1. Love yourself. You'll never be completely happy until you do. Self-esteem is the foundation of contentment. If you love yourself you feel worthy, competent, ready to achieve, to work and love. How do you get there?
a) With your mind: I am a ________ ( effective, intelligent, nice, neat, cool, fun, pleasant, etc.) person. Positive Self-talk.
b) With your body: Eat right, sleep, don't abuse substances and exercise. The body and mind influence each other. Studies show exercise increases self-esteem, relieves anxiety, improves attentiveness, dissipates stress, and elevates moods.
Focus on the world outside of yourself. (Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type; E vs. I; I = "more emotional energy")
a. Give your Life Structure by Joining the Workaday World. Although people complain about work, most consider it crucial to happiness. A job gives STRUCTURE tour life. We get a sense of being loved from the respect and admiration our work generates. Completion of a challenging task generates a thrilling sense of triumph. Working makes you feel good about yourself. Those who don't work should do other things that make them feel good such as volunteer work, hobbies, etc.
b. Enjoy the Power of Touch. Touching is vital to our well-being. It fulfills a large share of our human needs thus leading to happiness. Touching someone can affirm friendship or approval, communicate important messages, promote health, and bring love. (However, people put up barriers to effective touching. Society tends to equate touching with sex or violence. Thus, many people avoid simple touching that affirms goodwill such as pats on the back, cordial hugs, and heartfelt handshakes. All relationships need touching that implies caring and affection.) In Western society, there are 2 types of "approved" touching: ritual touch (a handshake) and touch when a bond of trust exists - like with friends & family.
c. Give to Others. Reaching out to others or putting others ahead of your own ego can block out depression, lessen awareness of perceived inadequacies, help you surmount personal problems, and increase well-being. Without some connection to others, life doesn't have much meaning.