Want to be happier? Commence by being good to yourself. That may sound self-evident, but too many people skip this step and try to make themselves happy by chasing ever-higher goals, or holding themselves to ever-greater standards of perfection. That’s way is not correct. so how to make yourself happy?
Ironically, being good to yourself instead will bring you closer to achieving those high ambitions, says Daylle Deanna Schwartz, speaker, columnist, and author of 15 books, including “The Effortless Entrepreneur.” “The more you value yourself, especially at work, the more you build confidence,” she says.
In fact, the happiest people go out of their way to treat themselves right and they do something nice for themselves each day. They set suitable boundaries and take care of themselves by stating no to things when they need to. “When you love yourself, you understand that saying no to something you don’t want to do is an impersonation of compassion, and you don’t walk around with negative feelings approaching the person who asked you to do something you didn’t want to do,” Schwartz says.
Not only is being kind to yourself worthy for your career, it’s advantageous for your relationships too, she adds. “The more you build self-love, the more you have to give to others.”
How to make yourself happy #1: Commit to doing one nice thing for yourself every day.
Schwartz invites visitors to her site to sign a 31-day pledge to “do my best to do something loving for myself, however big or small.” Whether you feel like signing or not, making the commitment means you’ll remind yourself on a daily basis to treat yourself with loving kindness.
Keeping that warrant will bring real benefits, she says. “It motivates you to take better care of yourself, go after your dreams, and not let people treat you poorly.”
How to make yourself happy #2: Listen to yourself.
That is, listen to how you talk to yourself, and the internal tone of voice you use. (Mine tends to resemble my mother’s in a lecturing mode.) “We often criticize ourselves in our own heads and that brings down our confidence,” Schwartz says. “When you love yourself, you know you’re good enough that you have to stop talking to yourself in negative terms.”
How to make yourself happy #3: Forgive yourself.
“Forgiveness is a big part of it,” Schwartz says. “It’s hard, because most of us have been getting angry at ourselves for all the things we do improper all our lives. People get into harassment because they try so hard to be perfect and then they beat themselves up when they’re not. Loving yourself expresses accepting that you’re stuck inside your own imperfect skin.”
Schwartz recommends this exercise to start forgiving yourself: “Look in the mirror and say, ‘I love you and I forgive you.'”
How to make yourself happy #4: Accept yourself as you are right now.
For starters, that means accepting the body that you have today. “Body image is a big stumbling block, and so is age,” she says. “When you love yourself, you try to be the best person you can be in the body that you have, and that’s as much as you can do.”
Self-acceptance also means accepting your income and success level as they are, she says. “It’s OK not to be making a certain amount by the time you get to a certain age,” she says. “Entrepreneurs get a lot of criticism when people say, ‘Why are you wasting your time doing that?’ or ‘You’re not successful enough!'”
Instead, she recommends asking yourself a simple question: “Am I happy with what I’m doing?” She herself sold a successful summer recreation business when she found it was turning too stressful. “I wound up with less income but I was happier.”
How to make yourself happy #5: Get rid of toxic people in your life and workplace.
This may be easier said than done, but avoid tying yourself to clients, business partners, investors, or employees who make you unhappy. It’s obviously harder to take the identical approach with family members, but Schwartz says there’s no reason to put up with people saying or doing things that are unkind. “If people say mean things to me, I let them perceive if they talk to me like that I’m going to walk away or hang up the phone,” she says.
How to make yourself happy #6: Prioritize your health.
“I take supplements and vitamins, I exercise, and I recently cut out sugar for seven weeks as an act of self-love,” Schwartz says. But be careful–don’t let caring for your health turn into a reason to beat yourself up if you slip. “Yesterday, I had Twinkies,” she says. “I’ve been wanting them ever since they temporarily stopped selling them. So I bought some and I ate them. I don’t beat myself up when I have a treat.”
How to make yourself happy #7: Stop skipping meals.
“People say, ‘I’ve been so busy I had no time to eat today,'” Schwartz says. “That’s a very unloving thing to do. Grab something, even if it’s just a salad.”
Neuroscience tells us that letting your blood sugar sink sends stress signals to your brain. So if you absolutely can’t stop and grab a meal, make sure you have healthy snacks at your desk.
How to make yourself happy #8: Breathe!
Don’t forget that when you’re feeling stressed, overworked, or upset, easy breathing exercises can boost your happiness quotient dramatically, Schwartz says. “If you do some deep breathing during the day, you can calm yourself down and not let stress get to you or make you sick.”
How to make yourself happy #9: Give yourself a welcoming space.
For years, Schwartz never made her bed, simply throwing the covers over it. Now she makes it every day for a simple reason: “Walking into my bedroom when my bed is made makes me smile.”
Take the same approach with your workspace, she suggests. Make it as organized as you can. Neatening up your workspace and getting rid of stuff you don’t need will make you feel calmer and more in control, she says. But don’t limit yourself to just decluttering. “Make sure you have your environment and office space the way you like it and that it’s a pleasant place for you to work,” she says. “Have fresh flowers on your desk. Take it seriously.”
How to make yourself happy #10: Get some sunlight.
“A lot of people work in dark spaces. That’s very unhealthy and unloving,” Schwartz says. Try to work in a place where you have access to natural light, she recommends. If that’s not possible, invest in full-spectrum light bulbs. Either way, make sure to get outside for a walk as often as you can.
How to make yourself happy #11: Buy premium products for yourself.
Does this sound like you? If you’re bringing a bag of coffee to someone else, you pick out a luxury brand in a nice package, but if you’re buying it for yourself, you choose the store brand or another inexpensive option. That’s fine if you’re one of these people to whom all coffees taste alike. But if you prefer the more expensive brand, you should go for it, Schwartz says.