Are you waiting to be happy?

by | Aug 30, 2021 | Emotional Intelligence, Personal Development, Relationships (Self and Others)

Before the pandemic, I often saw people wasting months – even years of life – while waiting to complete studies, find the ‘right’ job, meet ‘Mr or Mrs Right’, get in-shape, have children, afford the perfect home and so on. I can admit that I have done this too. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I caught myself thinking, “I’ll be so happy when Mila finally comes.” Giving birth to my PhD saw me slip into wishing time away too and thinking that happiness lay on the other side. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that we will only be happy and satisfied when we reach a particular milestone. Usually, we just end up hitting another speed bump and the “perfect” conditions for happiness elude us.

In many ways, the pandemic has heightened this, and I hear people saying things like, “I will be so happy when my whole family is vaccinated” or “I’ll be so happy when I know my return to the office schedule.” We need to be careful. Waiting to be happy is a trap. This is your life, and you deserve to be happy every day. We need to find ways to embrace our current reality and choose happiness today! Here’s some Key Steps we can take to…

‘be the difference that makes the difference.’
 

  1. Watch your language. When we say, “I will be so happy when…” it implies that we are not happy now. We send messages to our subconscious that happiness only exists under certain conditions – often elusive conditions. The more you say it, the more you reinforce it. Weed the garden of your mind as diligently as you would a physical garden and take Key Steps to…
     
  2. Reframe your thinking. Will it give me great relief when my entire family is vaccinated? Of course! My husband and I go for our second shot on Friday, and we are counting the sleeps. Will this make me happy? Actually, no, because I am happy. Another example, if I had fallen into the trap of saying that I will be happy when Mila finally sleeps through, I’d still be waiting. Will I really enjoy a solid night sleep? A hundred times YES! Will it make me happy? Actually, no, because I am happy. It is key that we reframe our thinking and reprogramme ourselves while we…
     
  3. Remember that happiness is an inside job. Instead of expecting that happiness will come from the outside, choose to send it out from the inside. Choose to be happy and genuinely thankful about who you are, what you’re doing and what you have. Write a daily gratitude list and regularly scan your life looking for what you are happy and grateful for. Our research shows that the lens you choose to look at life with… colours your life. Colour it happy! But…
     
  4. Do not ignore feelings of sadness. This post is not intended to suggest that we should only feel one emotion… happiness. Not at all. Feelings of sadness and loss are very common at a time like this, and all emotions are valid and useful. It is important to acknowledge and manage our feelings. I’ve been feeling sad about the general state of the world this year. I don’t pretend I am not; that’s not what I am suggesting. We can feel sadness, sit with it and work through and still be happy with our life. And it is okay, if we are not okay and struggling to feel happy. These feelings contain very powerful messages so please really look at them and…
     
  5. Change what you can. If there are things that are causing you to feel unhappy or depressing your mood, do what you can to change them. This could be things like not enough me time, overworking, lack of sleep or quality time with your partner and so on. Tiny life tweaks can lead to big changes. Maybe set aside 15 minutes for yourself every day and protect them like it is the most important appointment of the day – because it is! If, like me, you are a working mom, this might just allow for a cup of tea or glass of wine while hubby entertains the kids. Maybe it is for reading a novel – this is my treat to myself every night and I really look forward to it. Maybe it is sticking to a regular exercise schedule (this is key for me to release my happiness hormones) or getting out of the house more. Get creative. And while you are, it is important to accept what you can’t change. I repeat my favourite mantra, “It is what it is. This too shall pass.” As I say this, mentally I picture letting it go while focusing on my breathing. And if it doesn’t pass…
     
  6. Get help if you need it. There is a big difference between having moments when you feel a bit ‘blue’ about current circumstances versus feeling deeply depressed and unable to pick yourself up. Depression is often characterised by sadness, irritability, withdrawal, worry, aches and pains, change in appetite and loss of interest in pleasurable activities. Don’t ignore the signs, your mental health and well-being is as important as your physical well-being. Contact a professional coach or therapist and take steps to get your happiness back because you deserve it.
     

What helps you to choose happiness? Please share your Key Steps so together we can…‘be the difference that makes the difference.’ 

Namaste,

Sharon

NOTE: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free weekly  ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.


Dr Sharon King Gabrielides

About Dr Sharon King Gabrielides

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 20 years’ experience in leadership and organisational development and transformation. She is a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner. She is also one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – it’s the Oscar of the speaking business.

Sharon’s PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that has been published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of Henley Business School and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. Sharon has become known for her practical approach, useful tools and genuinely caring manner. She is really looking forward to working with you and taking Key Steps to ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’

 

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Namaste,

 

NOTE: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free bi-weekly  ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.

Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, EQ Expert, Founder and CEO

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 25 years’ experience in leadership development and organisational transformation. Her PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that was published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of numerous business schools and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. In 2020, Sharon was inducted into the Educators Hall of Fame, which is a lifetime achievement award, recognising excellence and her contribution to the field.

Sharon is one of only three women in South Africa to hold the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – the Oscar of the speaking industry. She is also a COMENSA Master Practitioner (CMP), a qualified Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT™) and an accredited Global Virtual Speaker. Sharon is also a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner.

Most important to Sharon is that she has become known for her genuinely caring manner, practical and transformational approach, and for providing valuable tools and that allow people to take Key Steps to really… ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’