What causes happiness?

Is it material possessions? If so, then why do we encounter people who seem to have it all and still seem unsatisfied? It would seem that an abundance of money and material things don’t guarantee happiness.

Happiness can be found in acceptance. Only by accepting who you are can you be confident enough to present your true self to the world; and only then can you be truly happy.

But how you find self-acceptance? Here are 5 steps towards living a life that is authentic and happy:

1. Be Grateful For Your Body

Stop allowing media and society dictate how you should feel about your body. We’re all unique; each body is different. When you obsess about your weight or your looks, you deny yourself from seeing the big picture. You’re so much more than just your outside appearance.

By accepting your body and being grateful for it, you’ll feel healthier, less depressed, and braver to face life’s challenges.

2. Treat Yourself Well

When you love something, you take care of it. Because you love your body, you care for it by eating right and keeping it healthy. The more you take care of your body and give it energy, the more you will appreciate it for the gift that it gives you.

3. Stop Judging Yourself

The next time you notice that you’re being too hard on yourself, pause. Instead of listening to that critic in your brain that feeds you negative thoughts, think positively. Stop judging yourself and adding to your insecurities. Be mindful of your thoughts and only entertain ones that are kind and accepting.

4. Practice Positive Self-Talk

Change the way you to talk yourself. Do you say negative things to yourself? Talk to yourself the way you would your friends and the people you care about when they’re having a bad day. What would you do to encourage them? What would you say to uplift them?

You deserve to talk to yourself the same way that you talk positively to others. Take notice to your internal voice and choose to zone out the negative statements.

5. Stop Chasing Perfectionism

Do you obsess over every detail? Do you put too much pressure on yourself about the way you look or the way you act? Do you work too hard to hide your imperfections?

It’s exhausting being a perfectionist and that’s why you need to stop. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, look for what is right.

It starts with self-acceptance. Learn to love everything you think is wrong with you. Allow yourself to see them as the characteristics that make you unique and special. And once you recognize that you cannot control everything, you’ll find your happiness.

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