I usually preach letting go of the need to control everything. I say it’s an illusion and living with it only causes suffering.
That’s because we can’t change what’s happened in the past, and can’t predict what the next moment will bring. And having regrets, being worried, making plans, having expectations, comparing and overthinking – all these are a result of us trying to control stuff that can’t be controlled.
Simply because it depends on many outer factors – people, events, coincidences, unexpected situations, or is a consequence of life’s natural flow, which we need to respect and try to go with.
What we can do, however, is embrace insecurity, accept whatever happens as the perfect thing for this exact moment, and make the best of it.
And I stand by my words.
But when it comes down to your own happiness, things are a little bit different.
The truth is you’re responsible for your level of satisfaction and joy in life, and no one else. You’re the only one to blame for the happiness in your life, or the lack of it.
And understanding that, admitting it and taking responsibility is the first step.
But what is happiness and why do we feel like it’s slipping away?
Happiness is an inner state, it’s a combination of how good we feel with our current lifestyle and the peace we have, it’s the ability to enjoy the present moment, being free of negative thoughts, appreciating what is and truly experiencing it.
A happy person is one with a positive attitude towards life, who’s alright with everything that happens, who counts his blessing and feels good about himself, but also has goals and a direction to follow.
Not many people have it, though.
It’s not a material possession, it’s a state, a feeling, a level of consciousness. But can be developed, found, created and can eventually become a habit.
You just need to take control of it.
3 Reasons Why You’ve Lost Control Over Your Happiness
1. You let other people take it away.
Just like it is with time and money, happiness too can be taken away when it’s not taken care of.
People will always ask for your attention, advice and help. They will want you to do things for them and make them feel better.
And you should. But often it can decrease your level of contentment by making you depressed, taking away your energy, making you angry, etc.
Some people are toxic and bring only bad emotions into our life. They burden us with their problems, complain about everything and seek help. But they can’t find it as they’re playing the role of a victim, and that’s how they find comfort. So it’s not your advice, attention or love they’re looking for, it’s your pity.
And not only do you become miserable yourself and feel bad about your achievements in life, but you also help them build an even stronger sense of being a victim and they keep doing it.
So stop letting others take your happiness. Take control of it. Nurture it just like you invest time, effort and compassion in a relationship with someone else.
2. You think you don’t deserve it.
That’s an awful approach to life. It means that you’re so insecure, discontent and with a low opinion of yourself, that you think you need to give something in order to receive happiness, or that you don’t deserve it because of what you’ve done in the past.
All that doesn’t matter.
Every human being is equal in having the right to be happy.
The past is gone, who you were yesterday doesn’t need to be who you are today.
And you can start being worthy of happiness right now if you open yourself to it, if you realize you’re good enough, appreciate who you are and decide to become the best version of yourself.
3. You seek it in outer sources.
It can’t be found in material stuff, other people’s affection, money, work or the unhealthy behavior we tend to indulge in like drinking, smoking, overeating, shopping, etc.
Things like these bring you instant gratification, but moments after that you feel empty again and crave more.
And you’re missing the most important thing – that happiness is already here.
If you find it without trying to do something in particular, to become someone or to achieve things first, you’ll be able to keep it no matter what life throws at you.
So if you feel like happiness is slipping away, it probably is. But it’s also possible that you’ve never actually felt it.
You’ve never left all thoughts, desires and regrets behind, you’ve never let go of judging, comparing and wishing, and thus you’ve never had the space and peace to welcome happiness in your life.
And now that you know all this, you also see how true it sounds.
Because somewhere deep inside you’ve always known that you weren’t doing the right thing, as you weren’t feeling the right kind of happiness.
Admit that fact.
Then take a deep breath and let it go.
Now your mind is free of doubt, negativism and fear. And you can let in the contentment that can only be found in the present moment.
And you don’t need to do anything else. Just feel it, and enjoy it. That’s what happiness looks like.
And now you’re in control.
So which of these do you struggle with? And what are you going to do about it?
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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