If You've ever thought, 'I just want to be Happy again' after divorce, then this episode is for you.
How often do we tell ourselves that all we want in life is to be happy? We tell ourselves the same thing when we go through a divorce, that all we really want is to get over the pain and sadness and feel happy again.
Listen in to today's episode where I'll teach you the keys to being able to feel happier more often in your life starting today.
What you'll learn from this episode:
How opening yourself up to feeling all the emotions makes it easier to feel happy more often.
How to be happier even if you've never been very happy before.
Stepping out of wishing for happiness and into the actual creation of it.
Happiness is an inside job.
List to the full episode:
Every one of my clients comes to me struggling with the sadness and misery of divorce, and leaves working with me feeling happier and confident. They come to be desperate to get out of what they're feeling and wanting something to change. I teach them to do that and walk with them every step of the way. I will do this with you too. Schedule your free consult by clicking here and let's get you started on the path to feeling happier in your life today.
Featured on this episode:
Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.
Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.
Want to know first hand how Karin can help you with your specific problems and create an even better life than when you were married? Click here to schedule a free consult.
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Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome back to Becoming You Again. I’m your host Karin Nelson. I’m a certified divorce confidence coach and this is the podcast where I teach you how to reconnect with yourself, create emotional resiliency and live a truly independent life, so you can have an even better life than when you were married.
Hello my friends. Welcome back to the podcast. How is everyone doing? I am having the best time. When this podcast comes out I will be in Alaska for my nephew’s wedding. My kids and I are going up there to enjoy the beautiful place and have a great time at the wedding. If you’ve never been to Alaska, put it on your bucket list as one of the places you need to go. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve been. This is my second time here and I am sure, obviously as I said I recorded this before I got to Alaska, but I am sure I am having the most amazing time because it is such a beautiful fun place to be.
Alright so let’s talk about today’s topic and that is how to be happier. I hear all the time from women who are struggling with divorce that what they want most is for the pain and misery of the divorce to end and to just be happy again. And when I hear this, my first thought is, I can totally relate to this thinking. I remember the beginning of my divorce was so full of emotional highs and lows, so much crying, negotiating, blaming, shaming – it was a lot of emotions. And when I was going through my divorce I didn’t have any of the mindset work that have now and that I’m teaching and sharing with you. I was just trying to get through it one day at a time, hoping to survive the divorce, not realizing that there was a different way. I desperately wanted to be happy and step off the emotional rollercoaster but I didn’t see how that was even a possibility.
So what I want to say to all of you who find yourself in this place of misery, sadness, despair, and emotional exhaustion – I want you to know that happiness is available to you right now. It truly is. I’m going to give you some steps you can take in today’s episode that will teach you how to be happier right now, and then as you’re doing this work and you find that you want more one on one help – to be taken by the hand and walked through this process of healing after divorce with someone by your side every step of the way, that’s when you can come to me as your guide.
So my boyfriend and I had a little weekend getaway a few months back and while we were at dinner we were talking about our relationship and how grateful we are for each other. And he told me that one of the things he liked best about me was how happy of a person I am. And of course I agreed with him that it’s one of my favorite things about me too, is that I am a happy person. I like to be happy. I like to smile. I love laughing.
But here’s what’s really fascinating about this whole thing – about the way he sees me and me feeling happy. I haven’t always been like this. I haven’t always been a happy person. It’s just been within the last few years that I have really changed my thoughts about myself and given myself permission to be happy more often.
In fact, when I was growing up my mom labeled me the ‘moody’ child. She said I was always going from high to low in my mood and she never really knew what she was going to get. Now, I could look back on those memories of my mom getting frustrated with my moods and tell myself that because of that I’m not capable of being happy or this is just who I am and I’m always going from high to low and back again. But what I have decided that means is that I am very in tune with my emotions and I am not afraid to feel them, the ‘positive ones’, or the ‘negative ones’, and everything in between.
I think this is the first key to being happier – is knowing that it’s not possible to always be happy, and that’s ok. When I learned that there was nothing wrong with feeling a negative emotion, that it was part of being alive and human, that’s when I stopped chasing being happy all the time. I stopped pretending that I wasn’t feeling sad or hurt or frustrated, and I allowed myself to feel whatever was coming up. When I stopped wishing and hoping and chasing being happy all the time; when I stopped resisting my negative emotions that would come up; that’s when I was really able to move through them and then really enjoy the times when I am truly feeling happy. Because when I was pretending that I was feeling good, when I was actually feeling bad, then when I did actually feel good it was like I wasn’t allowed to feel that way and I had to pretend to tone it down or hold back from my actual happiness. And I don’t do that anymore.
Now do I think that some people are naturally more positive in their personalities? Yes. Of course. And I also understand that sometimes we have chemical and hormonal imbalances that are happening and those things might be out of our control that can cause you to feel more negative. My daughter suffers from anxiety and depression – she and her roommates call it depressity, it is when they are really feeling the anxiety and the depression all at the same time. She has a therapist and is on medication to help balance out her chemicals to allow her mind and body to work in harmony and balance our her emotional highs and lows. So I totally understand that this can be part of the challenge when it comes to being able to be happier. If you think that medications and therapy will help you, then I’m all for that. I think that we have so many amazing tools right at our fingertips that can help us with the challenges that we face. And if medication and therapy and coaching and all of the things working in tandem together are there to help you and you think they are going to help you then go for it.
And I also believe that whether you have the challenge of clinical anxiety and depression or not, that if you want to create more happiness, and feel happier in your day to day life, then you absolutely can.
So how do we do it? How can we be happier in our lives?
I think the first thing is that you need to decide that you want to be happier. Now some of you are going to get confused here and say, well I want to be happy so much and it’s just not happening. I still feel so lonely, sad, depressed, angry or whatever you’re feeling; but what I really want is to just be happy. And here is the thing, wishing that you could be happier, wishing that you didn’t feel unhappy, being mad that you’re not happier won’t make you happier. It will actually just keep you stuck where you’re at. Feeling mad, feeling unhappy, wishing and hoping that things would change. It will prolong the negative feelings that you’re already feeling and keep you away from feeling happy longer.
What I’m saying is making a real decision that you are going to create more happiness in moments. I think you first need to assess what’s going on in your life and really be honest with yourself and ask, do I want to be happy in this moment? And then give yourself an honest answer. Because there are some moments in your life where you truly don’t want to be happy. This is the beauty of being emotional beings and having a whole gambit of emotions to feel. There are things that happen in our lives that we don’t want to be happy about and that’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Maybe there are moments in your divorce when you don’t want to be happy. One of my clients a while back had her mediation and it didn’t go the way she had hoped in some areas. She was angry and sad about that. That was a time where she didn’t want to be happy. Maybe your teenager is acting out and making decisions that you don’t agree with. You probably don’t want to be happy about that. So ask yourself, do I want to be happy in this moment? If you don’t want to, that’s ok. Don’t judge yourself for it. Just allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling.
But if the honest answer is yes, then that’s really good information for you to know and that’s where you can know that happiness is truly available to you. Once you know that you do want to be happy the next step will be in making that decision – like I mentioned before. It’s deciding that in moments you’re going to be willing to feel happy. For me, this looks like me deciding I’m not going to sweat the small stuff.
So let me give you an example. My boyfriend and I a few months ago we went on a kind of weekend getaway together. And we were in the drive through a while back after that same weekend and we had ordered our food and were told that the thing we ordered would take an extra 5 minutes. There were 4-5 cars in front of us already so we’re like, ok that’s no problem. The cars in front of us happened to take quite a while to get their orders, probably close to 10 minutes for us to even get up to the window at that point. You know the window where they give you your food and you pay. So we get to the window and we wait and wait and wait. My boyfriend at the time was quietly seething inside. He was so frustrated with the situation, with us having to wait for all the other cars and then having to continue to wait – well beyond the five minutes they told us it would take to get our food. I however was just fine. I was calm, peaceful – happy even. We had just gotten back from a great weekend away. I was thinking about that weekend and how much fun we had had and I was just feeling very happy; whereas Tim was thinking about how long the food was taking and that it wasn’t ok.
So we were having this conversation in the car because at the time I didn’t realize he was upset. He was hiding it very well. And then he said, we were having this conversation and he is saying I think it’s so amazing that you are able to not be bothered by any of this. Here’s the difference – and I’m not saying that my way was right and his way was wrong. No nothing like that. I really just want to point out that it is fine to feel whatever you are feeling in those moments but if you want to choose to feel differently you totally can. I want to use this to point out how what we’re thinking about always informs how we feel. He was creating the frustration and annoyance because he was thinking they told us five minutes and it’s been way longer. They shouldn’t have said that if they knew it was going to be longer. I could have been thinking something along these lines too. There are definitely moments, I am not perfect. I have moments where I get annoyed and frustrated. Of course I do. Many people would in this situation. But because I had decided to feel happier in moments years before, my thoughts were focused on how great the weekend was. How much I loved being with Tim and spending time with him. And how great it was to just be sitting here with him in this car enjoying this time together. And I was feeling happy.
So feeling happier in moments has to come down to a decision that you will be more intentional about creating that for yourself. And I also want to point out that just because you’re happy doesn’t mean that everyone else around you has to be happy too; or that because other people are feeling negatively that are around you it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be happy or can’t be happy in those moments. I didn’t try and talk Tim out of being frustrated. I didn’t try to take away from him. I just allowed him to feel what you are feeling. And of course I can empathize with him but it doesn’t mean that I have to stop being happy. And he didn’t ask me to stop being happy. He didn’t accuse me of doing it wrong or accuse me of showing up in a way that I shouldn’t be in the moment. He also allowed me to feel what I was feeling. I didn’t ask him to change how he was feeling so that I can feel different or better and vice versa.
What can you decide today that you’ll practice letting go of so that you can feel happier in moments in your life? Answer that question and then start practicing.
The next think you need to know about happiness is it’s always an inside job. ALWAYS. You can’t rely on things or people or circumstances or situations outside of you to make you happy. That’s just not how it works. Any emotion that you feel is a direct cause of what you are thinking about or the way you think about things happening in your life.
This is a concept that I only learned about a few years ago. I know that this is one of the reasons that I am a happier person now than I have ever been – because I took responsibility for my own happiness rather than leaving it up to the other people and other things in my life.
Like I said earlier in the podcast I was not a happy person for most of my life. I wasn’t happy while I was married. I was married for 20 years and for the truly all of it because I did not have any of this work, I did not have any of these concepts or teachings are tools that I had while I was married, so for literally every year of those 20 years I put the responsibility of my happiness squarely on the shoulders of my husband and kids. I used to have this story that I told myself, that I would tell other people – that if my husband was happy, then I would be happy or if my kids were happy, then I would be happy. That my friends, was the most poisonous story that I was telling myself and that I believed. Because when I told myself this story a couple of things happened.
First, it meant that all of my emotional control of whether I was happy or not was dependent on my husband and my kids. It meant that if my husband was in a job that he liked and he came home happy from work, then I could be happy. I could give myself permission for that. But if he was in a job he hated or he came home from work upset or frustrated or stressed, then I too had to take on those emotions. It meant that he was in charge of making me happy through his words, his validation of me, his buying me presents or supporting us financially or whatever idea I had in my head of what would bring me more happiness. And when he fell short in those areas, then it was his fault that I wasn’t happy.
And telling myself this story the other thing it meant was that I was expected to put all of my wants, needs and desires on the back burner and take care of his needs and my kids needs and do everything in my power to keep them happy so that I could finally give myself permission to also be happy. I wanted so badly to please him and my kids and try to ‘make’ them happy that I lived my life at the expense of myself and my own happiness. I gave up who I was at that expense.
These things will never, never bring you happiness. Leaving it all up to people and things outside of you. I had to learn that if I wanted to be happy then it was up to me to create it by what I was thinking. And one way of doing that was by giving myself permission to be me; to have wants and needs and desires and to allow those to be a part of my life.
So I got to work on these areas of my life. I learned to love myself and accept myself for all of me – my flaws, my weakness, my strengths, my uniqueness. I learned to validate myself. I learned to accept my opinions as worthwhile and valid. As I started to do this I started to think about myself in a more loving, kind way. Those thoughts about myself changed how I felt. I started to feel more happy. And as I felt more happy and began living my life differently, part of that was letting myself do things that were more fun. I went on some girls trips with my friends. I started buying clothes for myself – which I had really never given myself permission to do before because I didn’t like my size and so I would tell myself that I couldn’t have new clothes until I could fit in a smaller size. I changed that story for myself. I started giving myself permission to buy clothes that fit and that looked good and felt good on me. I started exploring what I wanted to do with my life and found coaching and started my own business.
Being happier is 100% within your power. It is 100% available to you right now. Even if you’re going through a divorce; even if your ex is a narcissist; even if you’re getting out of a 25 year marriage to the love of your life; even if you have lost custody of your kids and life seems heavy and hard – you can still create happiness in moments in your life if you choose to. It comes down to deciding that you want to and then understanding that you are in charge of feeling happy and then giving yourself permission to go after it.
I have been able to do this in my life and I truly am a happier person now than I have ever been because I have implemented these steps. I have watched my clients become happier in their lives too, and really take back control of their emotional life. I know that you are struggling. I know that you gave away parts of yourself to please everyone else in your life and now you feel let down and overwhelmed and defeated. But you do not have to stay in this space. Let me show you how. Schedule your free consult with me by clicking the link in the description and let’s get you to a happier life today.
Alright my friends that’s all for today. I will talk to you next week.
If you like what you heard on today’s podcast and you want to know more about working 1:1 with me, you can go to www.karinnelsoncoaching.com and schedule your free consult to find out more. That’s www dot Karin nelson coaching dot com.
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