Do Yourself A Favor: 7 Ways To Cultivate Your Own Happiness

by Ashley Trahan

I'm not going to lie. I’ve been working on this article for a while now, and it's been harder than I anticipated.

I am a fairly happy person, and if you aren’t happy in life, what are you? Just coasting along?

I found myself trying to write this article for weeks, yet I believe I finally have a good flow going on. The funny thing about this is I haven’t actually been having a good day.

I was pretty upset this morning, and I'm just now realizing how important it is to just be happy. No person's words or actions can have any affect on you unless you let them.

Without the depths of the lows, it is difficult to truly appreciate the good things in life. One thing I had to learn the hard way was only you can make yourself happy.

I understand some believe other people or things are the source of their happiness, but what happens when those things are stripped from you unexpectedly?

Personally, I think you — and only you — can make yourself happy. When you realize everything that was your happiness is no longer, what do you do?

1. Choose to be around the right people.

What good are friends if they are always putting you down? Can they even be considered friends if they aren’t there for you when you truly need them?

This is the time in your life (early 20s) when you really find out who your true friends are. If you are one of the few who actually stay friends with more than half of your high school friends, I have to give you props. Most of the people I know have lost touch simply because they’ve gone their separate ways.

If you have a life-long friend, the only advice I can give you is to hold on to him or her, and never let the person go.

2. Focus on what you have, not what you don’t.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Why stay down in the dumps because you can’t have the latest and greatest iPhone?

Cherish what you have. Some people don’t have this luxury.

3. Smile more often.

Smile more often than you should. Smiling could make you happier in the long run.

Don’t believe me? Check it out here.

4. Choose honesty.

Ever find yourself telling someone a lie? If it’s a little white lie, then what’s the big deal, right?

I’ll tell you. The problem with lying is you eventually have to cover up your lies with even more lies. You know where I’m going with this one.

In time, you end up with this huge, messy web of lies. Do you want that sitting on your chest day after day? I can barely remember stories I’ve told that are true, let alone the lies I’ve told.

So, do yourself a favor, and just don’t lie.

5. Let go of negative things and/or people.

This is yet another lesson I’ve had to learn the hard way. I’m sure people have found themselves staying friends with people who don’t make them feel the best about themselves.

No one — I repeat, no one — should have to deal with this. If your friends aren’t all about trying to help you and make you feel better about yourself, then why are you keeping them around? There’s no need, so just let them go.

6. Live your life for you, not anyone else.

I believe this is the most important of them all. You have to realize this is no one's life but your own. Why would you be living the way other people want you to live?

They aren’t the ones who have to deal with your struggles day in and day out. You decide how you want to live, and you decide the struggles you’re going to face.

Don’t let anyone dictate your life, especially people who don’t matter.

7. Finally, just be happy.

I know you’re thinking, "How?" Just do it. Think happy thoughts. Stop focusing on the negative. Stop focusing on the future.

Live in the now. Trust me; you’ll be happier for it.