Happiness with oneself manifests differently in everyone’s life. We are all different which means that there is no one size fits all solution to make us happy with ourselves. This, therefore, requires you to dig deep within yourself to find that missing piece or pieces to fill you up with joy and happiness.
To be happy with yourself means doing things whose results sit well with your conscious or heart. You will be happy with yourself if you do things that are in the interest of serving your emotional, mental, social, physiological, and financial needs without causing harm to yourself or anyone.
Happiness may mean being able to get things done. Being able to align your heart with your mind. Being able to rely on yourself for financial, emotional, and physical needs. Being able to fill any void within you.
Happiness comes from within to remind you that you are human and enable you to embrace the imperfection that comes with human nature. Without further ado, here are ways you can cultivate inner happiness to be happy with yourself.
How to be happy with yourself
1) GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
Being overwhelmed by events or tasks can raise stress and tension in us that often make us wonder if happiness is a mythical state of being. We are always chasing for a solution to problems. Once we find it, something else in need of a solution pops up.
Then we wonder when we can ever be free from challenges. The truth is it’s all a state of mind. We get what we look for. Because we are used to a problem-solution world, we end up looking for the problems ourselves so we can have something to solve.
Take a break and pull back from your challenges. Let yourself believe that truly you will not die. It may be a ten minutes break, day, or even a month. This will put you back in control. You will be able to draw positive energy from within not negative energy from your challenges.
2) DEVELOP THE GLASS IS HALF FULL OUTLOOK
How you view situations in life has a big influence on how happy you feel about yourself. If you view life from a positive lens or the glass is a half-full optimistic outlook, you will always find a reason to feel good and happy with yourself.
The opposite is also true. If your mind is programmed to look for the negative in life something will always take away your peace or create inner turmoil.
The truth is things that will take away inner happiness will always be there as much as those that bring it. You only have a choice to choose where your attention goes. One way to do that is to practice gratitude.
Write down at least five things you are grateful for every day before bed. When you look within to find those five things, you set your mind to look for positive things in your day’s endeavor. This will in turn make you happy with yourself for the things you have that you couldn’t see.
3) Engage in activities that get you into the flow.
Flow means being fully engaged in an activity forgetting your worries, body, and other externalities. Activities that put you in the flow give you a break from other things that perhaps make you feel bad or worried.
Hobbies are one place to start. Go swimming, play the guitar, play a sport, or take singing classes. This will not only restore your mind to being present in the moment but increase your focus by minimizing mind wandering. You will be happy with yourself if you things with your maximum efforts.
Close yours. Imagine entering a room full of darkness, you get out your torch as small as a microphone, switch it on then it emits light that spreads to light up the entire room which is a thousand times bigger than it.
That’s the power a smile has. It is the torch to your soul or heart. It clears up the darkness or negative energy inside you. No matter how you feel or how much you are going through, a smile will light up your world. It will charge you with positive energy to believe that it is going to be okay and you will be happy with yourself.
Situations and things that make us unhappy with ourselves have a negative charge. Our attitude towards them either charges them more or takes away the charge or power from them.
When we smile, we take power away from them and for as long as we are in control, we can be happy. A smile cultivates a positive charge in us that makes us happy regardless of what we are going through. Smile when the going is tough, it will get easy. Smile when all is well, you will get happier.
Your mind has become a wreck of negative thoughts that lead you to a pattern of other negative thoughts which in turn lead you to habits that you are not proud of.
The negative thoughts stimulate negative emotions that make you feel bad about yourself or even spoil your good mood. Somehow your mind and body started operating on autopilot in that as soon as you wake up these thoughts start running in your mind giving you a negative lens to view life.
Daily meditation of at least 10 minutes after bed gives you the power to control your thoughts and selectively eliminate those you don’t need.
Sit in a comfortable position with a straight posture, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Effortlessly bring back attention to your breath when it’s taken away by thoughts.
Let the thoughts flow in and out of your mind. With time they will stop. It will not be easy at the start but with consistency, you will be able to decide how your day will be by meditating.
6) APPRECIATE YOURSELF
Comparison and external approval have led so many people into misery, self-hate, self sabotage, and other self-limiting attitudes. For you to feel happy with yourself, you need to be able to appreciate yourself.
Self-appreciation is often done based on how one is fairing compared to others. This is a toxic way to appreciate yourself. We all have a journey to walk on earth. We all face different hurdles to jump which slow us down.
If you were not able to run a 10km. Your friend can run it in 20minutes. If you tried it and managed to run it for 40minutes. Appreciate the fact that you can now run it even if it took you a duration two times longer than that of your friend.
Do not box the wall because you couldn’t beat your friend. Celebrate because you overcame the side of you that couldn’t run a 10km.
Simply put, the only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday. It shouldn’t matter how others are doing, for as long as you are noticing progress, however small it may be, celebrate it and keep a positive attitude. Very soon that small inch you move a very day will accumulate to great achievements.
Be able to give yourself the approval you want. Build inner profound self confidence that gives you assurance and self-belief in your abilities to the extent that you do not need anyone’s approval to feel good about what you do, how you look, or what you say.
7) LEAVE IN THE MOMENT
We are often told to choose a career we love so we can passionately do our work. But sometimes even that can turn out uncomfortable if we are not in the right state of mind.
Take, for instance, the trying moment of searching for your dream job, pursuing the partner you love, or mastering a skill. It takes a lot of patience and sacrifice. With all this, we can get overwhelmed and end up in worries that make us not feel unhappy with ourselves.
It is important to break away from your past experiences and your future goals and just focus on the now. The past and future can overwhelm you to the extent that you fail to do what you have to do now to impact your future.
If you focus on the now, you will not only be able to do what you have to do but also find ways to enjoy the moment however trying it may be. I went to junior school in Africa in Uganda where teachers are allowed to cane students as punishment. You could get as many as 20 for doing something wrong.
Anything could get you caned ranging from not speaking English, having a bad handwriting, failing to make the Pass Mark, etc. I and my friends reached a point where we got used to being caned to the extent that at the end of the school term we counted who got the most canes.
Then we would call that person a champion. It was us creating memorable and perhaps funny moments to look out for in a tough and punitive culture. Live in the now so you can impact your future positively and be happy with yourself.
You will never leave in the past or future. You will always be in the now. If you live in the present moment you will find joy in the things you thought unbearable.
7) SPEND TIME WITH PEOPLE YOU LOVE
We are all interconnected in ways we can not imagine. As much as it is important to be able to live with yourself, it is also important to spend time with people we love. Only by spending time with family and loved ones can we be able to cultivate and build strong relationships with people we can count on for support.
Life is much more meaningful with people who we can hang out with, put our differences like career, race, financial status, etc, aside and experience joy in its entirety.
Oftentimes, the people in our lives are a reflection of who we are. To feel good about ourselves we need to be the people we want in our lives. Once we do that, everything else falls in place.
8) GET OFF THE COUCH
When baby boomers look at millennials, they see humans that have limited themselves from having a true experience and appreciation of the beauty nature brings. They used their bodies to best serve them.
When they needed to hang out with a friend, they took a walk to the beach or park. They made friends with the old lady at the grocery store. Pizza nights made a lot of meaning since they had to go out to a restaurant.
Today everything is a click away. Technology has turned us into couch potatoes that hardly know the benefits of an evening walk, sunbathing, hanging out with friends offline, etc.
No wonder people are getting more depressed. You will be so happy with yourself if you regulate the time you spend online and indoors. You will gain so many benefits of being outdoors and doing things like the baby boomers used to. Relief, fresh air, smiles, vitamin from the sun, and many more are waiting for you outside your house to experience them so you can feel good about yourself.
9) PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE
As an extension of the above, I want to focus mainly on how your phone is doing more harm than good to you. Everyday phones are getting more addictive. People are losing touch with reality and getting lost in the delusions of life online.
Online friends are not real friends. Porn is not real sex. Social media pictures in most cases are not the reflection of reality. We spend so much time on the phone getting instant gratification instead of exploring the true essence of life.
Instead of chasing for the true experience of real sex, you opt for porn. Instead of cultivating natural and strong relationships, we spend time with people online who we hardly know of. Instead of doing productive work that benefits us, we keep active online.
At the end of the day, we wonder why we still feel empty and bad about ourselves. Regulate your phone usage and let yourself experience life in its full reality to be happy. Taking a social media detox is a good place to start.
One of the best feelings is finishing a workout. Completing a full hour of jogging or lifting weights can make you feel so happy with yourself. The benefits of exercising are much deeper than that. The shape of our bodies has a great influence on how we feel.
A combination of exercise and a good diet can give you a body whose reflection in the mirror makes you smile. Exercise stimulates the release of feel-good hormones like endorphins that stabilize your mood and make you feel happy with yourself. It is therefore good for your emotional and mental stability
I wouldn’t want you to compare yourself to others but the fact is if you exercise consistently for six months you will be in better shape than 75% of all people in the world. One other thing that makes people feel sluggish and jittery is the lack of energy in the body. If you often feel tired and unmotivated, exercise will give you the solution you need to feel good about yourself.
11) LEARN SOMETHING NEW
We can feel so vulnerable whenever we can’t do something on our own and need external help. It puts us in a powerless position to always be standing on a receiving end.
Learning is one thing we should not ever put to a stop. Keeping an open mind to learn either from others, books or our mistakes helps us become skilled, knowledgeable, and self-reliant.
Learning different skills like cooking, self-care, writing, basic computer knowledge, etc makes us more confident in ourselves. Learning also increases our value as individuals.
Continuous learning puts you so much ahead of many people who will in turn treat you with more respect and admiration. Learning also improves one’s self-esteem. Self-esteem refers to how good you feel about yourself. You will often feel good about yourself if you have most of the abilities and solutions within you to face your challenges.
12) HELP OTHERS
Have you ever helped someone and saw the joy reflecting on their face. Maybe a hungry child or a beggar on the street. They emit gratitude whose energy spreads to you. It is more a blessing to give than to receive.
To be the one giving someone, an animal, or nature something they need makes you a blessing deserving of more blessings. It even makes you feel good about yourself to know that you have been the answer to someone’s prayer.
Psychotherapists encourage their patients to participate in charity and voluntary work as part of their therapy. This accelerates their healing. People suffering from depression often confess feeling feelings of joy and self-worth after helping out or giving others.
This is because helping reminds them that they have something to contribute to society despite the feelings of low self-worth and emptiness they feel. Helping or giving does not necessarily have to be financial.
You can give a shoulder to someone crying. You can cheer up a sad child. You can help out at the orphanage. We all have something to give and our ability to do that makes us feel happy with ourselves.
Giving will sharpen your cognitive abilities but also stimulate relaxing hormones to make you feel good about yourself.
13) Finish the task.
We start a lot of things that we hope will change our lives but often times we fail to complete them. This does not only make us fail to accomplish our goals but also leave us feeling incompetent and unable to rely on ourselves.
Take, for instance, at the start of a new year many people write down new year resolutions and give up on them by march. Perhaps the one reason you are not feeling happy with yourself is your failure to finish what you start. You start a diet plan for a certain period only to break it before. You started an online course that you failed to commit to.
Pick out one major task that you can easily complete. Do it with all the best effort you can give until you finish it. After that take on another. In no time you will be confident in your abilities which in turn will make you feel happy with yourself for completing tasks and also achieving your goals.
All in all, the power to change how you feel about yourself comes from nowhere but inside you. Self-esteem means how you feel about yourself. If you are happy with yourself, your self-esteem is high. Doing things that make you happy and bring you inner peace will boost your self-esteem. Sometimes that means as easy as saying a positive affirmation to yourself. Other times it may mean committing to working for months to achieve the health goals that you desire. No matter the effort, it is always worth it. When you are happy with yourself everything outside of you will follow suit