How to create sustainable happiness

person walking on beach during daytime

If you believe that a happy life is about ease and feeling comfortable and your life is the opposite, unhappiness is your best friend. Our beliefs are so essential for our happiness that they determine how you appreciate or hate your life. These beliefs are so ingrained in our minds that they become part of our identity. 

You can keep yourself stuck, sad, and miserable because of what you have written in your unrealistic manual for a happy life.

Our beliefs are the directions that we follow for our manual of life. A belief is a rule that we live by. We create these rules in our past, and we tend to forget that we did. Your opinions about what makes a happy life will determine how happy or unhappy you feel about your current situation.

The brain is the reinforcer

Our beliefs also impact how our brain works and processes information. Based on our views, the mind will decide what data and events to focus on or ignore. If you are unhappy with a situation in your life, your brain chooses to focus on it because your beliefs are thinking that there is someone wrong that needs to change.

To keep our beliefs alive, our brains are continually looking for validation. That is why you gravitate towards people and experiences that you believe feel safe to you. You might even do this, hoping that will increase your happiness, and it ends up being the opposite. Why? Because you are holding on to a belief that is not working towards happiness, unfortunately, you believe the opposite.

I use to believe that happiness was about ease, comfort, and a lack of difficulties. Not until I realized that this belief was one of the main reasons I was feeling so unhappy, I began to question my beliefs. 

I have recently been reading books about happiness, focusing on cultural diversity. I became fascinated with one perspective that links happiness and resilience. This perspective comes from Finland. Finnish people have this cultural perspective on happiness that they call SISU. Sisu focuses on developing sustainable happiness throughout your life by investing in challenges.

Why Finland?

 The World Happiness Report for 2020 has crowned Finland once again as the world’s happiest country. Every year I follow this report and learn more from the countries on top of the list. 

Sisu builds happiness and life satisfaction based and the opposite of what used to be my belief about happiness. The Finnish concept is about developing resilience and facing adversity that creates sustainable happiness that keeps growing through a lifetime. Finnish happiness and fulfillment in life tell us that you need to take daily actions that make you face stress and feel uncomfortable. In other words, you have to challenge yourself daily and meet fears. Also, personal and cultural values focus more on looking for meaning inside rather than outside.

Sustainable happiness the Finnish way

I want to share with you the great principles behind Sisu. I think this point of view challenges a lot of beliefs about happiness and well-being. 

I will advise you to pay close attention to these beliefs. If you feel stuck and that your life needs a lift. If you want to push yourself to build more mental balance and resilience, consider adding these Sisu beliefs. These will guide you to shift your mind to the proven manual of a happy life.

Less is more

Live a sustainable lifestyle in which you stop or reduce your consumption. Look at your home and possessions and identify the essential things that serve a purpose in your life. Only keep those things and recycle or re-purpose the rest of the stuff you have. When you buy, focus on quality, not quantity. The less you have, the happier you will feel.

When difficulties arise, do not keep them to yourself.

Instead of bottling your emotions and feelings, look for support around you to help you figure it out. People live happier when they cooperate with and accept their limitations. 

Do not choose the easy way out

When challenges arise, please do not ignore them and look closely at your beliefs. Find out why you feel that a challenge is so hard and find a way to overcome your fears. Do not force change but rather see how to overcome situations using your inner strength rather than letting fear overtake your life. If the challenge is significant, start small and slowly work your way to build up until you feel ready.

Getting out of your comfort zone

Consistently find small steps of small difficulties you can overcome to keep biting fearful beliefs. Challenge with daily actions all those beliefs the are keeping you unhappy and dissatisfied with your life. Build new beliefs that help you create more sustainable happiness.

Be the author of your happy life manual

Find what works for you, and do not compare yourself with others. Your happiness is your unique path. Be kind to yourself even when you challenge yourself about your fears. Pushing too hard will do more harm than good.

One quote

“Even the smallest changes in our daily routine can create incredible ripple effects that expand our vision of what is possible.”

Charles F. Glassman

One question

What beliefs are holding you back from a sustainably happy life?

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