How You Change When Happiness Comes From Within
By: Mason Komay
Updated January 11, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Karen Devlin, LPC
Not all happiness is created equal. There is happiness that comes from the things that happen to us and the type of happiness that we create all on our own. It is the happiness that we create for ourselves that gives us greater meaning and brings about the most change in our lives. But where exactly does this happiness come from and how does it change you? Let's take a deeper look.
Happiness Comes From Prioritizing Yourself
It's a common mistake to assume that when we put ourselves first, we become self-centered. When your happiness comes from within, it's easier to understand the difference between being selfish and self-love. You learn how important it is to take care of your body and your mind. You're able to recognize how the more you love yourself and follow your truth, the happier you become. Prioritizing yourself is a significant step in achieving happiness from within. Whether it's taking a long walk in nature, spending a few minutes reading your favorite book, or even an occasional pampering at the spa, if it makes you happy, it should be noted as a priority. Self-care is important in maintaining healthy relationships with yourself. In fact, as recently as 2015, millennials reported making more self-care improvements than any previous generation. You'll discover that spending some time with yourself is one of the easiest ways to meet your needs and identify your values.
When your happiness comes from within, you'll begin to notice a few changes about yourself. Some of these include, but are not limited to:
A boost in confidence is one of the most common benefits of inner happiness. This is mostly because you become surer of yourself and what you can control. You create a realistic understanding of your place in the world and begin to realize the role your perspective plays when it comes to the things that happen to you. You begin to understand that you can strive for what you want and that the possibility for you to succeed exists. But if you don't succeed, you also know that it's not a reflection of what you are capable of, but rather it's often a matter outside of your control.
With more confidence comes a higher recognition of your self-worth. When this happens, you learn how to love yourself, show up for yourself, and find the values that make you important. You see the relationship between happiness and how you view yourself. You also discover that just like food, water, shelter, and clothing, self-worth is something that you need in order to achieve the best version of yourself.
One of the best things you learn when you have inner happiness is that your self-worth no longer depends on what others say, think, or feel about you. Their opinions fall to the wayside as you build yourself up from the inside out. For instance, if your boss criticizes you at work, you no longer resort to thinking that you're stupid or incapable, rather you consider that maybe they were just having a bad day.
Inner happiness grants you more control over the challenges that you face, as well as how you choose to deal with them. For example, if you want to lose weight and get healthier, it's because you want to give that to yourself, not because someone told you that you should. Another instance might be attempting to reach the next stage of your career. When your happiness comes from within, you do this because you're ready and confident, not because you're worried about what others will think if you don't.
There will always be challenges in your life that happen because of factors you can't control. However, when you create your happiness, the most urgent problems are those you feel you should solve for your own well-being. True inner happiness will help you see the difference between the challenges that will better you and those that will not, giving you a greater sense of control over what deserves your time and attention.
Desire For Change
Another great side-effect of inner happiness is that you'll start noticing things you want to change in your life, and you'll develop a greater desire to do something about it. You'll begin to understand what things in your life no longer serve you and the steps to take in order to eliminate them. You'll choose to avoid those things which do not feel good, and you'll work toward chasing the things that reinforce your happiness.
When your happiness comes from within, you'll begin to feel less dependent on outside influences to make you happy. There is no obligation to make a lot of friends, find the perfect partner, or even have the perfect job. No matter how much money you acquire and spend, you won't be able to find true inner happiness from an object. Knowing that you don't need to depend on anyone or anything else to make you happy is true freedom.
Becoming More Positive
Achieving true inner happiness will naturally help you to become a more positive person. This is because happiness takes a certain perspective in order to discover. You see this perspective when you understand what you are capable of, how important you are, and just how great your life is. You see the good things that happen to you as unexpected blessings and build a sense of gratitude for them. You learn to appreciate the role of everything around you, even if it doesn't always bring you joy. You train your brain to recognize the good in the world, whether that means noticing more people holding the door open for one another or taking a few extra moments to read positive stories inthe news. You speak with more kindness, become more charitable to others, and go out of your way to share your happiness with them. A positive outlookmakes you a better person overall.
This is one of the most important changes that take place when you find happiness from within. When someone criticizes you, it can be easy to carry thatwith you for a while. For example, if someone were to tell you that you were terrible at art, you might take it personally and give up on it altogether. When you achieve inner happiness, you learn to ignore criticism like this and pursue what makes you happy.
Another important change you will see when happiness comes from within is the ability to accept yourself for who you are. You will love your strengths, admit your weaknesses, appreciate your flaws, and embrace your habits. The biggest benefit of self-acceptance is eliminating the urgency to change anything about yourself. You will only feel the need to change because it matters to you, not because you feel like something is wrong with you. Self-acceptance is the foundation of self-love, which is where your inner happiness thrives.
Does it feel like there are constantly days where you just aren't happy with yourself? If so, it might be time to seek professional help from a therapist. However, if you're not quite ready for counseling, there are several alternative options for you to consider.
- Learn to Let Go. Learning to let go of the past is a huge first step in the right direction. It's hard enough trying to focus on the present, let alone the future, if you're stuck on what's already happened. Although this is easier said than done, it can take a huge weight off your shoulders and help you rediscover your inner happiness.
- Focus on Your Features. If you spend too much time focusing on your flaws, it's easy to miss all of the amazing features that make you who you are. Focusing on these features will help you to reignite your inner happiness and focus on the positive rather than the negative.
- Explore New Hobbies. If you feel like you're in a slump, it might help you to get out and explore all sorts of different hobbies that you might enjoy. This can help you discover new and exciting passions that stimulate your mind and make you happy from within.
A growing body of research suggests that online therapy is a helpful method for providing counseling to those experiencing difficult emotions, such as unhappiness, that may be related to depression or other mental health disorders. For example, in a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, the effectiveness of online cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in treating individuals with depression was evaluated. After treatment, participants reported that their overall condition, along with their sleep quality, was significantly improved. Researchers concluded that online CBT is “highly effective” for those experiencing symptoms of depression. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps individuals understand and eliminate the negative, unhelpful thoughts that are often underlying feelings related to depression, so that they can begin to regulate their emotions and live happier lives.
As mentioned above, if you or someone you know is struggling with finding inner happiness, online therapy is a valuable tool. Online counseling through BetterHelp therapy is discreet, providing access to licensed professionals from the comfort and privacy of your own home (or wherever you have an internet connection). A licensed counselor can give you the techniques and confidence to properly address your emotions so you can move forward. Below you can read some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people who have been helped with similar issues.
"Emily is great. She is so sweet and supportive while getting to know me. She has played a major role in my recovery and pursuit to find happiness. It's getting better every day and I couldn't be more pleased with Emily's professionalism."
"I've worked with Jamie for a number of months and he's helped me with everything that life has thrown my way. Difficulty in work, my relationship, and other stresses that I've struggled to navigate by myself. He listens and he helps. I always feel validated and supported. He gives me tools and perspectives that have made a big difference in my overall happiness."
When happiness comes from within, you can become a better person overall. Your quality of life improves, your perspectives change on new challenges, and your well-being becomes your top priority. It is possible—all you need are the right tools. Reach out today.
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