The list pointers come from 'Marc And Angel', authors of "1000 little things happy, successful people do differently"
#1. Start spending time with the right people. – These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways. They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.
#2. Start facing your problems head on. – It isn’t your problems that define you, but how you react to them and recover from them. Problems will not disappear unless you take action. Do what you can, when you can, and acknowledge what you’ve done. It’s all about taking baby steps in the right direction, inch by inch. (You'll find out if this is relevant now if you feel like you're on a treadmill and sense the days running into each other because they seem so routinely repetitive. Carly)
#3. Start being honest with yourself about everything. – Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed. Be honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become. Be honest with every aspect of your life, always. Because you are the one person you can forever count on. Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are. Once you do, you’ll have a better understanding of where you are now and how you got here, and you’ll be better equipped to identify where you want to go and how to get there. Read The Road Less Travelled.
#4. Start making your own happiness a priority. – Your needs matter. If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself. Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you. And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.
(All spiritual philosophies understand the metaphor of 'The cup needs to be full in order to nourish those around it' and that an empty cup/body/vessel serves no-one! Carly)
#5. Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. – Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are. Be yourself. Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else. Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms. Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.
(In therapeutic terms, this aspect is more difficult to deal with primarily because we often have adaptation mechanisms for dealing with the duties we take on, but do a check-list to see what routines you are running and assess whether this is still viable. We all have roles we take on, roles we play, but we do grow out of or through these roles. Our adaptation to meeting our needs while we take on these jobs and roles, is really the key. Carly.)
#6. Start noticing and living in the present. – Right now is a miracle. Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you. Right now is life. So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future. Stop dwelling on what did or didn’t happen in the past. Learn to be in the ‘here and now’ and experience life as it’s happening. Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.
(The 'Gratitude' list exercise, done once a day for at least a week, is a great way of pulling your focus into the present. The past is a powerful drain on your presence of mind and your ability to focus on who you are now and what you want to do now. Carly)
#7. Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you. – Mistakes are okay; they’re the stepping stones of progress. If you’re not failing from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough and you’re not learning. Take risks, stumble, fall, and then get up and try again. Appreciate that you are pushing yourself, learning, growing and improving. Significant achievements are almost invariably realized at the end of a long road of failures. One of the ‘mistakes’ you fear might just be the link to your greatest achievement yet.
#8. Start being more polite to yourself. – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend? The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. You must love who you are or no one else will.
#9. Start enjoying the things you already have. – The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life – a level we see others operating at – your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc. Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you’ll likely have a new destination in mind. You’ll end up spending your whole life working toward something new without ever stopping to enjoy the things you have now. So take a quiet moment every morning when you first awake to appreciate where you are and what you already have.
#10. Start creating your own happiness. – If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you’re missing out. Smile because you can. Choose happiness. Be the change you want to see in the world. Be happy with who you are now, and let your positivity inspire your journey into tomorrow. Happiness is often found when and where you decide to seek it. If you look for happiness within the opportunities you have, you will eventually find it. But if you constantly look for something else, unfortunately, you’ll find that too. Read Stumbling on Happiness.
(I would rephrase this to; Start taking responsibility for creating your own happiness! Carly)
Those are ten pointers to begin with, some readers may find that if they are in a low spot, or transiting through a challenging phase, some of the listed points may feel unachievable or even patronising, but the key really is to give yourself time, give yourself mental space and allow yourself to at least consider the points mentioned. Nothing will happen overnight, but small changes are much more stable over a period of time. Start with one point, spend time thinking about it, make notes or maybe even just make notes about your thoughts of the listed point, even if they are negative comments that you are noting. Then, look at your notes in a different frame of mind, explore your thoughts, your feelings and ideas... giving yourself the time and space to do this will go a long way in investing in your own mental health and well being. Carly.