10 Things to do if you want to be happy 

Hello reader,

I am an expert on doing stupid things, and I am going to tell you how not to be unhappy like I was in the past and instead how to be happy like I am now. 

I give no guarantees that following my advice isn’t stupid, but I will say that it made me happy.  Happy and stupid is better than unhappy and stupid right? 

1) Do not tell other people of your plans until you have realised them.

2) Choose compassion when you can, but put yourself first as no one else but you can make you happy 

3) Do not trust people who pity you or present themselves as generous benefactors or kind helpers when they barely know you.

4) Do not believe everything you are told, always do your own research.  About everything  including science, history and tradition. 

5) Stand up for yourself without agression, keep your arguments centered on your own experience.  

Do not say “You say this to hurt me” but ” I feel hurt, did you mean to do that? ”

6) Drop the things you’re told to be, and be what you want to be.  Stress is who you are told to be, peace is who you are. 

7) Stay away from organised religion, politics and any other group that tells you how to think.  You know best what is good for you. 

9) Live only in the Now, both past and present are irrelevant for it. 

10) Choose respect over attention

True friendship.  A rare blessing

It has taken me a very long time to find true friends, as I have not learned how to have healthy relationships with others until I realized that I was abused when I was younger and didn’t realize what it meant to be valued as a person.

For most of my life, friendship has been an exchange of some sort.  A trade deal-type situation.  Not a free, loving relationship that brought the best out in me and the other person. 

Recently I realized how blessed I am to have found people in my life that like me just as I am and expect nothing of me. Who give without expecting something back.  Who share their good times with me which turn into good memories. 

It may sound ordinary to you to have such friends, but it is new for me.  Coming where I come from made me value it so much more.

Never forget the meaning of their friendship, and give back what you receive. Such people are rare gems to treasure , it is seldom one gets more than a handful at a time. 
I  want to thank my friends for being there, and for showing me a kinder side of humanity. Know that you are all cherished and loved. 

Realizing how blessed I am 

So many creatures suffer in this world. All sentient life experiences suffering one way or another.  

I am no exeption. In fact, looking through the lens of the average middleclass white Westerner these days my life is wrought with suffering. 

I have grown up with an abusive father , I did not get a proper education, I was diagnosed with mental illness at a young age and then got several chronic physical illnesses on top of it. I am on benefits and currently unable to work outside the home.  Illness almost killed me twice, and I am just 29 years old.  

Sounds sad to you? I certainly felt sorry for myself for a long time.  Actually until I got my first near death experience two years ago, I felt depressed regularly. 

But since going through that, things have changed.  I realized then that if I could get through that, I could get through anything. 

And on that journey I have come to realize how lucky I am. 

I am not suffering from poverty in any way comparable to 95% of the rest of this world.  I have a roof over my head, I even like my house! I have things I like such as books and art supplies. I have food I like.  I have a closet full of clothing.  I can do fun things I want sometimes.  

I am free to express myself and my ideals in my volunteer job, I am free to speak my thoughts and create my art. I am free to practice my spiritual beliefs. 

I am free to go where I  want to when I am able to, and rest when I need it. I am able to see who I want when I want.  

I am taken care of by competent medical personell , and get the medication I need. It is not for free, but the fee is still affordable for me.  Thanks to this system I am even still alive.  I have a loving mother. 

I am grateful. 

Grateful that I am not one of this worlds many slaves, prison camp labourers, or repressed people. 

Grateful that I do not live in a facist country, a theocratic system or dictatorship. 

Grateful that I am not one of this worlds many extremely poor people that sleep on the streets, in sewers or on garbage heaps.

Grateful that I am not one of those who are ill but can’t afford medicine or never even get seen by a doctor. 

Grateful I am not one of those many wonen in forced marriage, forced pregnancy or sexual slavery. 

Grateful I have been spared torment and hunger.  

I am indeed extremely fortunate. 

How I got to heal myself 

“Do no harm, but take no shit “

Said a wise person once.  

I already wrote a previous blog about healthy boundaries, this blog is an expansion of that. Having healthy boundaries is healing, but understanding what your limits are is only possible when you’re healed of the scars of your past.  

Having healthy boundaries does not only extend to others either.  It is also the strength to discipline yourself, to get work done and say no to that extra chocolate when you’re already full.  But in a kind way.  

When I make a decision I ask myself the three Buddhist questions to ask before you take action or speak:

  • Is it true?
  • Is it necesarry?
  • Is it kind?

This works for me  to come to a healthy decision on almost anything. 

But thinking is not the only thing I did to get where I am now.  

In fact, I conciously started thinking a lot less. I meditate about 90 minutes a day, sometimes about 2 hours but never less than 30 no matter how tired I am.  I have been doing this since september. 

The way it has changed my life and my thinking is simply incredible.  I have been able to let go of worry about both the past and the future, both of which were detrimental to my health. 

I spent most of my life being unhappy because of my past, I lingered in a downward spiral of victimhood and anger at what happened to me.  Clinging to anger and sadness destroys you, both physically and mentally.  

As soon as I truly started to understand that, I was able to begin healing myself.  

I first set my boundaries and removed people that ignored them from my life.  

Then I started to ask myself why I was feeling the way I did, and evaluate that.  

After that, I started to gently correct myself into positive thinking each time I caught myself thinking something destructive about myself or the world.  

Until being happy became a habit, and negative emotions became infrequent. When I now experience them, I gently remind myself of my blessings and move on.  

There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way” 

You are allowed to have boundaries 

Yes you are. 

It’s ok to say no. Or ‘ I don’t like this ‘ . Or ‘ please stop that ‘. 

You do not need to tolerate anyone who hurts you. It is kind to warn them first by stating they are crossing your boundaries, but after that they should stop whatever they are doing or saying to you.  

If they don’t stop after being warned, there is no reason why you should tolerate their actions against you.  

You don’t have to let yourself be hurt to be spiritual or compassionate , many people forget that love and compassion also extend to yourself.  

You can be compassionate and distance yourself from those who hurt you.  Here’s how: 

  • Inform person about your boundaries 
  • Explain why their behaviour is painful for you
  • If they don’t stop, tell them that you are taking a step back but do not insult them 
  • Accept their apology if they change their behaviour. But hold them off until then. 

Having boundaries is healthy.  People who intentionally cross your boundaries do not belong in your life.  

Remember when you feel sad about losing such a person that they weren’t a real friend to begin with. 

A true friend respects you as a whole and accepts your boundaries because they respect you.  

Never forget that. 

Finding strength in yourself 

You are the only person that can make you happy.  

No one else will do it for you. 

Contrary to what books and movies tell you, love and friendship are fragile things that need careful handling . 

I am not saying this to bring you down, but I am trying to make you aware of the only thing that will make you truly happy. Peace of mind. 

One thing I learned through my illness is that most people say they care, but when things are really difficult they tend to leave you to your own devices.  

They will say your illness depresses them, or they are busy or it’s too hard on them.  You will end up having to face your demons alone. 

But that is OK, because in the end it only matters if you have peace with yourself.  If you are your own best friend, nothing external will truly bring you down.  

Of course you will have better and worse moments , but they won’t last if you are happy within.  

Now, how do you attain this happiness? From personal experience I would say the following are keys to becoming your own best friend:

  • Don’t expect anything from others 
  • Do things you love even if you have to do them alone 
  • Meditation and mindfullness help to let go of worry and stay in the moment 
  • Find things you are passionate about and persue them
  • Ignore others ideas of what your life should be like and do what you want 
  • Educate yourself and make informed choices
  • Use positive affirmations every day 

These things are what I do to stay happy.  

I am interested in what you do to stay happy too. Let me know in the comments!