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Don't Worry, Be Happy

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Let’s face it, there’s always something to worry about: are you going to get that bonus? Is the economy going to sustain itself, are transport fares on the rise again? But most things are just not worth dwelling on, simply because they are beyond your control. Brooding actually interferes with your ability to solve problems.

Here are ways to take your mind off things:

Find another focus
When something awful happens, e.g. you’ve just had an argument with a colleague, take a step back from the situation and distract yourself. Go to the movies, or do something that absorbs all your attention, like Sudoku or a crossword puzzle. When things have defused, you can return to the challenging situation with a more productive mindset.

Happiness is a choice
Don’t allow discontentment to destroy your joy. Instead of comparing yourself to the best-looking, most successful, most outgoing person in your circle of friends or the liveliest person in the office, choose to focus on yourself and forget about others around you. There will always be someone younger, richer, and smarter and better looking. It’s a game you’re guaranteed to lose. So don’t play it.

List your best qualities
Are you kind, gentle, generous and friendly? Ask a close friend to give their good impressions of you too. Reminding yourself of your good qualities will boost your self-esteem, which is one of the key pillars of happiness.

Learn to release your anger
Why get mad at the inconsiderate motorist you encountered in the morning and still feel sore about it at lunchtime? He’s not going to suffer, you are. Anger is a destructive toxin.

Let go of the past
Resolve not to talk about mistakes or misfortunes among your friends that give you any kind of excuse to be hard on yourself. If you catch yourself breaking this rule, change the subject immediately. Work towards a fresh start now. Stop portraying yourself as “poor, unlucky you” – life takes on a rosy glow when you have a positive attitude.

If your goal is long-term happiness, healing old emotional wounds is what you need. And that starts with being generous enough to own your mistakes and forgive those who have committed mistakes against you. If there are friends or members of your family whom you harbour anger and resentment towards, it is necessary to make peace and move towards self-healing. If you’re not comfortable with talking to them, a letter or email will also do nicely. Sometimes simply saying, “I forgive you” or “I’m sorry” heals.

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