Happiness can sometimes feel like a totally elusive thing that is hard to define, yet you know it when you experience it. You probably have that friend who always seems happy and things always seem to be going her way. She’s got the seemingly perfect boyfriend, the great job, the beautiful apartment. But if you feel like you could be much happier, there are some steps you can take and there are 10 reasons why you’re standing in your own way.
You haven’t decided what you want.
It can be tricky to feel truly happy if you’re uncertain about some things in your life. Do you care that you haven’t gone on a date in a few months, or are you okay staying solo until you meet the right person? Do you like your job or is it starting to feel monotonous? These are all important choices to make and the happiest girls are the ones that stand behind their decisions.
You haven’t accepted that there will always be uncertainty.
No one’s life is perfect and shiny all the time. Changing jobs means sending out applications and waiting for interviews, or waiting to even find stuff to apply to. Happiness isn’t about 100 percent certainty, it’s about learning that life is always changing and that’s okay. As long as you’re taking steps to go for what you want, you can be content.
You’re in relationship limbo.
Being in an unhappy or unstable twosome can be worse than being alone. It can drag you down because you know it should be so much better. If you know he’s not The One, know when to say goodbye.
You’re still living like a college student.
We all love girls nights out but we don’t love the weekend-long hangovers. Maybe you’re tired of spending every single Saturday hungover and want to start actually doing something during your time off. You will definitely feel pretty happy if you wake up early and head to a yoga class instead. But don’t completely rule out those evenings, either – happiness is all about a balance between health and fun.
You haven’t figured out a work/life balance.
This seems pretty elusive in our world of smartphones and checking email 24/7. But it’s hard to truly find contentment and peace in the moment when we’re supposed to be relaxing with a good book on a Sunday afternoon and instead we can’t stop checking our iPhone. Forgo the guilt and tell yourself that you deserve some time off. You work hard, after all.
You think about timelines.
Age is really just a number these days (check out Jane Fonda, who’s starring on a Netflix show at 77!). 25 or even 29 don’t mean what they used to. You may have expected to be married or at least coupled up by 30 but don’t beat yourself up if that’s not in the cards right now. You can never be happy if you think you’re a failure according to some idea of where you should be.
You have a pattern when it comes to dating.
Maybe you always take it slow but then go on 3 dates in the same week with a new guy. You might be tempted to slow it down because that’s what you’ve always done, but will that really make you happy? You like him, so maybe it’s time to break the pattern and do things differently. You never know what might happen.
You’re afraid of commitment.
And not just when it comes to relationships. You’re always telling your BFF that you want to go to yoga twice a week or join a gym, but you always find some excuse for why you can’t do it yet. Know that there will never be a perfect time to do anything and just do it.
You ask for advice without taking it. Or you follow advice when your heart’s not in it.
Sometimes all it takes to solve a problem is someone else’s perspective, and sometimes you do what someone says when deep down you know it’s not right for you. Know the difference between good and bad advice, but don’t be afraid to ask for help for the people in your life.
And finally, you expect to be happy all the time.
Nobody can do this. Things go wrong, from little mishaps like losing your keys to major tragedy. Accept the ups and downs of life. Happiness is a goal, not a lasting state. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed if you’re a funk one day. But that doesn’t mean you can’t aim for long-term happiness, either. Choose to be content 100 percent of the time and true happiness will follow.
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