howtobehappier

How to Start Being Happier

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Chiara Mazzucco

CEO, Editor-in-Chief at The Indie Chicks, Inc
Chiara got her start in the blogosphere by dishing out reality slaps on her dating and relationship blog. The brutal honesty that became her signature tone earned her the badass reputation she needed to get The Indie Chicks magazine up and running. She is also a web designer and author of The 9 Mirages of Love. Driven, stubborn, and wildly ambitious, she won’t stop until she is the perfect, self-empowered role model for all of her readers.

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You know that at one point, you were happy happier. At one point, you woke up, sober, ready to face the day, happy to call your friends and confident that the person you were with was the right person for you. What the fuck happened? This mega article isn’t for the clinically depressed – or it can be – it’s for the every day, average Joe, unable to pinpoint what it is sucking the joy out of his ‘today’. Well, there’s only one place to start the hunt: Getting rid of the toxicity in your life.

How to Start Being Happier: Identify the culprit

Below is a short list of common sources of toxicity; mini, fire breathing dragons you will have to slay in order to begin your journey.

How to Start Being Happier: Detoxify

A Shitty Partner

The #1 root of toxicity. A toxic partner feeds off of your need for his presence. The more you become dependent, the more he manipulates, the more toxic the relationship gets. It’s a vicious cycle that slowly poisons you to an early, weakly death. You know the signs (hello – I wrote an entire book on the subject), the scary part is coming to terms with the fact the relationship you’re in is killing you.

Be happier

Leave. Clinginess, possessive behavior, verbal and/or physical abuse, and other hazardous behaviors have no place in a healthy, blooming relationship. Although you may want to believe there is hope for change, there usually isn’t. The only way to detox is to walk away and never look back.

A Shitty Friend

Often overlooked, but almost always the culprit (besides, of course, the shitty partner). Friends are supposed to be your backbone; to be your strength when you’re weak and happiness when you’re sad. No one wants to believe these so-called saviors are poisons in disguise – but unfortunately, they usually are. Whether the person in question is a bad influencer, or just a shitty, manipulative individual, getting rid of a shitty friend is a crucial step to detoxification.

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End it. Ever heard the phrase, “Twenty knives don’t do me any good when all I need is one spoon”? Point is, it doesn’t matter how many shitty friends you have, you just need one good one. Friends are magical, vital components to a happier life – but they have to be real. And if this site has taught you anything, I hope that by now you know you don’t have the power to change people. Learn to identify a bad friend, and just like in relationships, don’t be afraid to walk away and be alone for a while; being alone is better than being with a shit.

A Shitty Family Member

Although some might argue this, it’s sometimes easier to walk away from a shitty boyfriend than it is a family member. Blood brings about an annoying sense of obligation; a ‘you really need to try to make it work’ kind of feel. I mean, you need to be sure something is worth cutting off ties and potentially ruining holiday functions for. It’s precisely that ‘unbreakable’ bond, however, that makes a toxic family member that much more toxic.

Be happier

Take a deep breath, and distance yourself. Cutting off ties may be hard for your specific situation, but you still have to look out for yourself, no matter the amount of family functions coming up. Calmly explain your need for a break to the rest of your family, ask them to respect your decision and move on accordingly. Blood is definitely thick, but it doesn’t take precedence over your own happiness and mental health.

An Addiction to Shitty Food

Believe it or not, what you eat and how you eat it does play a role in your happiness. Junk food rapes your brain cells and the natural flow of good chemicals. In addition to the physical effects, eating junk food does a number on your psyche, too. Your reliance on food chips away at your confidence and leads you to seek comfort and security in things lurking in your fridge that are always comfortably within reach.That, in turn, makes you work less and less harder at looking deep within for strength and joy.

Be happier

It’s common knowledge that the healthier you eat and the better you treat your body, the happier you are. It’ll take a week or so for your body to detoxify and for you to relearn the taste of basic, grown from the ground, nutrition. But once your body is free of shit, your mind, body and soul will all feel lighter, happier and easier to carry. Remember: food is fuel, not a security blanket.

An Addiction to Drugs & Booze

It’s easy to numb, to disappear into a dark abyss, and to wake up the next day just to do it all over again. Let’s ignore what it’s doing to you, physically -cute beer belly, coke whore- and be honest with yourself: it’s not making you happier. Imagine what you look like to others; imagine stepping out of your body and looking back. What do you see? A sad soul, sipping on a fifth of vodka with an aching heart and a bloody nose. Is this what you pictured your life to be when you were little?

Be happier

I’m not going to pretend life is easy. Heck, I’m not going to pretend a couple cocktails don’t sometimes make magic happen, either. But to rely on booze and drugs to make today go away and for them to paint the colors for tomorrow, is not the way to live your life. If you need rehab, then so be it. Once the healing begins, you’ll be surprised at how bright tomorrow can be.. all on its own.

A Toxic Ex

This one’s obvious: one of the most toxic things in your life can be your past, especially when it’s lurking in your every breath. This ex can be around in your thoughts or he may literally be calling you 24/7. No matter what, he’s toxic, and the first thing to a cleaner tomorrow is to rid yourself of toxic waste.

Be Happier

Check out the Moving On section of the site. Many more articles to come. But in short, although a complicated step, ridding yourself of your ex is absolutely crucial. It may seem impossible but I promise, it isn’t.

A Shitty Job

Well, that’s what we’re building The Indie Chicks for, duh. Be happier? Make. Life. Happen.

Easier Said That Done: Or is it?

You’re wasting your time if you’re shaking your head, thinking that detoxification is easier said than done – it’s not. It’s a step-by-step process, and by no means is it a simple one, but it’s definitely do-able. People turn their lives right back around to happy every day – you just don’t hear about it as often as your about shitty lives. Check out the self improvement part of the site.

Life is what you make it. No one is going to come in and clean it up for you. If there are shitty people in your life, you’re not doing anyone a favor by keeping them around. If you’ve got bad habits, they’re only hurting you and causing you a short term joy that’s poisoning the chances of long term happiness. If you’ve got a shitty job, go look for a better one.

Life is beautiful, and even the pain we endure has its meaning. As long as you’re able to absorb experiences and move forward, all parts of life – ugly, painful, beautiful and life changing – are worth living.

For more tips on leading a happier life read our special print edition

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