps nurses, therapists, teachers and other caregivers establish boundaries,  build balance and create breathing space in their busy lives.

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