10 Basic Ways to Find Happiness

We all want to feel happy, and each one of us has different ways of getting there. Here are steps you can take to bring more happiness into your life:

  1. Be with others who make you smile. Studies show that we are happiest when we are around those who are also happy.
  2. Hold on to your values. What you find true, what you know is fair, and what you believe in are all values. Over time, the more you honor them, the better you will feel about yourself.
  3. Accept the good. Look at your life and take stock of what’s working, and don’t push away something just because it isn’t perfect. When good things happen, even the very little ones, let them in.
  4. Imagine the best. Don’t be afraid to look at what you really want and see yourself getting it. Many people avoid this process because they don’t want to be disappointed if things don’t work out. The truth is that imagining getting what you want is a big part of achieving it.
  5. Do things you love. Maybe you can’t skydive every day or take vacations every season, but as long as you get to do the things you love every once in a while, you will find greater happiness.
  6. Find purpose. Those who believe they are contributing to the well-being of humanity tend to feel better about their lives. Most people want to be part of something greater than they are, simply because it’s fulfilling.
  7. Listen to your heart. You are the only one who knows what fills you up. Your family and friends may think you’d be great at something that really doesn’t float your boat. It can be complicated following your bliss. Just be smart, and keep your day job for the time being.
  8. Push yourself, not others. It’s easy to feel that someone else is responsible for your fulfillment, but the reality is that it is really your charge. Once you realize that, you have the power to get where you want to go. Stop blaming others or the world, and you’ll find your answers much sooner.
  9. Be open to change. Even if it doesn’t feel good, change is the one thing you can count on. A change will happen, so make contingency plans and emotionally shore yourself up for the experience.
  10. Bask in the simple pleasures. Those who love you, treasured memories, silly jokes, warm days, and starry nights—these are the ties that bind and the gifts that keep on giving.

Happiness is within your grasp, but sometimes just out of reach. Understanding what works best for you is the first step in finding more of it.

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Addiction Will Affect Your Relationship

EDITORS NOTE:

CITB focuses on chronic illness. I have personally experienced and live with the chronic illness of substance abuse. This is a guest post by Caleb Anderson of RecoveryHope.org. RecoveryHope.org was started by Caleb and Molly Anderson after Caleb received treatment for opiate addiction. Molly has made it her mission to learn how to help Caleb fight his battles and support him in his recovery. Together they now help others by providing research and resources about the many challenges of overcoming drug and alcohol addictions.

We thank Caleb and Molly for their contribution to  CITB. We know you will enjoy their insights. Please visit their website RecoveryHope.org for more information on substance  abuse and recovery.


There are plenty of ways relationships can become strained. It’s possible to have a strong, healthy relationship, but it’s not easy. It takes work.

When you add an addiction to the relationship, things get much harder. Substance abuse can challenge even the strongest relationship, and many couples break up over it. Thankfully, there are actions you can take to both help your partner and save your relationship. But before you can help, you need to know whether your partner has a problem.

Substance Abuse Leads To Unhealthy Relationships

How do you know if your partner is struggling with addiction? Medical News Today lists a number of signs and symptoms of addiction to watch for, including: bouts of moodiness, bad temper, poor focus, a feeling of being depressed and empty, frustration, anger, bitterness, obsession, denial, etc.

The Mayo Clinic has an exhaustive list of signs related to specific addictions, including marijuana, opiates, and cocaine.

Having a relationship with an addict can lead to pain and stress. It can also lead to heartbreak because addiction can lead to infidelity. Swift River explains this is due to several factors, including a higher chance of risky behavior such as sex with others. Some even use sex as payment for whatever they need.

How You Might Be Enabling

Whether it’s secrecy, anger, or infidelity, the addict is responsible for their own behavior. However, there are ways you might be enabling your partner’s addiction. Enabling is when you help your partner to continue abusing substances even if you don’t realize it. Here are a few ways you might be contributing to the addiction:

  • Ignoring evidence that they have a substance abuse problem.
  • Helping them avoid the consequences of addiction.
  • Buying or using the same drugs and alcohol along with them.
  • Failing to hold them responsible when you’ve set boundaries or rules that are not met.

Even if you mean well, you can enable addiction because your partner has no reason to change. Addicts often need to get treatment or hit “rock bottom” before they realize how bad things have become due to their addiction. Protecting your partner makes it harder for them to get help.

Helping Your Loved One

Then how can you help your partner get better? Many people think about staging an intervention, but as Psychology Today notes, these should be last-ditch efforts as there’s no evidence they help an addict in the long-run. Instead, you need to politely and gently convince your partner to go to a doctor or therapist. Focus on how it’s hurting the relationship and ask, not tell, if they would consider getting help.

Once they have entered addiction recovery treatment, you need to be loving and accepting of your partner. Work with your loved one to find healthy habits and activities. This can mean social activities with friends who don’t use as well as healthy ones like yoga, exercising, or just taking a nice walk. Not only will this help your partner get better, but it can heal the relationship as well.

Don’t Let Addiction Ruin Your Relationship

The worst thing you can do when facing your partner’s addiction is to ignore it. This actually enables substance abuse. Instead, understand how addiction impacts your relationship. Then you can focus on getting your loved one the help they need to get sober. By helping your partner, you are also helping your relationship.

 

Please visit RecoveryHope.org for more information on substance  abuse and recovery

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Everything in Your Life, Is Your Life!

I’m sick, very sick. Sick enough that after twenty years my team of doctors still have little idea what’s wrong with me. I am unable to work and unable to properly function at home. This is a challenging scenario for me. But, there are benefits here. There’s purpose in experiencing life in these ways. I am convinced of this because of a learned awareness of spirituality.

I grew up seeing spirits, astral traveling, feeling other people’s emotions, and hearing their thoughts. These experiences were so normal for me that I had to be taught how to “properly” interact with others. I learned that very few people could do the things I could, and that there were things I shouldn’t say to others. I had to curb my comments, very often just sharing knowing smiles.

These days it seems fewer people take responsibility for their life.
It seems less and less people master their emotions.

They don’t run their lives, they allow life to run them. Their problems are blamed on everyone and everything. Most never take responsibility for their own life. More importantly, they never take responsibility for how they feel.

Does life happen to you, or does life happen for you?

Think very carefully before you answer. The answer you give will shape your life.

Do you believe everything happens for a reason? I believe that life is hard. That we all are going to go through things that are hard and challenging. But, what if every painful experience in your life was actually sent to benefit you?

  • To make you stronger.
  • To make you wiser.
  • To make you better.

What if the challenge you are facing was sent to make you grow? What if the difficult person was actually sent to teach you things?

Things like:

  • Compassion
  • Patience
  • A reminder of how not to treat people

What if the loss you experienced was sent to make you appreciate the way we feel.

Everything in your life is your life!

Every human being decides how they are going to live their life.

It’s not the events of our lives that shape us, but our beliefs as to what those events mean.

We all decide what meaning we give to each and every moment in our lives. We do not decide what shows, but we do decide how we show it. We do not decide the circumstances that arrive each day, but, we absolutely decide how we are going to react to each circumstance.

There is no such thing as actual reality, there’s only our perception of reality.

Think about any event in your own life.

Your version of it, is only your opinion of it and will be completely different to many other people.

Two people could attend the same event, see the same things, speak to the same people, and leave with absolutely opposite thoughts about that event. How could this be it was the same event? That is because it’s an interpretation. The meaning both people gave the event is different. That meaning is based on the life of conditioning and personal experiences. A life of absorbing other’s opinions and therefore making our own.

The point is:

  • We decide that meaning.
  • We decide our perspective.
  • We decide our reality.
  • We decide OUR TRUTH!

The experiences I’ve had, force the point for me. I don’t ‘believe’ there’s more out there. I KNOW! I’ve had contact with various attuned and enlightened people who guided me through things.

They explained the subtle realms:

  • How energy in life flows
  • Why we are here on earth
  • The various and multiple layers of existence
  • The true nature of the soul and how we are connected
  • That there is no one formal religion that is right for everyone.

I’ve seen and experienced things that many people so readily disregard. People say ‘spirits aren’t real’ because they can’t know anything else. But, I know they are there, not just because I’ve seen them. I know they are there because the universe gave me teachers. Mentors that have been there with me. Coaching me through life’s interactions.

The universe guided me by:

  • Explaining that I should try things and see what happens
  • In learning to protect myself
  • To help them when they needed it
  • Most importantly, teaching me how to identify who they are and what they want.

There’s a great degree of science behind spirituality. Much more than you could think possible. That science, the understanding of connections and interactions between things, being able to control and shape them means I don’t have a choice. I don’t ‘believe’ anymore, I know!

Bob Marley said…

“Some people dance in the rain,
others just get wet.”

This is true for everything in life. Some people hate life. Some people just get by. But, some people live life to the fullest. Those people appreciate the little things, which in turn, make a huge difference in their lives. Don’t worry about what other people do!

What do you do?

  • Do you appreciate all the good in your life?
  • Do you look for the good every day?
  • Do you wake up expecting great things?
  • Do you believe every tough moment in your life is it to make you stronger and in some way improve your life?

Every meaning, you give to everything in your life, makes your life!

I know that my sickness is a part of my spiritual journey. It serves a purpose by improving me and those who interact with me. Every life and death, no matter how beautiful or tragic is a wonderful experience for the soul.

Don’t feel sorry for yourself or try to blame others for your misfortune. This is your doing and it’s an amazing thing that you’ve chosen for yourself.

There is no fault!

You need this experience in your life to evolve mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You’ve got people around you who also chose to be there and experience a different reality to the situation with you. They’re also benefiting from you, learning and evolving as a result of your situation.

Choose empowering meanings, because the better your meanings, the better your life. The stronger your meanings, the stronger your life.

Between stimulus and response,
there is a space where we choose our response.

In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
It’s our decisions, not our conditions,
that control life and fulfill destiny.

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8 Moves to Make When You Want to Give Up

Taking the easy road is nice for a while, but for talented, motivated people it isn’t enough. To find satisfaction you’ll need to set ambitious goals, solve challenging problems, and develop strengths you may not know you have.

Although the hard road is more fulfilling, it isn’t all champagne and victory laps. There will be times when you feel beaten and depressed — times when quitting looks like the best option. There is no formula for dealing with hard times, but these 8 steps will help you understand your predicament and determine the best course of action.

1. Take A  Break

One reason we get down on ourselves is fatigue. When you’re tired everything is harder. You’ll also get bored. Fatigue and boredom combine to cause burnout — one of the biggest reasons people quit. When faced with burnout, the best thing to do is take a break. Cut yourself off completely. Do absolutely nothing for a day or two. What’s the worst that could happen? By allowing yourself to recover you’ll be more productive in the long run.

2. Step Back

Sometimes we get so absorbed in our own sphere that we develop a distorted picture of reality. When you feel like giving up, there’s a good chance that things aren’t nearly as bad as they seem, and there’s a simple solution that you’re overlooking. When things seem bleak, distance yourself from the situation to gain an accurate perspective. What would someone without any emotional involvement do? Asking this question will help you make optimal decisions.

3. Do Your Research

The only constant in the universe is change, but when you’re plugging away with your head down it’s easy not to notice. People often make decisions based on outdated assumptions made months, or even years earlier. To develop a course of action, you’ll need to know where you stand. Stop to evaluate your position.

  • What do you have?
  • What do you want?
  • What opportunities still exist?
  • What new opportunities have arisen?

By taking stock of the current situation, you’ll discover if your urge to quit is a passing whim or the correct decision.

4. Consult an Expert

When your knowledge base is insufficient you should seek an expert opinion. This doesn’t mean you have to make contact with a world class expert, anyone who knows more than you will be able to help. Think of friends, family, and business associates. Have any of them been in your position before? The web can also be a great resource, just be careful who you trust. Check out relevant forums or email a reputable blogger. I’m consistently impressed with the effort people expend to help total strangers.

5. Re-evaluate Your Strategy

Once you’re well informed, apply that knowledge to revamping your strategy. If you feel like giving up, you might be doing something wrong. This is the time to pour over your efforts and determine what works.

  • What actions have lead to the greatest benefit?
  • What mistakes have been made?
  • What can be improved?

By answering these questions you’ll fine tune your strategy. The urge to give up is a blessing when it leads to analysis and constructive adjustments.

6. Change Course

Knowing what’s wrong and how you can fix it is a relief. Unlike an invisible monster hovering over you, an exposed problem can be directly assaulted. Once you’ve determined a change needs to be made, implement it full force. Don’t hesitate or dwell on past mistakes. Trust your own judgment and deal with new issues as they arise.

7. Push Through the Dip

In some cases you might feel like giving up even though you’re doing all the right things. This is called “the dip” — the plateau that separates the average from the best in the world. Knowing what to do when you hit the dip is so important. In you’ve hit the dip and you can honestly say that going forward is the best decision, lower your shoulder and plow ahead until you reach the other side. It might not be pleasant but the rewards are tremendous. If you make it.

8. Quit

We don’t have thoughts and emotions for nothing. Sometimes quitting is the best decision. Maybe you didn’t know what you were getting into. Maybe your priorities have changed. Maybe you’d be better doing something else. If you know deep down that quitting is the right move, do it. Don’t hesitate because of previously invested effort. That’s a sunk cost. If you ignore your better judgment and continue you’ll waste more time and energy.

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Clarity Is What Matters Most

Enlightenment and awakening have been described in many ways, as have the various paths to them. Ultimately, though, it all boils down to one word: clarity. There is a Truth with a capital T, and the essence of this journey is to see this Truth more and more clearly. Clarity is where it is at!

This clarity, however, has nothing to do with your intellectual understanding. We use terms like understanding, realization, even knowing to describe aspects of awakening, but far too many people think that these words mean something to do with the mind and thought. No. That’s not it.

Clarity is about seeing the Truth, apprehending it in a way that is beyond the mind, an experience that is almost visceral. It is a lived thing. The clouds part, the sun shines, and you live the sunshine, see the sunshine, experience it, are it.

Your only purpose is to get clear. Focus on clarity, and so much of this journey begins to come clearer and clearer. Clarity leads to greater clarity. And so it goes.

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