By Betty Gulko

Being happy at all times should be everyone’s mission in life. Not money, not our jobs, house size, or designer shoes. Joy and happiness is what allows every one of us to live fully and to reach our full potential. With this in mind, the possibilities of obtaining our goals are limitless.

When we are filled with love, joy, and happiness, we are enhancing our life. When our life is continuously enhanced this way, we will, by default, win. The heart becomes open to all of our dreams.

So how do we keep our heads up and our hearts open to happiness all the time? People oftentimes experience significant stress, pain, and confusion. Being happy about life can seem downright impossible, right? Now, what if I told you that you can change that? You can change your life with the power of happiness.

Think back to that moment when you felt a true sensation of love and happiness. For example, when your child took her first steps. When you got married after searching for “Mr. Right.” When you got your acceptance letter from your dream college. That feeling, even the memory of it, pours joy into your soul and forces a smile on your face, perhaps even a tear.

When your outer world is joyous, your inner world is, too. All parts of us and the energies around us are connected. As humans, we are innately born to be happy. To live a happy life is what we yearn to do, but the life stressors and anxiety that kick in can prevent many of us from achieving real happiness.

There is an art to living fully. It is a choice that can be made. But make no mistake—you will be tested. However, realize that that’s OK. Once we gain the power, understanding, and routine of living a happy and whole life, these life tests will be passed with ease. So…

Are you tired of working so hard at bringing home happiness?

Are you ready to turn your suffering into love?

Are you committed to working on the changes needed?

If you answered yes, then the time is now, and here are some ways you can get started.

Practice having compassion. How you feel and react to others largely dictates how they will feel and respond towards you. If you believe that the relationships in your life are important and carry weight towards your overall happiness, try empathizing with others. As the common saying goes: “Put yourself in their shoes.” Try to think deeply of what they are telling you and how they are feeling. Practice a soft first-step response if it is a difficult thing to confront. When you go about it this way, a reciprocation of kindness and empathy will follow.

Be aware of your thoughts. In last week’s article (see 5TJT.com for all previous chats), I explained how our thoughts can take over. Those negative ones have a way to seeping into our lives and preventing us from being happy. Remember, where your focus goes, energy flows. Becoming hyper-focused and allowing your thoughts to turn negative, hurtful, and full of self-doubt will become your reality over time. By forcing yourself to build on this habit, you will dramatically increase your level of happiness.

Stay connected. With society dictating that it’s all about the hustle and making as much money as possible, this step can feel off. But what are we really emphasizing as the goals of our lives? Even though we need to work in order to support ourselves and our families, there must be balance and awareness so that we can really bring joy into our lives. It can become easy to let spending time with our loved ones take a backseat with all the demands, but the truth is that we have to make it just as much of a priority. Being connected to friends, family, neighbors, and community gives us a closeness and bond. With acceptance in our lives, we will naturally become happier.

Do what you love. Yes, with this step there comes a tremendous amount of sacrifice. Doing what you love sounds so cliché and simple, but it isn’t. If anyone knows this, it’s me. How many times have you said over the past three years that you want to take that extra course to complete your degree? How many times have you said, “I would love to just teach dance?” Decide today what makes your heart sing and go after it. Everyone is on the same clock. We all get older; it’s just a matter of what you choose to do with it. Now is now, and it’s up to you to start doing more of what you love. Joy, love, excitement—bring the happiness home.

In conclusion, remember to use the strategies with a playful mindset. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but at the same time, demand better feelings from yourself and keep reminders of your goals. Once you demand better from yourself, it will become easier to do the work. Be open to the inspiration and keep practicing. 

Betty Gulko, Psy.M, is a consultant/coach who focuses on mindset + confidence and helps others GLOW UP from the inside out. As the founder of Chat with Betty podcast and the Glow Up Club, she made the leap from trauma to success by allowing herself to pivot into who she truly is, and you can do the same. For more information, visit BettyGulko.com or e-mail Hello@BettyGulko.com. Follow @BettyGulko on social media for daily doses of inspiration.

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