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Every single year, we celebrate the first day. January 1st is a day to be happy because right in front of you is a whole year stretched ahead and it’s totally blank. The pages in the calendar are fresh and untouched. Sure, the bills you pay are still the same; when the rent is due it’s due, but you get a chance to look at your life and make changes, without the baggage of the previous year on your shoulders. There will be some things that are permanent in your life, such as family, friends, and career, that you will carry through with you, but you have the opportunity to make as many changes as you like to enrich your life and find inner happiness. Finding what makes you happy, or what will enhance how happy you already are lies in your ability to give yourself the care that you deserve.
Before we explore the ways that you can find happiness in the year ahead, we need to talk about what self-care is and what it involves. Self-care is not talked about enough, and it’s not the selfish act that some make it out to be. If you could look in the mirror and ask yourself the question ‘do you take care of yourself?’, what would your answer be? If you answer yes, then you are like everyone else. Everyone says yes, that they do care for themselves. It seems like an absurd question to be asked, really, but if someone asked you HOW you take of yourself, you may find yourself struggling to reply. Self-care is the biggest key that we have to an improved mood and reduced unhappiness. It’s the care of our emotional, mental and physical health, and it’s putting ourselves first. With self-care, we are able to live a more balanced, happier life, because we are putting our needs as a priority rather than an after-thought. Self-care means very different things to different people, but if you know the basics of self-care, you can start to find out what will make you happy.
Each of these are just examples of self-care, and the route to happiness is making a point of doing the things that YOU want to do, and not just things that others ask of you. When you have a family, it can be very hard to put your needs first. It’s easy to push yourself to the backburner and ensure everyone else is happy before you are. Happiness is probably one of the most misunderstood words in the English vocabulary and it’s something that we all strive for and we all look for it in different ways. Some of us look for it by fixing pieces of our lives such as our marriages, and others find it after contacting National Debt Relief and getting a handle on finances that were previously drowning us. There are those that realise that their true happiness doesn’t lie in the new car that they want, or buying a house, or getting on the career ladder of their dreams. There are a lot of ways you can feel happy in 2018 without the material or transient things that everyone talks about. There is more to happiness than just ‘things’, of course, but discovering what makes you feel happy is not always the easiest thing to do. We’ve got some examples of what you can learn so that you can find your happy in 2018!
Life is serious, we all know this. But if you’re not learning how to not take yourself seriously, you’re going to have a life that is stressed and boring. When we go through hardship, job losses, losing friends, periods of being unable to make ends meet, it’s very easy to forget how to smile and have fun. Sinking into negativity is easy to do because – let’s be honest – life feels pretty darn negative! Looking at the positives in every situation, finding the joy no matter what is happening and learning to live through the bad times with your chin up and a smile at the ready is how you bring acceptance when times are bad. In 2018, learn to look at the flip side of situations that would usually make you feel stressed.
If you are unfortunate and fall ill, don’t label yourself by your status as a survivor. Let’s say you had cancer, you shouldn’t be known as ‘the cancer survivor’. If you lose a spouse, you should avoid being labelled as ‘the widow’. If part of finding happiness for you means being in recovery from addiction, don’t allow yourself to be labelled as ‘the recovering addict’. Your hardship doesn’t define who you are. You wouldn’t go around introducing yourself as ‘the person who is in debt’, so learn to identify yourself with your positives. Give yourself a label in 2018, and make it one that tells people that you are a happy individual. When you shy away from the negatives, who you are can really shine.
When you feel bogged down by others, pressured by society and pushed at work by your employers, you can lose pieces of yourself. Little bits of your personality eventually get taken away, pummelled down and changed by others around you. Learn that you don’t have to mould yourself into the expectations of other people. Find happiness and contentment that who you are is perfectly okay, without the need for change. True happiness is found in the place where you accept yourself for who you are and celebrate that.
Depression and feelings of anxiety often crop up when we are told not to be emotional. When we believe we shouldn’t cry, laugh, get angry or be saddened, we repress the feelings that it’s actually okay to feel, bottle them up and never let them go. Eventually, that bottle of emotions rises up, bubbles over and leaves us feeling out of control. If you can face your emotions in 2018 and really allow yourself to feel everything, you will realise how much more in tune with yourself you can be. This can make for a much happier existence.
Taking a moment to look at your job, your love, your friends and your hobbies and love every single one of those things in your life can leave you feeling satisfied and happy. Looking at yourself, the way you talk and carry yourself and how you treat others, you should be able to feel just as happy. In 2018, learn to love yourself and learn to feel confident about who you are. You put all these other sections of your life first when you try to work out what will make you happy – it’s time to decide if you make yourself happy just by being who you are. You can love your job, love your friends and have a happy relationship, but if you are feeling pressured, overworked and stressed out despite loving all of those things, then you can’t experience true happiness.
Choosing to look ahead into the New Year and drop all the things that make you unhappy is a big decision. Career making you feel down? It’s time for a change. Relationship not working out? It’s time to decide whether you want to keep hold of that baggage or not. If you want to look within yourself and find that ball of light, that happiness that is so pure that it doesn’t take something else to be ticked off a list to achieve it, then you need to fix all the areas of your life that simply aren’t working out. You don’t have to put up with anything other than being entirely happy, and there’s no such thing as a situation that cannot be rectified.
Going through the motions and living your daily routine should make you happy, not sad. You should be able to feel excited by life and in love with who you are. Practicing self-care can help you to achieve this in a big way, as you realise that your own comfort and health is just as important as the comfort of those around you. You are not someone who needs to accept bad things. If you want to get rid of the negativity in your life, you need to stand up and stop accepting negativity. Demand something better in 2018 and find that happiness that you have always craved.