If you have become used to living with anxiety, fear, depression or unhappiness, then it can be difficult to believe that happiness is possible. But a few simple steps can help to reduce those unwanted feelings and increase your happiness.

Don't struggle on your own:

Happiness can seem a long way away when you're struggling on your own with what is going on in your life. Talking to friends can sometimes help to put things in perspective and get another opinion.

On other occasions it may be better to talk to someone more impartial. Then you can be confident that anything you say won't affect your friendship. Or you could talk to someone who can teach you different ways of thinking that give you a different outlook. Techniques that are useful are cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), NLP and hypnotherapy.

Bring some balance into your life:

Start to acknowledge the good things in your life as well as the bad ones. We tend to focus on the things that go wrong because we want to avoid them happening again. But it's important to focus on the good things too, otherwise you forget that life can be enjoyable.

Every time you remember an event it's as if it's happening again. The emotion you feel about it gets stronger and the event takes on much more significance. If someone compliments you on something you have done well you might feel good initially, but if you tend to worry a lot then the initial good feeling is likely to fade away and soon the bad memories take over again. So you end up spending more time playing over the bad feelings than the good ones and life can seem pretty terrible.

An easy way to bring some balance back into your life is to get a book and write down one good thing that happens every day. It can be more if you like, but why not set an easy target to start with as you're more likely to do it if it feels achievable. It can be something quite small, but something that in some way made you feel happy for a while. Then you can always go back and look at that memory and relive it when you need to lift your mood.

Be yourself:

Happiness can be difficult to find if you are always trying to be the person other people expect you to be, or the person you think you should be.

You may lack confidence because people in the past have told you how they think you should be but it doesn't fit in with who you feel you are. Or other people have been praised for doing things you weren't good at. Times change though and so do your circumstances.

So think about yourself, your capabilities and who you really are.

By bringing some balance, some support and more of the real you into your life you should find it easier to be happy.

Author's Bio: 

Sharon Stiles uses hypnotherapy, CBT, NLP and EFT to help people make positive changes in their lives. She offers individual sessions in Bristol, UK and by webcam. For more details about how hypnotherapy can help you to change your life visit www.sharonstiles.co.uk