In light of a global mental health crisis and increasing rates of suicide, I feel there has never been better time to share this. The title of this post is self-explanatory so I will get straight to the point.

 

1. Look after yourself, as nobody else will

This applies for both men and women. In the hustle and bustle of today’s world it is very easy to forget about your own needs. Everything else seems more important. To many of us, finding your inner balance and meeting your needs can seem like a real luxury. However, in the long run it pays off to see it as a necessity, not a luxury. It’s only when we start feeling low, we realise that something is missing. We contemplate and try to understand why we are feeling depressed, overwhelmed or hopeless.

Often the answer to that is not obvious, although it often comes down to the fact we forget to look after ourselves. But we don’t seem to forget to look after others. And let’s be honest here – we all do enough for others. So why not do something for yourself once in a while – no matter how busy you are. The joy taken from small pleasures will give you strength and energy so much needed for the gloomy days. The alternative to that is getting stuck in our daily grind, one that we have alone created. If you are not sure what brings you the biggest joy, take time to get to know yourself. It’s the best investment you can undertake!

 

2. Only when you love yourself you will be able to love others

It took me a while to understand this one, but now I do – it makes perfect sense. In the past I could easily think of a hundred reasons why I don’t deserve a better career, better relationship or a better life!

Amazingly I was able to convince myself that I can’t get these because I’m being me, because I’m nothing special. I’m not ‘’destined’’ for real happiness, a meaningful relationship or a fulfilling career. It took me years to realise how wrong I was. It took a while to start accepting myself for who I am.

When we don’t experience self-love we are full of self-criticism and negativity and by doing so we are moving away from our goals and dreams. Loving yourself means being able to take things with a pinch of salt and good humour. Believe in yourself and realise how wonderful you are. Once you do, the world will notice it too!

3. When you spread positive energy, it will always come back to you

It will – sometimes when you least expect it! I know life’s hard. I get it. It’s a real art to put a smile on your face when all you can think about is how much you hate your job or how fed up or exhausted you are. Life can be so overwhelming.

But the truth is it’s much easier to change your circumstances when you change your attitude. You focus on positive things and the universe sends you more positive things.

Establishing new positive thinking patterns will lead to taking positive action. This in return will lead to positive results and positive results turn into positive energy. And once you start spreading it, watch how many new friends you get. But it all originates from your thinking and acknowledging that we become what we think about.

4. Nothing lifts up your mood like physical exercise

Physical exercise releases oxytocin, a happiness hormone. No rocket science here. We all know about the multiple benefits of physical exercise. It’s not only good for your body but also for your soul. Yet we seriously underestimate it. Life gets in the way and we very quickly can end up feeling overwhelmed, stressed, frustrated, depressed or angry. But you know what – going for a run will put everything in perspective. The key thing is to be persistent.

No matter what your age or personal situation, create a new routine that works for you. It will only take a few weeks and you will see a change in you. It’s the most powerful antidepressant there is. Make physical exercise your friend. It will transform your life.

 

5. You will only find real happiness when you are true to yourself

Many people live their lives through the expectations of others. They do jobs their parents want them to do. They marry someone their friends ‘’expect’’ them to marry. They practice religions they have been told to practice. Many people are so busy working hard that they don’t take time to get to know themselves, to find out who they really are and to get the clarity of what they really want from life. Without sounding too dramatic, that’s one of the biggest mistakes one can make.

All of us want to be happy, but very few of us have the courage to follow our dreams. It takes strength and little wisdom to accept that you are not going to be everyone’s friend. Being true to yourself is much more important. Free yourself from the world of expectations others impose on you. You are the master of your destiny.

 

Happiness is a choice not a destination!