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There are three three foundational principles of how to be happy with yourself. Following these principles will allow you to bring awareness to your true self, explore your needs in a more open and authentic way, and connect with the right people.
Each principle relies on personal honesty and commitment to self. When you follow them closely, you will be able to live with more self-focus and self-compassion.
What are the three principles of how to be happy with yourself?
- identifying and validating your own feelings
- communicating them in healthy ways
- building a community of people who will love and validate you in all the ways you deserve
1. Identifying and Validating Our Feelings
Truly understanding our feelings doesn’t happen easily. We have to really engage in a conversation with ourselves and explore the deepest thoughts and sensations happening around a person, place, or event. Many of us will develop patterns or habits of self-protection that can often distort our true feelings. Sadness can feel like anger, excitement can feel like anxiety. Really becoming attuned to our feelings takes time and patience with ourselves.
Judgment is another barrier we often face is identifying our feelings. Shaming ourselves for feeling a certain way can cause us to suppress these feelings rather than process them. Truly identifying and understanding our feelings comes from listening with compassion and allowing ourselves to have thoughts and feelings, in the quiet of our own mind, without guilt or shame.
Identify your feelings by:
- asking yourself questions
- listening to the sensations in your body
- being open and compassionate with yourself
- remembering that feelings are ok to have
How to be Happy with Yourself in Seeking Validation
Validation is such an important part of feeling happy and fulfilled. We want to know that we belong, we matter, and that we’re seen. Desiring our validation from external sources is normal but can also create opportunities for us to degrade our worth.
Knowing how to validate our own feelings gives us the ability to self-assign our self-worth when we’re lacking the validation we desire from outside ourselves. Knowing when to validate our own feelings lets us decide which thoughts and feelings are worthy of our own time and attention.
It’s important to acknowledge our feelings exist freely without judgment. We should give words to our feelings by increasing our emotional vocabulary. And finally, explore things that could help us resolve our feelings.
Ask and answer truthfully, what do you want or need?
Validating our own feelings means:
- giving ourselves space to exist
- openly exploring our needs
- becoming more accepting and empathetic of ourselves and others
2. Communicating in Healthy Ways
Communicating our feelings in healthy ways is how we’re able to build strong, healthy relationships. Connecting with another person depends greatly on how well we can communicate. Improving our own communication, especially around our feelings, is an important part of improving our relationships.
There are two important elements to healthy communication:
- Expressive, blameless language
- A partner with the emotional capacity to engage
Expressive, blameless language uses
- words from our emotional vocabulary to clearly identify our root feelings
- statements that focus on personal feelings and experiences (‘I’ statements)
- avoids assignment of feelings, or telling someone how they should or shouldn’t act
Communicating with someone who has the emotional capacity to engage means knowing when our healthy communication is being met with healthy or unhealthy methods in return.
In communicating with a partner we can:
- identify whether or not they’re willing to empathize with us
- identify whether or not they’re able to listen to us
- identify whether or not they can express their own feelings without blame or acknowledge our feelings while expressing their own
How to be Happy with Yourself in Building and Strengthening Care Communities
Healthy communication is how we build and strengthen our care communities. Developing healthy communication methods helps us better identify unhealthy ones so we can talk to our care partners and communities and let them know what we need. Mindfulness and awareness of ourselves also communicates to our care communities that we are balanced so they can feel welcome to share their feelings and needs.
Implementing healthy communication methods with other people also helps us strengthen our communication with ourselves. We’re able to empathize more deeply, practice releasing our feelings without shame, and increasing our emotional vocabulary by listening to the thoughts and feelings of others with openness and curiosity.
3. Building Our Care Community
Our care community is made up of people who love and respect us, validate our feelings, express their own, and also desire a healthy emotional connection. We have shared values and goals with the people in our care community. They can be involved in different ways and serve different needs in us. It’s ok if one person cannot meet all our needs, that’s why we have lots of different relationships.
We choose who is in and who is out of our care community at any time. Nobody is entitled to a place in our community regardless of the relationship we’ve had with them in the past, regardless of whether or not they are family, nobody is allowed in unless we allow them.
How Do We Build the Right Care Community?
Building the right care community starts with practicing self-compassion. With self-compassion we’re able to truly identify our feelings and needs. We then can express them in healthy ways to the right people. Clear, healthy communication starts by establishing boundaries based on our identified needs and implementing those boundaries consistently in our expressions of feelings and in the way we accept expression of feelings and needs from others.
Our care communities are meant to improve our life experience and we are meant to improve theirs. Being selective about who can be a part our community allows us to preserve our energy and invest it wisely in ourselves and others. Building the right care communities for ourselves is about seeking better support so we can be better support.
Building a community of people who love and support you:
- depends on our own self-compassion first
- requires healthy communication
- is improved with the right boundaries