You Are 100% Accountable For Your Own Happiness
It’s hard to believe that 6 years ago, I was sitting in my apartment crying. My husband and I split after 20 years together. I was no longer living in my dream home on the water, I was living in a 600 sq ft apartment overlooking a sports bar. I was driving 1.5 hours a day to take care of my mother, who was in the hospital for the 4th time in 4 months. Taking care of her took so much time I couldn’t do any of the things I loved (comedy and hypnosis). I was deep in debt and driving for Uber to make some extra money in the little spare time I had. Did I mention the man I had been dating dumped me for another woman? It was a rough time for me.
I kept thinking “Can my life get any worse?” and of course it did.
If you often find yourself upset at others actions, or perhaps you feel like it’s other people’s fault that you are unhappy with life, note that these are both toxic attitudes which will only serve to bring you down. In order to find happiness in life, you must first realize that you, and only you, are responsible for it and to do that you must change your mindset.
According to Raj Raghunathan Ph.D., happiness, while an emotion, is also a state of mind. So, to be able to achieve happiness, an individual must first adjust their mind to see the world differently.
He recognizes that most people do not truly believe that they can be happy no matter what the circumstances, and he says this is the first thing which needs adjusting. And one of the ways to fix this is by making an agreement with yourself to see the good in every situation. Once you can do this, you will be able to look back on even the most dismal memories with a feeling of gratitude.
This same procedure can also be applied to memories which you have already deemed as bad. Instead of looking back with regret, make a deal with yourself to bring up negative memories but try to see them in a different, or positive, light. This way you won’t find yourself harboring feelings of revenge, regret, or disfavor. You will then feel much lighter emotionally and be able to focus on happiness rather than the sad feelings bringing you down.
Just like anything else in your life, it takes practice to learn to control your emotions. But even once you believe you have established this control, it’s very easy to forget and slip back into your old ways, this is why you must keep up with checking in, and practicing your emotional control. You also need to take on challenges in order to strengthen this control.
So, if you are using the above exercise, start first with a memory which makes you feel only mild regret. Then, after you’ve mastered turning that into something positive, then conquer a memory which makes you feel strong distaste for someone. Keep upping the ante until you are finally ready to learn to control your emotional response when it comes to a life-altering bad memory. Although this may seem like a big feat now, when you get there you will find it is quite easy to conquer.
Learning to control how you think about your memories may not seem like a bit step, however, the emotional response to our memories, and the present, is the same. Once you have re-wired your brain to see only the good in the past, you will also find that you now only see the good in the present. This applies to people too.
Everyone has some bad qualities, but if you focus on the good, you’ll eventually be unable to see the bad ones. Now that you are in control of your emotions, both those associated with the past and the present, you will find that what other people do, or say, doesn’t have any effect on your happiness because you know you are the one creating it.
This entire process, of changing the way you see not only your memories, but life as it passes before your eyes, is all controlled by you, making you 100% accountable for your own happiness.
6 years ago, I realized that just as I was accountable for my misery, I could reverse my thoughts and start becoming accountable for my happiness. I began changing my thoughts, choosing happiness NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED TO ME, and the rest of my mind followed. Subsequently, the rest of my life followed. I now enjoy the life I intentionally created. I do meaningful work that I love and bring hope and happiness to others. I spend my spare time exactly where I want to be with a loving partner and amazing people I’m proud to call my friends and family.
Nothing anyone else can ever do, or say, will ever make you happy, so it’s time to get up off the couch and start working on creating your own happiness today.
What can you do to start creating your own happiness?