3 Steps to a Happy Life
Finding personal happiness is as easy as 1,2,3. Ok maybe it’s not that easy, but it is achievable if you follow this simple three stage approach:
Stage 1: know thyself
Stage 2: embrace thyself
Stage 3: love thyself
Self-discovery is the path to happiness, although it’s not a quick fix. The process takes time and effort. It requires introspection and brutal honesty, but the result is genuine, lasting happiness.
Here’s how it works: self-awareness leads to self-acceptance which ultimately leads to self-love.
One builds upon the other, so progress must be made in that order. We cannot love that which we do not know or understand. Only through this process can we find the motivation for self-improvement, because only then will we regard ourselves as someone worthy of improving. True happiness comes from within, and it can only be achieved if we learn to love ourselves.
The first step toward happiness is self-awareness. In order to control how we feel, first we must be able to identify what we feel, then learn to understand why we feel it. If my goal is to find a sense of satisfaction with my life, I must first discover why I feel unsatisfied.
Understanding what is preventing our happiness is the key to removing that obstacle from our lives.
Then, we must find a way to translate that obstacle into words, to make sense of how we are feeling and articulate why. Being self-aware means not only recognizing who we are, but why we are who we are. It is acknowledging our weaknesses while understanding how to use our strengths to become the person we want to be. This step requires insight, honesty, and courage.
Self-acceptance might be the hardest stage of this process. In a culture that constantly demands perfection, it is easy to get caught up comparing ourselves to that model of perfection, convincing ourselves that we are never good enough. Questions like “what’s wrong with me?” or “why am I different?” are toxic, often leading to feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness, and self-doubt. Insecurity can damage our ego and destroy our psyche. Self-acceptance is the opposite of self-consciousness. Self-acceptance is feeling comfortable in our own skin. It’s embracing our authentic selves, flaws, shortcomings and all.
The biggest challenge is rejecting society’s expectations of who we should be, and focusing on our own standard for success. Once we overcome this hurdle, we can commit to becoming the best version of ourselves that we can be. And we can begin to feel genuinely happy.
Self-love means investing in our own well-being and happiness, and it starts by believing that we are valuable and worthy of happiness. Having a positive regard for ourselves changes us from the inside. Fear and doubt are replaced by confidence and positivity.
Every decision we make is purposeful, and self-improvement becomes our focus. Self-love is not a narcissistic trait. Rather than endorsing our own superiority, it assumes that everyone deserves the same amount of respect and love. In advocating for our own well-being, we end up making healthy decisions.
You’ve heard the phrase “your body is a temple”.
People who value their physical health take care of their bodies by eating clean, exercising regularly, and sleeping well. Similarly, people who value their mental health enhance their education, discipline their minds, find healthy outlets for stress, and commit to learning new things. Those who value their emotional health nurture positive relationships, set emotional boundaries, end toxic romances, and go to therapy.
Self-love empowers us to make self-care a priority, to invest in our own happiness, and to work towards our personal goals and dreams. And when you’re doing the things that matter to you, the things that make you happy, it doesn’t even feel like work.
The journey of self-discovery is long, often lifelong, but what people find is that happiness is often not the destination, rather it is found along the way.
At iExhale, our mission is to help people identify and remove the obstacles in their life that stand in the way of their happiness. By integrating the only HIPPA compliant on-demand therapy platform with state of the art mood tracking and the first ever completely anonymous social community, we have created a mental wellness platform that offers a step by step guide to happiness.