Happiness is elusive for many people. Whether it’s due to dealing with every day stresses or something more significant, most of us could find something to frown about if we wanted to.
Certain groups even promote unhappiness among their members in the form of “self sacrifice.” The idea, they say, is that sacrificing one’s own happiness in life will make for a better afterlife.
Pat Nixon (pictured on TIME Magazine, right), wife of former president Richard Nixon once said, “I have sacrificed everything in my life that I consider precious in order to advance the political career of my husband.”
I respectfully disagree with this idea. In fact, I think it sucks. Think about it. Do you think Mrs. Nixon could have been truly happy?
In support of her husband’s ultimate goal, she chose to sacrifice herself and her own happiness.
This is something that many of us do without even realizing it. We set goals for ourselves (or choose to help others achieve theirs.) This is good…but then, we unconsciously put off our own happiness during our pursuit of the goal.
We think that we’ll be happy when we meet our goals–and in truth, while there is usually a brief period of euphoria after we meet goals, ultimately, many people find themselves seeking the next big thing before they’ve had a moment to enjoy their success. Then, of course, the cycle starts again.
So how do we break it?
Take some advice from Romanian author and composer J. Donald Walters.
“Happiness is not a brilliant climax to years of grim struggle and anxiety,” he said. “It is a long succession of little decisions simply to be happy in the moment.”
Guess what? If you’re unhappy, you’ve chosen to be so. And, by feeling miserable, you’re drawing more of that to yourself. But that’s great news!
Why? Because, you can change it. It’s simple. All you have to do is make the choice to be happy, right now, this moment. You have to choose it. Regardless of your current circumstances, find that place within yourself called happy and spend a little time there. Smile, even if you don’t feel like it. It works wonders, I promise.
My challenge for you today is to choose to be simply happy for two full minutes. Just decide you’re happy, and feel it. Don’t let yourself stress or think any negative thoughts during those two minutes. Laugh, smile or jump up and down. Whatever works for you–just keep those thoughts happy. Carry that feeling with you throughout the rest of the day.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.