Do you think that you have the power to choose how you feel? I’m here to tell you that you do.
Happy people are empowered to be happy because they are aware of their perceptions, expectations and where they put their focus.
Here are 4 secrets of happy people (so you can be one too!):
1. They take charge of their perceptions
Most situations aren’t inherently positive or negative; it is our perception that puts them in one of these categories. Our perceptions are simply based on decisions we have made about something being ‘good’ and ‘bad’. For example, a friend cancelling on us could be annoying, or it could be a welcome chance to take a couple of hours to go to a yoga class or get things done around the house, depending on how we choose to perceive it.
When you’re upset or annoyed about something, take a step back and ask yourself; “How am I choosing to perceive this situation?”. When we shed some light on the fact that our choices are making us feel a certain way, we are empowered to make new choices to perceive things in a way that upholds our happiness.
2. They manage their expectations
Each morning, we wake up with expectations about how our day will play out. We expect to be treated a certain way by specific people, and we expect certain situations and tasks to have particular outcomes. Most of these expectations are subconscious, and sometimes, they can set us up for unnecessary negative emotions.
I used to do this all the time with an ex-boyfriend – he would say he’d come over after work, and without much conscious thought, I’d decide that meant I’d see him about 6pm. When he rocked up at 7 instead, I’d be hurt. When I took a moment to reflect, I realized that it was my expectations that were making me feel this way. Now, if I catch myself clinging to assumptions about how I think people should act, I promptly let them go. My relationships have improved and I’m a much better friend, girlfriend, sister, and daughter now that I’ve dropped the expectations.
When you’re feeling hurt or disappointed, ask yourself;
Often letting go of expectations is as easy as bringing our awareness to the fact that we have them in the first place. Take a breath, release your expectation, and trust that everything is happening as it’s meant to.
3. They know where to put their focus
Often when we’re trying to make changes, we tend to focus on what’s not working. We focus on the extra 5 kilos, the lack of money, or the absence of purpose in our life. This is, quite frankly, a total waste of our energy and not only that but it makes us far less likely to actually make the changes we wish to.
If you’re not happy with an aspect of your life and you find yourself ruminating on it, shift your focus to the solution. Instead of hating your love handles, look up some healthy recipes or practice a few yoga poses. Instead of complaining you’re always broke, start putting your extra coins into a jar for something special or open up a savings account that you automatically debit some cash into each pay day. If you’re feeling lost and lacking purpose, focus on finding things that you love to do – try a pottery or art class, join a sports team, or have a look for events where you can meet people with similar interests.
Focusing on possibilities, instead of problems will fast track you towards getting to where you want to be.
4. They take responsibility for how they feel
It can be all too easy to get caught up in a blame game when it comes to how we feel. The truth is, no one can make us feel a certain way! We feel the way we do because of our perceptions, expectations, and/or where we put our focus. Using the points above, empower yourself to take responsibility for how you feel.
It’s also important for us to remember that other people will sometimes put their perceptions and expectations on us and there is absolutely no need for us to take them on. Trying to live up to expectations or behave in a certain way just to please others, will leave us exhausted and frazzled – and we’ll probably have failed to please them anyway.
To be the best version of yourself, simply act in a way that makes you feel good. The people in your life, your work, and your health will benefit as a result.
Use the buttons below to share these happy secrets around (I won’t tell if you don’t!).