This year, I’ve been working more with myself than ever before. Not because it’s in vogue to do so, but because I’ve discovered the happiness that comes from paying extra attention to your self and your soul. Taking care of you is even more important than taking care of others, and the moment you realize this, you’ll become a better, stronger, more loving and caring version of yourself. Sounds good? Then let’s have a look at what I’ve done so far – and what you could potentially do to become a happier, healthier human being.
“It all appears to change when we change” – Henri-Frédéric Amiel
Switch off social media
I think we all agree at this point, that gazing at other people’s picture perfect photos on social media isn’t exactly helping you to become the person you’d like to be: happy, healthy and content. It might inspire you – it should – but for every time we compare ourselves to others, we loose a part of our integrity. So before you do anything else, switch of Facebook, Instagram and Youtube for a while (or at least limit yourself to use these media to once a day, if possible). Turning off the Facebook from my phone, made quite a difference for me (and I know this sounds strange coming from someone whose second home is online!); but suddenly I wasn’t scrolling through my newsfeed first thing when I woke up in the morning, so I could allow myself to have a ‘fresh start’ with no interference from anywhere or from anyone. This might apply especially to sensitives like me, but I believe it’s generally a good idea to lay off the media once in a while. Especially if you’re on track to become more mindful.
Not necessarily big news, but meditation does so many wonderful things for me. Whether you’re doing 10, 15 or 30 minutes of it in the morning, during the afternoon or before you go to bed, it helps you to stay focused, balanced and clear-sighted. Especially if you’re mind is a highway of ideas and thoughts, like mine. If you practice yoga already, chances are you might have come across meditation in some form, but you really don’t need a professional to get started – or to feel your inner core. My best advice: download the app ‘insight timer’, which is free in iTunes and Google Play. It’s the world’s biggest (free) meditation app with thousands of free meditations from experienced teachers all over the world. And it’s addicted. You can browse meditations according to your mood (e.g. morning meditation, bed time meditation, pregnancy meditation etc.) and you can bookmark your favorites ones. It’s even possible to get a reminder on your phone every day, so you won’t forget your sacred break.
“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life” – Albert Camus
Prioritize your happiness
Making yourself happy should never be confused with selfishness. The more self-love you build, the better relationships you’ll have with the people around you, e.g. your partner. Why? You simply have more to give.
I guess (and hope!) you already know what makes you happy in your everyday life; whether it’s drawing, running, walking your dog, painting your nails or cooking, do more of it! Here’s a few acts on kindness you should perform for yourself every day:
- Commit to do at least one nice thing for yourself on a daily basis: I strive to write more, read more poetry and do my meditation.
- Speak nicely to yourself: stop blaming yourself and most importantly; stop having that negative voice in your head! When it comes to criticism, we’re our own worst enemy! When you really love yourself, you’ll start treating yourself nicer, also verbally.
- Practice self-forgivenesss: why do we live in a world where we’re constantly trying to prove something to ourselves and others? Most of us (especially women!) are so hard on ourselves because we think we need to live up to certain standards and prove that we’re good enough to the world. The only one we end up disappointing is ourself! Lay off the unreasonably high demands, have another piece of cake, an extra glass of wine, a day at home doing nothing – and forgive yourself!
- Get rid of people who are not good for you: it’s time to clean up your network! Why should you hang around people, whether it’s colleagues, supposed friends or even family members, who drags you down and take all your energy? Have patience with people, but don’t stretch your own limited too much. By doing this, you’re actively prioritizing your own happiness.
It’s never too late to learn, grow and pursue your dreams. It took me quite some years to dive into self-development in order to be a happier version of myself, but today, I couldn’t imagine an everyday life without (what I call) a spiritual connection.
Finally, ‘happy’ should rather be replaced with the word content. For while happiness is a very vague, popularized concept, being content is somewhat more profound; it has roots deep within you – and that’s exactly where you wanna go.
What makes you happy? Do you practice self-love routines in your everyday life? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment space below 🙂