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8 Ways to Be Happier Right Now

Life can be difficult. There are moments of great sorrow and pain; moments that often leave us feeling as if the world has come crashing down upon us. These moments are often the result of a relationship taking a bad turn, the loss of a loved one, or a difficult change in life. We can also bring these difficult times upon ourselves. Many times our unconscious behaviors cause us a great deal of unnecessary pain and suffering. However, the good news is that by becoming aware of these behaviors you can not only become kinder to yourself, but happier as well!


Here are 8 ways to be happier right now:
1. Be Willing to Fail
Failure can be frightening. We are taught that we should always strive to be successful. But without experiencing failure, we can never truly appreciate and respect our successes. My teacher always says, “Why do we fall down? So that we can get back up and try again.” Humans are meant to fail. It is a necessary part of life. Through failure you discover your strength, tenacity, and your heart. In yoga, you are presented this lesson when you fall out of a pose.

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

Each time you get back up after falling, you train yourself to believe that you can succeed after failing.
2. Live Passionately
Take time to truly learn and understand who you are. We are berated with messages and images in the media of who we should be. But to be happy, you need to be you. So, who are you? What drives you? What are you passionate about? Is there something that makes your heart flutter when you think about it? What shakes you up at the core? Whatever it is, do that! Live with passion—life is too short to settle for anything less. Yoga helps prepare your heart for living passionately by calming the mind and opening the heart. Practice your heart openers!
3. Be Grateful
By shifting your thought process from a place of complaints and negativity to one of gratefulness, you will find that you feel happier and lighter. When you focus on the things in your life that you wish were different or better, it is impossible to live from a place of gratitude. Instead, if you start each day by taking note of all the love and beauty that is in your life – that is life—it is impossible to feel unhappy. Every day that you have on this earth is a blessing. Believe it. Live it.
4. Embrace Fear
Stop running from the things that stir up that ugly emotion we call fear. Like failure, humans are meant to experience fear from time to time.

If you never experience fear, then you are missing out on life.

When you are pushed to your edge, you grow and learn and become stronger and wiser. Without fear, there is no passion. Yoga helps prepare you for experiencing fear by training you to become comfortable in the uncomfortable. Yoga poses are not always easy. Sometimes your muscles shake and you feel intense sensation. By breathing through this, you train your mind to remain calm in difficult situations, preparing you for life off the mat.
5. Love Yourself
Your biggest enemy is the negative voice inside your head. Yoga asks you to stop listening to your mind and the stories it tells, and instead simply observe those thoughts and then let them go. By focusing on uniting your breath with movement during your yoga practice, your mind will become calmer and gentler and you will be able to let go of the thoughts that control it. The mind controls you and your emotions, and the breath controls your mind. When your thoughts are negative and critical, it makes sense that you would be unhappy. When you tell yourself that life is beautiful, you are perfect just as you are, and that every day is a blessing, you will be happier, lighter and full of love. Love yourself—you are beautiful and worth it!

6. Stop saying “I can’t”
Replace “I can’t” with “I will.” Each time you tell yourself that you cannot do something, you ensure that you will not do it! Think positively and positive things will happen. Think negatively and negative things will happen. You have to be your biggest supporter. Otherwise you will be your greatest enemy. Yoga teaches us to let go of the critic inside of us by letting go of the expectations we have of ourselves. You are stronger and more powerful than you believe. Get out there and prove it to yourself.
7. Be Present
Life is short, much too short to live it looking behind you (dwelling in the past), or ahead of you (being anxious about the future). The life you are meant to live is playing out right now. Stop replaying what has happened to you.
Stop creating what might happen to you.
Instead, pay attention to the now. Live your life now. Take notice of what is around you. I assure you, when you do this, it really is impossible to deny that life is wonderful. You simply have to make the choice to be here now.
8. Be Patient
Patience can be difficult. It is a discipline that many people struggle with. Patience involves more than just being able to wait for something to happen, a situation to resolve, or a loved one to come back to us. It also involves being able to live fully and completely in the present moment.

Patience also involves waiting with optimism and pushing forward through fear.

Patience involves being grateful for where you are now, because you know that this is where you are meant to be. Patience is accepting and knowing that it will all be ok.
The moral of the story, my dear yogis, is that life is short. Don’t waste it on things that do not benefit your soul. Love deeply, live wisely, forgive often, and be bold in all that you do. Practice these things, and be happy now!
“Freedom lies in being bold.” -Robert Frost

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Elisha Thompson

Elisha Thompson is a yogi, an academic, and an author. She is a registered yoga teacher with 400 hours of training. Aside from yoga, Elisha’s greatest passion is writing. Her new book, Yoga for Kink, will be published this year. In her spare time, she loves to travel, spend time with loved ones, eat good food, and cuddle with unicorns.

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