While there is no "one size fits all" fix for happiness, these practices will definitely help.
So many people tell us that after high school you are going to have the best four years if your life in college. Well now you might be just starting, deep into those four years or even graduated yet you still feel lost and struggling to find happiness.
I know that was the case for myself as well as may other college students in today's day and age with the mounting social pressures and pressures to figure out what you want to do.
You see all of your "friends" on social media living what seems to be the perfect life and you are sitting there and wondering where you are going wrong. Actually you aren't going wrong anywhere, it is totally normal to feel the way you are feeling, especially with social media now.
Social media leaves us comparing our day to day lives with the highlight reels of other peoples' lives and when you do that day after day for hours on end, it puts you at a tough spot mentally.
I know for sure that I was at a horrible spot mentally and while social media was a large part of that, it wasn't the only thing and it actually wasn't the biggest thing I had to fix in order to find some more happiness in my day to day life.
I needed to stop living in the past or stressing about the future, rather just trusting the present and glancing at the past for lessons and using the future as guidance.
These are some of the things that helped me reconnect more with the present and start finding more happiness in my day to day.
One Thing to Think About Right Off the Bat
You're NOT the only one experiencing this.
Okay one MAJOR thing that we have to discuss before jumping into these techniques, you are not going to be happy 100% of the time, nor do you necessarily want to be.
The days that you are not as happy help you appreciate the better days even more, you experience a good amount of growth and realization on the down days as well.
These are not some techniques to never be unhappy again, because honestly that is damn near impossible to do, learn to ride the waves of ups and downs with a less downs and even better ups.
That is the most important thing, to have the tools that work for YOU to be able to better "surf" that waves of happiness and find a little clearer mindset throughout your day to day life as I have been able to.
Let's get to it now, time to learn how to surf:)
Finding What Works for You
What works for one person might not work for another, test and adjust.
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula here for finding some more happiness in your life, it is going to come down to what works for you and your goals.
This is almost better for your growth though because instead of me just telling you how to go about things you have to actually learn about and go test things in your own life to see if they work or not for you.
Whether that is testing different combinations of techniques, or testing one technique at a time, you are going to learn what actually works and why it works for you so that this is not just something you read but rather a skill you have learned.
Taking control of your mental state is one of the best skills you can learn to help set yourself apart from everyone else that is doing something similar to yourself. This is hugely important, especially for those of us coming out of college in the next few years and jumping into an industry.
Learning techniques to find some more happiness and take control of your mental state is going to be essential in your development in these next years of your life.
Now to the good stuff, a handful of techniques for you to test out!
Put That Phone Down
This seems easy as f**k but honestly, for me at least, it has been one of the hardest to actually put into practice.
You constantly feel like you are missing out on something or that you are going to miss an important text. I was constantly dying to look at my phone during the hours that I wasn't supposed to be on it.
Let's be honest, if you put your phone down for even an hour or two, you are not likely going to miss an important text message or call or even social media post. 99% of notifications on your phone are nowhere near urgent, yet we all treat them as the most urgent things in our lives.
We respond right away, constantly look at what other people are doing and are so focused on other people that a lot of us forget that we have our own lives to live.
Why are we going to spend hours a day obsessing over other people's lives or constantly reacting to whatever notifications pop up on our phone that second?
We aren't, we are going to start living for ourselves.
Spend the first hour of the day off of your phone and go on a walk, meditate, workout, do something other than respond and react to what everyone else is doing in their lives. Take control of your decisions and don't be reactive first thing in the morning.
This is a total game changer for your mindset and happiness as you actually start living your own life.
Also, try shutting that phone off an hour before you sleep. You will get a deeper and more restful sleep when you don't have those blue and white UV lights in your eyes right before bed and being off of your phone will help trigger more melatonin production to help you fall asleep.
GOOD sleep is hands down one of the most important factors to mindset and happiness. A great foundation to build off of is to change that sleep habits first when tackling your happiness and mind as your sleep is usually all kinds of messed up!
A Little Time Outside Won't Kill You
Unless you have a job that requires you to be outside all day, I would venture to guess that the amount of time you spend outside on a daily basis, especially during the week days, is very limited.
I know that if I didn't force myself to go outside and find some outdoor hobbies at certain times of the day, then I would definitely not be outside more than just walking to class and in and out of the gym.
The UV light that you get by just going outside for an hour or two a day (which is actually easier than it sounds) works wonders on your mood and mindset each day, especially when you get that essential UV light at the right times of the day.
The morning is a super important time for me to get outside and not only get UV exposure but also wake myself upon a little bit with a nice walk. This gets you moving and not on a screen right away in the morning which helps you take control of your day and feel accomplished early on in the day.
After that morning walk, or run, whatever floats your boat, you are going to feel like you are in control of your day as well as increase that happiness as you are living in the present starting out right away in the morning.
This habit has been the one to help with my happiness so much more than others, sometimes its some fresh air, natural UV light and some time off from responding to others and your phone that is all you need to start seeing a slight shift in your mood.
Person to Person Interaction is Essential
I actually never would have thought of this to be a problem that related to my happiness until I was reading a book, blanking on the name at the moment, that was talking about how we need person to person connections in order to really find happiness.
That was my problem and I believe many others our age struggle with it as well. Social media is acting like it can replace person to person interaction by giving you interactions through a screen, and while it can do that, is that what we really want?
Texting, messaging or Snapchatting cannot replace the genuine feeling of interacting to people in the "real world," even though we like to pretend that it does. You just can't develop the same relationships through a screen that you can when you are with a person face to face.
Yet, so many of us think that we can, leaving use a massive void that we can't even recognize the root cause for.
This is a case where'd technology is useful but should never be a replacement to the real thing because that would be a sacrifice to our happiness.
Keep a Gratitude Journal, Seems Basic But It's a Game Changer
You have probably heard this everywhere when you think about creating new habits from a new website that you might be stumbling across, like yourmmntm.com, to a more popular course called the Miracle Morning.
Hearing about it and actually putting it to use are two different things, I would venture to say that many of you have never actually put it to use and it shows.
I was the same way, thinking "that's too simple and there iOS no way it would be worth my time to do that." Yet I was very wrong on that one.
By taking a few minutes in the morning to write about what you are grateful for in your life, from relationships to opportunities to your health, then you are starting to teach your brain to look for the goo din things.
For myself and many others I know, a huge struggle has been around self talk and how we see our lives. I have ahed it where I have everything going for me and am working hard and then all of the sudden one thing sets off soigné negative in my brain and its a downhill spiral from there.
When you learn to master your internal dialogue, then you start to see the positive side of things and that leads to more opportunities but also more happiness in the long run.
Seeing everything in a negative lights takes a toll on you after a while and there is so much you are missing in life when your mind is not focused on the positive.
Take 5 Seconds Every Hour and Do This...
Piggy backing off my last technique of the gratitude journal, here is an even easier way to help you start controlling your inner dialogue with yourself.
Heck, so easy you don't even need a pen or paper like the journal.
Simply take 5 seconds every hour and wish two to three people happiness using some phrase along the lines of "I hope ____ is happy and healthy today."
This starts putting out positive energy into the universe and actually helps your happiness as well.
It is even more effective when you wish strangers you are passing by on the road or walking, happiness as well as people who you might not like that much or that you have previously held a grudge against.
When you start hoping for other's happiness, especially others who you might not like as much" you start to focus on the positive, yet again, and train your mind to constantly be thinking and wishing about the positive in your life as well as the lives of others.
This is another easy step that is easily overlooked but you will really miss out if you don't give this a try.
Become a Monk, Well Not Really But Kind Of
While there is so much more I could talk about, I want to leave you with just one last technique that has helped my happiness and aI would hope helps yours as well.
Yet again, this can be categorized as "I have heard this before but have never tried it," seems to be a trend here if I don't say so myself as this has been another one that has helped my mindset and happiness the most.
I kind of looked past meditation for the longest time, thinking that it wasn't for me because "I'm just a 20 year old, why would I need to meditate?"
Let me tell you why...
It seemed that no matter what I tried for my happiness aI was still missing that "one thing" and that one thing happened to be meditating. When you add this to your deck of cards for controlling your mindset and happiness, and find the right combination for yourself, you are essentially on track for massive mindset improvements.
The thing that I realized was that I was dwelling on the past too much and then I was super stressed about the future, essentially one or both of these things were in my mind on a consistent basis during the day.
If you are constantly regretting what you could have done or what you don't have, then you are going to be depressed and not focused on fixing the underlying issues in your life causing these mindsets.
Same goes for if you are constantly thinking about the future and how you don't really know what you want to do.
Well, guess what? Nobody really knows what they want to do for their whole life because that is almost impossible to predict in this ever changing world. rather figure out what you are passionate about during this time in your life and roll with that.
Both of these mindsets have one major problem associated with them, when you are wrapped up in this thinking then you never take control of what you can actually change and that is the present moment.
We have control of the present and neither the past nor the future matters when you live and act based off of your present moment.
And guess what helps you live more in the present and stress less? Meditation.
Yep, you don't need to be someone hippy dude or even an old woman to practice meditation, it is actually much more common than you think, people just don't talk about it.
Give it a try for 10-30 minutes a day, ideally twice a day (morning and before bed), and start to see some real changes.
I usually just look up meditations on YouTube as guided ones are a great place to start, plus they are free and we love free as college students :)
I really hope that you find some value in this post as it has helped my mindset and happiness so much, opening up many more opportunities for me this past year personally.
I look forward to hearing what you guys think below and let more know if you try any of these strategies out.
look forward to seeing you back tomorrow on yourmmntm.com for another blog!
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