Rules To Live By For A Happier, Fuller Life
By: Rachel Lustbader
Updated February 07, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Lauren Fawley
Day to day, we go through our lives. We meet new people, make decisions, have arguments, and make mistakes. As people, we have aspirations and dreams. We also have good days and bad days, happy days and sad days.
Sometimes, life can be a struggle. Life decisions can be difficult. We chase our dreams and sometimes we put them on hold for many reasons. Half the time, we may not even know what we want. Other days, we just feel lost somewhere between trying to manage relationships, work, money and everything else that life throws at us. But it IS possible to lead a happier and fuller life by following these 6 rules to live by.
Rules to Live by
- Appreciate what you have and never compare yourself to others. People will always have something that you do not have. But guess what? You will always have things they do not have too. Value the things that make you uniquely you. The grass always seems greener on the other side, but the reality is that it often is not. Stop comparing yourself to others or wishing that your life was like theirs. Whether it is their job, their partner, their looks or something else, you will never be happy if you keep envying them. Instead, accept what you have and be content. Remember that there are others who possess less than you and yet, they are fulfilled. When we compare ourselves against someone else, we often see what we what to see, or we see an ideal version of a real person. The truth is, this tends to be true for most of the comparisons that we make between ourselves and other people. So, stop striving to be like anyone else, just focus on being the best you that you can be.
- Do not focus on negative situations. Unfortunate things happen which are often outside of our control. You can choose to stay focused on situations that you can't do anything about and feel upset or angry, or you can choose to move on. Learn from your mistakes, let go of the negative thoughts and move on. The only way to let go of the past and live in the present is to accept the past. There is no use in trying to dissect past problems and look for answers; you do not really need answers. The human brain seeks for understanding when something negative happens by asking questions. We want to make sense of why we are hurting, maybe to try to prevent future pain. But pain cannot be prevented, and sometimes the most healing thing to do is to accept your feelings about what happened
- Be open-minded. Acknowledge new ideas and experiences. By being willing to try new things without making snap judgments, you will enjoy things you never thought you would like, meet people from all walks of life, and most of all, learn more about the world than you ever could with a closed mind. When you try new things, it creates stimulation in the brain that contributes to positive levels of endorphins. You may also feel a sense of pride that you did something unexpected.
- Live the life you want to live and not the life that pleases others. Sometimes, we do things because our family wants us to or because it seems like that is what we should be doing. Be true to yourself and follow your dreams. You may not be living up to the standard definition of "success", but if you are doing what you want to do or working towards your goals, then, you're living a successful life in your own right.
- "What if I Fall? Oh, but my darling what if you fly?" - Erin Hanson. Take opportunities to leave your comfort zone. Often, we turn down bright options because the outcome is uncertain. Sure, things could go wrong, but it could also turn out to be the best choice you have ever made. If you stick to living in your comfort zone all the time, you will never experience anything new, and you will miss out on amazing opportunities for growth. To live a happier and fuller life, one must sometimes take risks. Many times, even positive changes can bring on some negative emotions like fear and uncertainty. If you give in to those feelings to the point where they stop you from "going for it", you may miss out on changing lives for the better. It is okay if not every risk you take ends of paying off, the risk-taking itself is a learning experience too.
- Love yourself no matter what. If you do not love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to do the same? Love yourself on good days, and be proud of your achievements. But love yourself even when you make mistakes or when things go wrong. Unconditional self-love gives you the strength and courage to try new things and go after your dreams because you know that no matter what the outcome, you will still love and accept yourself regardless. None of us is perfect. We all have things we want to change about ourselves and that is okay! The key is to accept yourself for everything you are while letting go of all the things you are not. In doing this, you will increase your overall level of happiness and even perhaps have an easier time making those changes that are within your control to change. Be proud of who you are and everything you have gone through to make you that way, warts and all.
It is a proven fact that engaging in positive self-talk (i.e. telling one's self - either aloud or mentally - about one's positive attributes and abilities), will actually put you in a better mood overall and boost your confidence levels. This practice allows you to see more clearly, and believe more easily, all the positive things that make up who you are. Simultaneously, you should avoid negative self-talk and doubt as much as you can. In fact, when you feel yourself begin to think negatively, stop the train of thought in its tracks and try some positive self-talk instead. You do not have to train your brain to stop thinking negatively about yourself, you just have to train your brain to let go of those thoughts. Turn down the volume of those thoughts, drown out the haters. Simply label them as unhelpful and turn your attention back to boost yourself up. Spending extra time in thoughts that tear yourself down is not a place to spend your energy.
If you need help to overcome the barriers that are stopping you from living a happy and full life, help is available. BetterHelp provides affordable counseling from licensed therapists, online from the comforts of your own home.