So much of my life has been spent worried, stressed and anxious about what and how other people perceive me to be. A constant question has been, do I live up to their expectations? Little thought was given to how I felt or how I was actually doing or feeling. Although I have mostly grown out of this habit, always wanting to make others happy, it still rears its’ ugly head on occasion and I have to actually take my own advice. What’s that advice you might ask? Well, I’ll start by saying this is my journey, you are having your journey, they are having their journey. I am in no way solely responsible for your happiness, comfort, success financial or otherwise. I work every day to be a better human being so that I can contribute to those things for everyone but NOT be those things for everyone. It all has to starts from within.

One of three easy steps to recognizing and keeping my happiness has been to journal. I write about all the things that make me happy, feel good and reactions to that goodness several times a week. It makes me think about how much I have done more for others out of a sense of obligation versus pure joy. It also helps me to recognize and more aware what I have done to create my own happiness.

The second is to have small measurable goals each week and of course write them down. Now, goals aren’t what light my fire and spark my joy but the stress associated will feeling like you haven’t accomplished anything in a week, month or year is a total and utter happiness crusher. So, set little goals along the way and celebrate your accomplishments, freedom from stress an enjoyed happiness.

Thirdly, shut EVERYTHING off. That’s right I said it! The phone, computer, tablet, TV radio you name it turn it off. Gauging your happiness based on who is posting their most complimentary photo on Facebook, Tweeting about how awesome their life is and talking about their latest high dollar purchase should not be your measuring stick. Take time to look around your home, go outside, see your family and your friends in person if you can and enjoy the feeling of being fully present. These are the things that can bring and sustain happiness, truly take the time to enjoy them and you will feel so much better.

If you feel like you can’t do all these things at once, start with one and do one at a time, at least once a week and you will feel the change in your level of happiness.

Author's Bio: 

Christi Ahl is a Psychic Medium, Stress Management Expert, Speaker, Teacher, Healer and Author.
In 1996 she began a journey of self-discovery to learn what she was put on the planet to do. Working her way through severe health problems cause by fear, stress and deep depression, she finally found her true path helping others heal. Christi is a Certified Psychic Medium, Shamanic Healer and Reiki Master. She has a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is a former Probation and Parole Officer and martial arts instructor. She is an advocate for living a fearless and less stressful life.
Facebook: hopeinspiredbychristi
Twitter: @thechristiahl
Listen to her regular guest appearance on, Mondays 7-8pm EDT