Investing in Happiness
Here’s a generally true statement: Happy people like themselves…they may even love themselves.
These people are not happy because of circumstances – they just won the lottery. They are not happy because they possess something – a fancy car. Fundamentally, they are happy because they like themselves and they do the things to demonstrate that.
What are those things they do that show that they matter to themselves? Specifically, they demonstrate 3 things:
Notice the word “self” repeated in the list above. Happy people don’t look to others to make them whole or meet all of their needs. They remove themselves from toxic situations where they may be taken advantage of – self-respect. They take care of their bodies and minds – self-care. They make time for themselves by taking time off and relaxing when they need to – self-love.
For example, instead of reaching for the bag of potato chips as a late night snack, they may reach for a healthy alternative. That act is an example of all 3 ingredients listed above. It’s self-respect because they are disciplined enough to know that that choice is not a good one for themselves, and they respect themselves enough not to make it. That choice also represents self-care for obvious reasons. Potato chips aren’t the healthiest things they could put in their mouths. And finally, it’s an act of self-love. Would you opt to have your child eat potato chips or an apple? Out of love, you’d opt for the apple. In the same way, taking care of ourselves in almost a parental way is an expression of self-love.
So, what if we aren’t as happy as we’d like to be now? For some people (who are not clinically depressed or have other serious behavioral or mental health issues), we can start to do things that happy people do…and often, that can make us happy. In other words, by showing self-respect, self-care, and self-love, we can actually become happier.
Going back to a previous point, happy people aren’t comparing themselves to others. In fact, happy people aren’t even telling other people how happy they are. They simple do. And specifically what they do is invest in themselves through self-respect, self-care, and self-love.
Happiness starts within and it starts with prioritizing our own basic needs. None of this is to suggest we ignore others in our lives. Not at all. Human connections are important and part of taking care of ourselves. However, we often demonstrate our unhappiness with ourselves by not taking care of ourselves. Often, we can reverse the sentiment and become happier by doing the things that show self-love.