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The secret of happiness

Simple steps on how to be a HAPPY and FUNCTIONAL human being

“One should have one thing: either a soul which is by its very nature happy or a soul which is made happy by work, love, art and knowledge”

Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844 – 1900, German philosopher

The modern way of life, with its intense rhythms and its increased demands, causes stress

According to World Health Organisation statistics for the year 2015, on our planet, the total number of people experiencing anxiety disorders was 264 million – a significant increase of 14.9% compared to 2005. This is attributable  to both population growth and longer life span. However, we can get rid of or reduce stress and be happy and functional people. The fundamental pillar of this positive state is love for ourselves as well as self-esteem and confidence-building. We must also be able to satisfy our basic needs, such as that of survival, of security, of social acceptance and that of self-actualization. Additionally, our psychology and, by extension, our thoughts, must be mainly positive.

An important chapter is our relationship with other people, whether they are members of our family or our colleagues

This relationship needs to be properly cared for in the principles of proper communication, mutual appreciation and mutual understanding. A successful relationship with other people offers us many benefits and great pleasure. Correct communication means not putting others over ourselves, which will make us feel inferior. On the other hand, the opposite should not be the case. To feel superior to others, to defend our own rights by sacrificing the rights of others. The correct ideal communication is based on equality.

Loving ourselves naturally requires self-care

There are many things we can do to take care of ourselves, starting with a proper and balanced diet as well as adequate sleep. Maintaining our health plays a catalytic role. This means, in addition to proper nutrition, good sleep and physical exercise, which contributes greatly to our well being, at the same time, simple things, such as getting dressed in our favorite colors, wearing our favorite fragrance or our favorite cologne give us a nice and pleasant feeling and elevate our mood. Proper use of make-up and accessories in women highlight the style of dressing and enhance the self-image. We need to know ourselves – self-awareness helps us to develop and self-improve. For example, we have to pay attention to our biological rhythms. So, let’s find out when we are more creative and efficient. If we are early in the morning, let’s get up early and start work. On the other hand, if we are more efficient in the evening, especially for work that needs concentration and writing, then let’s use the hours of the morning differently. Respect for our body means that it is our duty to hear the body when it tells us, for example, that we have to rest.

We strive for self-improvement and growth, not only on a personal, but also, on a professional level – we set achievable goals

It is good to write these goals down, so there is clarity about what we are aiming for exactly. We break down these targets to smaller ones. Achieving these goals means, among other things, that we have to adopt a program of proper time management. In order to have the maximum benefit from the right exploitation of our time, we also have to put order in our physical place whatever it might be. We monitor the progress we are making towards the achievement of our goals. Sometimes the conditions of life are such that they require both flexibility and a review of our goals. We move forward with optimism, without getting disappointed and without giving up.

We must not be perfectionists

It does not matter, if we make mistakes. We can learn a lot from our mistakes. It is unfair for us to expect to be perfect, simply because such a situation does not exist. On the contrary, what we need to strive for is our continued evolution both on a personal and professional level. Ascertaining our development and progress will really satisfy us. We must stop criticizing ourselves. If we say to ourselves that we are OK, no matter what happens, then we can easily make changes in our lives. However, if we consider ourselves bad, then we shall find things very difficult. Furthermore, we will be continually filled with negative energy. We will be unhappy.It is a prime need to develop our self-esteem as well as to cultivate our belief in our worth. We must stop frightening ourselves. Many of us torture ourselves with terrifying thoughts and make our lives a nightmare. We start, for example, with a small problem and turn it into a huge one. It is terrible to live in this way, always waiting for the worst things to happen in our life. With ourselves, we must be tender, affectionate and patient. Patience is a very important tool of life. Most of us suffer from the expectation of immediate satisfaction. We have no patience to wait. We must learn to treat our mind with kindness. We must not hate ourselves when we experience negative thoughts. We must face our thoughts with sympathy, with the conviction that our thoughts strengthen us rather than exhaust us.

An important chapter is our finances

We can only put our finances in order by making an initial planning of revenues and expenses at the beginning of the year. This programming must be based on our real needs and must always make some provision in case something unexpected happens. In this way, we can stand firmly on our feet and we will not worry about late payments, for example. In conclusion, we do not live above our financial capabilities because, if we do, it is as if we have mined the ground on which we move. Undoubtedly, such a situation will cause us a lot of anxiety.

Joy is health

Clinical research supports that wealth is not equated with joy. Let us try to enjoy life, small and simple things. Nature, a sunset. A coffee with beloved friends. It is up to us to change our way of thinking.

Written by Gabriella Philippou, Psychotherapist-Counsellor, Focusing Experiential Therapist, Trainer, Coach

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