When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.
Happiness is defined as “a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.” Sounds great, doesn’t it? So what makes happiness so hard to attain?
One of the common reasons we find it so difficult to find happiness is due to our perception of what it really is. Our ability to be happy depends on how we define it.
For many, happiness is defined by what has been achieved, what has been accomplished, or material things we have obtained.
While these things can contribute to the feeling of being happy, do they really bring us true happiness?
So what is happiness? Where does it come from? How do we achieve it?
• Live Our “Best Life.”
For starters, we can begin by living what I like to call our “best life.” This consists of being the best version of ourselves we can be. It involves self-acceptance and no longer comparing ourselves to others. Living our best life also includes no longer using things to measure our happiness, but focusing on the feeling. Practicing mindfulness can also help us achieve happiness. In doing this, we can fully experience the moment and learn to engage with each moment on its terms, taking things as they come. When we are able to accept things for what they are, we can be happier.
• Practice daily gratitude.
Gratitude determines our attitude. As we practice gratitude, it eventually becomes second nature. We become able to find the beauty in small things and appreciate all life has to offer.
• Learn the art of letting go.
When we learn to let go, we find the path to freedom. By learning to let go, we are no longer held captive by our past or lingering negative emotions.
These are other things we can do to get ourselves in a feel-good mood.
Everyone knows a smile is contagious. If you’re feeling down in the dumps, force a smile and keep smiling. If you don’t give that feeling of wanting to smile, you will eventually get the giggles from looking so silly.
• Smell something that makes you happy.
The sense of smell is very powerful and can trigger several moods and reactions. Why not smell your way to happiness? Sniff your favorite flower, inhale your favorite fragrance, or indulge in the aromas of your favorite food. When I’m feeling down, I tend to smell lavender. I not only enjoy the smell, but it also has some calming and relaxing properties.
• Do something good for someone else.
If you can’t put a smile on your face, put a smile on someone else’s. Doing a good deed will often result in that good, bubbly feeling of joy. When you’ve made someone’s day, how can you avoid a smile?
• Do something you enjoy that you haven’t done in a while.
Remember that feeling of complete happiness when the wind blows in your face as you swing on a swing, or when you play a good game of baseball, or make a nice batch of cookies? Well, get up and get moving! There is no pick-me-up like doing something pleasurable you haven’t done in a while. Think back to little things that have made you happy and explore those again.
• Laugh, laugh, laugh.
Just as a smile is contagious, so is laughter. Watch a funny movie or reminisce about something funny and just laugh. If you can’t think of anything to laugh at, just start laughing and keep thinking. You’re bound to eventually think of something funny or continue laughing at yourself.
These are a few suggestions, but happiness is unique and so is your path. Edith Wharton was quoted saying “If only we’d stop trying to be happy, we’d have a pretty good time.”
Stop trying to be happy or thinking about being happy and challenge yourself to do what makes you happy. Find what makes you happy today and live life to the fullest.
Life after a break up can be painful, but the soul searching that most people with broken hearts indulge in can be even more painful. Relationships fail at times, but can you really point fingers?
Breaking up is always hard to do. However, when we are smitten by the thing called love, none of us are really looking that far ahead. All we want to do is to indulge in the happiness of the moment.
The more philosophical among us would know that the wave that is reaching its peak will soon start to break and form a trough. The ups and downs or the waves in our life are what give it a balance. Like the swing of the pendulum, issues will be positive, and then go negative. The ebbs and flows are not just a part of nature, but of ourselves as well.
Unless we understand this, we are bound to be miserable when things are down for us.
A woman had been married for barely four months and because of the stress, strain and trauma that she was experiencing, she decided that it was best to opt for a divorce. This was a marriage that had blossomed out of a happy romance to start with.
One of the things she was most upset about was how she was not able to read her husband well enough? How did he turn out to be so different after marriage, when he was so good when they were courting? The thing that she admired in him was his outgoing nature, while she was a bit introverted as a person.
After marriage, his outgoing nature was perceived as a carefree, no-goals characteristic that she had begun to detest.
His non-flustered style was appreciated earlier as being so cool in the most troubling situations. Now she saw this as being totally devoid of feeling, and called him stone-hearted, and out of touch with reality.
But on deeper thinking, she realized where she too had contributed to the breakdown in the relationship. She also regretted that she had challenged her parents, and walked out of her house in order to marry this person who was from a different upbringing and community. She now felt that she should have taken time to explain things to her parents, instead of thinking that they would never understand her.
As it turned out, her parents were the first people whom she turned to in this crisis, and they were the ones who suggested that she visit a counselor and try to sort things out in the marriage. She was now suffering from a guilt complex. The people she judged, her parents, did not judge her at the time when she had decided to face the failure. It took some doing to pull her out of the quagmire that she had created for herself. But she has now regained her sanity, and is taking a break before she takes a firm decision in her life.
The first thing that we normally do when things fail is to look for someone to blame. Curiously, it is always the ‘other person’s fault’. It is not easy for us to see our own flaws. Even when we try to find out where we have been wrong, this is difficult, as there is always some area of our behavior or attitude that we cannot see. It is a blind side that others would have noticed, but most often, not brought to our notice. Even if they did mention it to us, we would probably have brushed it aside, ascribing jealousy, or a lack of perceptual competence as the reason for the negative comment.
It goes without saying that breaking up with someone you love is not easy. And the more you like someone the more painful it will be when you have to stop seeing someone who you really like and care about, and if your to be ex-partner is the kind of person you think you are not going to meet any time soon because there aren’t just many individuals out there, who will be that special to you. Losing a loved one inevitably breaks one’s heart and learning how to heal that broken heart is very important to our emotional health and to our ability to return to enjoying dating life promptly.
Indeed, we often have no choice but never see each other again, and therefore it’s worth knowing how to get over those break ups and continue moving forward with our lives with the right mindset, and not continuing drowning ourselves in self-pity or indulging in any kind of self destructive post-break-up behavior for too long after.
Here are the steps you can and you should take in order to get over any break-up quicker and in a more healthy manner:
1. Avoid harboring hope that you and your ex-partner will get back together. This is the crucial time when you must demonstrate strength and reluctance in letting those thoughts get into your head. Being strong now will most certainly pay off in the future.
2. Stop reminiscing on the wonderful times that you and your ex had while you were together. Such wonderful memories are great to have, and you should be thankful that you had those great experiences and feelings. However, at that most painful time, right after breaking up, these thoughts do nothing good to you and only aggravate your pain and prolong your recovery by making you feel that you sustained a major loss.
3. Stop thinking that your ex was one of a kind person. No matter how special he/she was, you own future dating life will show that your next love will be also very special in his/her own, unique way – this is just the reality of how love works.
4. Realize and truly believe that whatever happens, happens for a reason and for your own best. This includes break-ups. Think about it – every time you have to throw away a great pair of old, worn-out shoes that felt more comfortable than any other shoes you have ever had, your next pair of shoes is often even more comfortable. Most people who lose a job eventually find a better one. This is a far reaching analogy, but the same applies to relationships. If you were taken out of your recent relationship by some great force, perhaps that force is trying to take you out of that relationship and put you back into the market, so that you start looking for and eventually find a partner who is even better for you and more compatible with you on all levels.
5. Perceive your recent break-up as a great opportunity to learn how to deal with such experiences and become a stronger and a more mature individual. Like any other challenging experience that pushes your emotional levels (such as employment termination, loss of a loved one to a terminal illness, etc…) breaking up and losing love today will “condition” you and will make your recovery from similar experiences in the future easier.
6. Do not perceive a relationship as an investment and your lost relationship as a waste of time. Be grateful! Be grateful for having been granted the joy of love and affection of your former partner as long as your relationship lasted and don’t forget that some things are probably just not meant to last. There is no insurance against breaking up whether you have been together for one month or for 20 years. Just look around you. I surely don’t need to tell you how high the divorce rate is. Some people perceive it as a very negative by-product of the modern, western culture, but I would like to suggest to you that it is quite normal and even natural. Most people simply do not belong with each other in a romantic relationship. Most relationships end, most people who are dating, are bound to break up. There is nothing wrong with it – it’s an inevitable selection process and we all participate in it. Accepting it as a natural part of dating life is very important and can be quite effective in helping you overcome a painful break-up.
7. If you believe that you made certain mistakes in your recent relationship, whether they were the ones that caused the break-up or not, make sure you learn from those mistakes and move forward as a person who possesses a better understanding of himself and his interactions with romantic partners, and make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes in the future.
8. Lastly, continue living! Pursue your professional and social goals and don’t leave much space for boredom in your life. This is not the right time to “relax.” You will have plenty of time to relax once you are over your ex and perhaps once you met someone new.
Breaking up is hard, but it can be a positive experience if you allow it to be. It can make you grow and become a stronger and a more attractive person. Make sure you take advantage of those valuable life lessons!
Further, it is important that you remember that the pain of breaking up is an emotion, and as such, it will not go away overnight. It will take time for your feelings to go away. But with conscious effort of keeping in mind the above points, you can make the process of overcoming and recovering from the break-up much faster and easier.