If you are depressed, please seek professional help.
As we grow older, we experience many things that make us unhappy. Maybe you have become crankier and moodier as you age. You may be easily irritated and annoyed by people and current events. Or maybe things that used to make your heart happy do not have the same effect on you today. Well, you are not alone. If you want to be a happier thirty-something year old, you may have to intentionally pursue your happiness. Read on for some tips on how to be happier.
1. Identify your source/s of unhappiness.
What is causing you to be unhappy? Here are some possible and legitimate reasons:
- Work Stress
- Financial problems
- Unfulfilled goals
- Health issues
- A loss of a loved one
- Jealousy/ envy
- Hatred towards a person or people in general
2. Learn how to say a powerful “no”.
A fake yes is a great source of stress! Your time and energy precious resources. You cannot waste them on things that will only make you sad, uncomfortable or resentful. Also, when you say “yes” one time, it is an invitation for more “yeses” in the future. Therefore, you need to say no like you mean it. Stop being a people-pleaser.
Throw away or donate things that have no purpose in your life. Clean and empty spaces will make you happier. Make space in your house for relaxation and fun. A question you can ask yourself is “Does it spark joy?” (Marie Kondo). If it does not give you joy in your life, then it is time to let go.
4. Unfriend/ leave group/ restrict/ unfollow.
Toxic people can make you unhappy. People who do not genuinely love you will only make your life miserable. Curate your list of friends. Spend time with those you truly care about.
This also works for social media. Unfollow, unfriend or mute people in your newsfeed who make you feel miserable or uncomfortable.
I recently ended a very toxic friendship which lasted for two decades. It was painful at first, but it was definitely worth it! Not all friendships will last forever, and that is okay. When you let go of a toxic friend, you will have more space in your heart for a real one.
5. Keep a journal.
Journaling will help you sort out your thoughts. This kind of self-reflection is healthy for your soul.
I keep a one-sentence-a-day journal to record happy/ positive things about my day. It helps a lot, at least for me. I remember having a really horrible day and writing “I thank God I am still breathing” on that particular date. I also keep another journal to record all my angry/ sad feelings, rants, and complaints. Writing down any negative thoughts that I feel is healthier than complaining to my husband or overloading my friends with bad news.
6. Go outside.
Nobody wants to be stuck indoors the whole day. Take advantage of any chance you have to go outdoors. Breathe deeply. Relax. Enjoy the change of scenery.
7. Connect with people you genuinely care about.
Spend time with people you really love and care about. When you spend time with your best friends, you will feel happier. If you live far away from your friends, you can find like-minded people online through social media groups.
I really enjoy traveling with my husband and kids. Even if traveling with small kids is difficult, we try to go out every once in a while so that we can make more memories.
8. Find a creative outlet.
Think about what you enjoy doing for fun. Do not be afraid to do something that is not related to your degree, job, or experience. It is time to stop caring about what other people think.
9. Complete a nagging task.
Tasks that are not accomplished can really make you feel uneasy. What task have you been putting off lately? You will feel relieved and satisfied once you have completed those tasks.
10. Post whatever you want to post on social media.
Post that shameless selfie. Baby spam all you want. Show off whatever you want to show off. Post your opinions! Nobody ain’t got time to think about other people’s feelings. They know how to use the UNFOLLOW button. JUST DON’T POST MOVIE SPOILERS!
11. Set your priorities straight.
I got this idea from a good friend Dr. Melvin Sanicas. What are the 5 most important things in your life (in no particular order)? Focus on those things.
12. Find that quiet space/ time to be alone.
This is easier said than done. For me, that quiet time is during my kids’ naptime (there are days when I don’t get this time, tbh). I use this time to read/ pray/ reflect/ listen to God/ write/ do self-care, etc.
13. Make someone else happy.
Reaching out to another person, and making that person feel better will make you happy.
There was a time when I was overwhelmed with sadness. I literally cried out to God and asked Him to lift me out of this dark pit. Five minutes later, I received a message from a good old family friend! That person validated my feelings and gave me some words of encouragement.
My friend was also feeling down at that time but he chose to make someone else happy. I said that I am going to continue the cycle of kindness by reaching out to another person who is feeling down.
Maybe some of you can relate to this, but it’s my responsibility to be happy. Because of my current situation as a mom of two little boys, my mood inevitably affects everyone else’s. My husband wrote this message on his Mother’s Day card for me:
“You put the joy in this home. You are the emotional leader of our family- when you are happy, we feel it and are happy too!”
I want to stay happy not only for myself but also because of my family. I don’t want to be remembered as the sad and angry mom. I want to be the light of our home.
This blog post is part of the Main Life link up party!