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50 Unspoken Truths You Need To Know In Your Pursuit Of Happiness

Ali Williams is the 'uncomplicated' therapist specialising in healing trauma codes in the brain and body. After losing her mother at the age of 16 to breast cancer, and receiving two cancer diagnoses herself, Ali chose wisdom, not war.

 
Executive Contributor Ali Williams

There’s a lot of talk about true happiness. It’s the topic of conversation between friends, experts have published books giving advice, movies have been made about it, and you can find thousands of articles available online. According to Hootsuite, there were 693 million happy posts on Instagram in 2023.


Spirit of a confident and joyful woman.

Happiness is something we all strive for, yet it can feel elusive and unattainable. During our lives, all of us have felt the sentiment, ‘I just want to be happy.’ 


Many associate happiness with love, wealth, career success, material possessions, and perfect social media photos. What does true happiness mean for you? Some find it difficult to answer this question, preferring instead to list all the reasons for being unhappy.


As one of the primary seven emotions, happiness is described as an innate or subconscious emotion. Feelings arise from a thought connecting with the physiological experience to explain the emotion. For example, joy and fulfillment may describe the emotion of happiness.


How happy we feel can be impacted by our life experiences, culture, genetics, and interactions with others in relationships. How we tangibly measure happiness can be considered through our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.


Every client I work with is usually experiencing some form of interruption to their happy vibes. Whether it be relationship difficulties, a lack of self-confidence, clarity, illness, a challenging life event, or a general feeling of dissatisfaction, as a few examples, most will articulate that their main desire is to reconnect with happiness.


As a therapist, I believe it’s important to consider all the well-known aspects of life in our pursuit of happiness, such as relationships, work, and health, however, I also believe in the power of going deeper and looking beyond the obvious. We must take responsibility for our happiness. It won’t be handed to us on the proverbial platter, we need to do the work.


It’s important to check in with our perspectives, interpretations, and reactions. We are often not in control of our circumstances but are always in control of our responses. In my book The Glorious Responsibility of Happiness you are invited to delve beyond the words on the page and reflect on what rises within you. As you begin to understand the intricacies of how your mind, body, and energy interact in this world, you will be able to immerse in the next level of knowing who you are, and how happy you are. 


Everything you’ve experienced, who you choose to be, and your actions have brought you to where you are right now. Is that enough for you or are you open to experiencing more? In your pursuit of happiness, you can learn more about yourself through a pragmatic approach of mindfulness, therapy, coaching, and self-nurturing activities. The real magic happens, however, when you think outside the box to reach a deeper connection to your inner joy. 


50 unspoken truths for your truest happiness


  1. You woke up today, celebrate.  You’re here, and you matter. It might not always be about the butterflies and rainbows but opening our eyes and taking a breath each morning is a miracle. No matter what you’re feeling, say thank you when you wake up.

  2. Stop asking others to make decisions for you.  Stand in your power and make your decisions for yourself. If you feel uncertain or lack confidence, work with a therapist or coach to help you ditch the doubt and make decisions you feel good about.

  3. Don’t be a Scrooge. There’s no point in accumulating wealth and then being stingy with it. By all means, enjoy it, you’ve worked hard for it no doubt, but consider taking the opportunity to make a powerful difference. Find a meaningful way to be generous to others, even anonymously, and in small ways. You’ll feel warm and fuzzy.

  4. Forgive your parents. Your parents have only ever done the best they can from the point they were at. They may not be aware of the impact they’ve had on you. You might not be either. If you harbor resentment, find a way to forgive them or seek support to release it. If you hold onto it, it's hurting you. 

  5. Forgive everyone else. There will be others you also need to allow yourself to forgive. The friend who betrayed you, the partner who abandoned you, the boss who fired you, or the person who caused you (or a loved one) harm. Ever heard the saying, ‘He who angers you controls you?’

  6. Forgive yourself. You’ve done things in your life that you regret. We all have, it’s a part of human nature and growth. Practice radical acceptance. The past is done, you cannot change it. You can, however, acknowledge what those life events have taught you and choose to embrace the wisdom.

  7. Step Out of the Arena. Before jumping into an argument or debate with concrete boots, choose to pause. Ask yourself if it will benefit you and others if you contribute a reaction. Maybe a considered response will be more helpful to all involved.

  8. Slow down time. Be fully present in the moment.  Most of our days fly by way too fast. Claim more time through being present. Wherever you are showing up each day, do so mindfully. If you are immersed in each moment your days will slow down. Receive the helpful free e-guide to discover three ways to reclaim your time.

  9. You don’t need validation.  If you seek validation and praise from others to confirm your worth you are undermining your authenticity. No one else can share your contributions with the world the way you do, and not everyone will understand. Be ok with that. Seek feedback, but don’t wait for anyone else to confirm for you that you are enough.

  10. Be the black sheep. Just because it’s been the same in your family forever, doesn’t mean you have to play along. You can change what has been passed down to you through the generations. Family traumas and patterns that are unhelpful will hold your happiness to ransom. Change your story and create a new future.

  11. Blaming gives away your power. Pointing the finger at others through vitriol assumes you are powerless to change your circumstances. Acknowledge what you’ve experienced then take responsibility for your lesson to leverage your growth. 

  12. You only need five friends. How many people do you share the big conversations with? For most of us, it is usually a handful. Be choosy about whom you trust with your vulnerability. Who will unconditionally be in your corner without judgment when big things happen?

  13. Hug people.  Physical touch with the special people in your life stimulates oxytocin in your body. It is a hormone released in the brain that creates feelings of joy. It helps to regulate emotions, encourages relational connection, and helps reduce stress reactions. 

  14. Use your voice. Advocate for yourself. Communicate your feelings. Ask questions. Share your knowledge and your story. If you struggle to articulate your thoughts, you are likely being held back by a belief developed long ago. Get curious about your thought processes and work with a therapist to help decode old programs.

  15. If you think everyone else is wrong, understand why you need to be right. If you feel the urge to correct others, and you can’t back out of a conversation unless you’re right, you must seek to understand why. You have likely experienced a time throughout your life of needing to justify yourself or possibly weren’t supported when you were younger. 

  16. If you need to rush, you need to heal. Feeling a constant sense of urgency in everything you do indicates your nervous system is always on high alert. This fight or flight behavior triggers excess stimulation of cortisol and adrenaline in your body, which may be harmful to your health over prolonged periods. It will be beneficial for you to understand how you have created this pattern of rushing.

  17. “If you don’t share your story, you’re an a$$hole!” (Unknown) Share your life story and what you’ve learned. You may help others find the missing piece in their own life. Let go of the shame that has kept you hidden. Write a blog, a book, or a PDF. What you’ve learned is valuable information for others with similar experiences.

  18. If you don’t like spending money, or spend too much, you have healing work to do. Money issues are common in people who have felt unsafe most of their life. If you bring the energy of fear into your relationship with money, you may experience financial challenges. Or, you may become addicted to accumulating wealth. Be curious about what you’ve been taught about money. What language did you hear around finances as you were growing up? 

  19. Stop showing up as the warrior or the fighter in your life or illness.  Your body and mind will struggle to heal in a battle. If you think and feel your circumstances require fierce energy, you will trigger a fight or flight response. Try ease and flow for a change. The body focuses on survival when it is in a state of calm.

  20. Read The Four Agreements. Everyone should read this book by Don Miguel Ruiz. It’s a life changer. It will help you reconsider your and other people's behavior. Learn how we create limiting beliefs and how to change them through these four valuable codes: Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don’t Take Anything Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, and Always Do Your Best. 

  21. Does it really matter? Consider the little things you worry about or the moments you are reactive. Ask yourself how important it is. Is it worth the angst for you, and does it really matter that someone left a teaspoon on the sink?

  22. If you feel it in your body, you haven’t let it go. If you feel a physical reaction when you think of difficult life experiences, or challenging people, it is alive in your body. This chemistry can influence the expression of your DNA and affect your health. Do the work to release what you’re holding onto and enjoy the emotional freedom.

  23. Ditch the guilt. We’ve grown up in a society that tells us how we do things is wrong, and that we are bad people when our actions hurt others. Then there’s mum guilt. Remember you have always done the best you can. Give yourself a break. You can’t change the past, but you can choose wisely now.

  24. Apologize. Say sorry when you mess up. A sincere and vulnerable apology shows you value others and the impact you have on them. You can mend a broken heart, change the course of history, and allow yourself and others to reconcile a difficult situation to move forward.

  25. Stop apologizing. Stop saying sorry for every little thing you’re not responsible for. Women do this a lot. You don’t need to apologize for someone else’s actions, the call you couldn’t answer, taking time to respond to an email, or for needing to squeeze past someone in the aisle. Instead, say, “Thanks for waiting,” or “I understand your feelings,” or, “Excuse me.” 

  26. Stop internalising. Many of us take other people’s behavior personally. We make up stories in our minds that it must have something to do with us. Most times it doesn’t. If someone doesn’t answer your text message immediately, instead of assuming they are upset with you, consider they are likely busy and may respond later.

  27. Love yourself first.  Giving and receiving love depends on your capacity for loving yourself. Receiving love from others, even God, depends upon being open and accepting. Sharing nurturing love with others can only be gifted from the spark of love within. From love, comes love.

  28. If you have been through trauma, work through it. Trauma affects all of us. It can change the brain and negatively impact emotional regulation. Trauma can be anxiety-inducing and can affect relationships. It can also compromise your health. Seek support to work through challenging events. Your well-being depends on it.

  29. Love unconditionally or learn to accept. Our loved ones all have flaws we find challenging. To love unconditionally is to accept who they are. None of us have the right to ask someone else to change. We can instead choose to tolerate their quirks or express our concerns through compassionate conversations.

  30. Don’t equate your self-worth to your financial worth. Regardless of your material wealth, your worth remains equal. Do not make the mistake of believing your contributions to the world are of lesser or greater importance than those of others. Small gestures are as powerful as the grand.

  31. Calm the heck down. Remaining highly reactive to stress is compromising your health. Without an off switch, excess levels of cortisol and adrenaline are wreaking havoc on your endocrine system. Hormones may be haywire, anxiety levels will rise, and fatigue will be constant. Find ways to relax and feel calm.

  32. If you shut down during an argument, it’s because you didn’t feel safe when you were young. If you fall silent in confrontations it may be because you weren’t able to share your feelings when younger, or maybe you were told you were wrong, so you learned to be silent to protect yourself. Do the healing work to feel safe expressing your feelings.

  33. If you are unhappy in your relationship, do something about it. Don’t waste valuable years in a difficult situation thinking you’re stuck. You’re not. As challenging as it can be, communicate your feelings. Seek the assistance and support you may need to decide what’s best for you and your happiness. 

  34. Choose healthy anger – aggression is a turn off. Anger is an innate emotion. It is a natural expression and assertion. Aggression is a behavior that goes beyond rational expression and can lead to violence. Managing such behavior may need support and guidance from a professional therapist to change it.

  35. You have no idea what tomorrow brings. You can plan or worry about tomorrow, but you do not know what will happen. Take steps towards the future but remember to be present today and release the attachment to outcomes not guaranteed.

  36. Depression and anxiety can be healed. You don’t have to continue to exist in a state of constant anxiety or depression. You can heal with therapy, lifestyle changes, and the incorporation of self-nurturing practices. Seek support from a professional you feel connected to and trust to guide you.

  37. Drugs and alcohol do NOT numb the pain. It is common for many people to indulge in substances as a coping mechanism. They can help us feel a sense of relief in the moment but can create a false sense of resilience. Relying on these behaviors to feel good every day can become a destructive cycle of dependence.

  38. Deal with stress. Low-level, short-term stress can be good for us. It can help us complete our tasks and projects. Long-term extreme stress, however, may be harmful to our health. It can overload our adrenal and digestive systems and affect behavior, mindset, and mood. 

  39. Nature is medicine. There’s a reason our ancestors relied on the healing powers of nature. It helps us reduce stress, feel calm, reduce anxiety, increase happiness, and support the body to do what it’s naturally wired to do – heal. Get outside and boost your well-being.

  40. Are you obsessed with being thin? We’ve been conditioned throughout life to believe that being thin means you are healthier, more successful, more loveable, more beautiful, and happier. Yes, losing weight can be a health benefit, but so can self-acceptance. Focus on that so everything else can happen naturally.

  41. Read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Understanding how you give and receive love is powerful. Understanding how your loved ones give and receive love is your superpower. It will help to reduce confusion in relationships and help you feel more fulfilled. Do you show love through Acts of Service? Or maybe you're more of a Words of Affirmation person. 

  42. Steal time. Everyone has equal amounts of time each day. How you prioritize it determines how you enjoy it. Stop saying, “Life is short”’ Stop saying, “Time moves so fast.” Start saying, “I have all the time I need,” and for goodness sake, slow down!

  43. ‘No’ is your superpower. Learn to say no more often and not feel guilty about it. How often do you agree to do things when you don’t want to? Permit yourself to assert some boundaries. There’s a difference between obligation and option. 

  44. Be intense and love deeply. Embrace the passion of your interests. Stoke the fire in your belly. Follow the urges. Anything less than a ‘hell yes’ is a no. Whether it be your partner, your business, or a creative venture, if it’s meant to be you’ll feel it in your bones.

  45. Be the goddess of contrast. Balance the binge with the om. “You can be a goddess-like spiritual being, be zen af and watch Netflix! Whatever works for you is perfect. You don’t have to do life like anyone else.” Page 21, The Glorious Responsibility of Happiness.

  46. Chair of compassion. Next time you feel like firing off a tirade of strong words, consider how you would feel if you were to be on the receiving end. Imagine the intended recipient is sitting across from you. How could you deliver your point through compassion to amicably resolve a situation?

  47. The greater the expectation the greater the disappointment. Maintaining high expectations about other people or being attached to an outcome of a situation can result in great disappointment. I was once told, “People will let you down and it will be the ones you least expect.” Be prepared for that.

  48. Encourage your children to be different.  The greatest achievements in the world have been led by people who have refused to be like everyone else. Celebrate your children going against the grain. Even in the most challenging moments, a child who can feel secure in who they are will do great things. They are our future.

  49. The way you think, feel, and act is not your fault, but it is your responsibility. You are who you are because of all you have experienced. Your environment has shaped your beliefs and behaviors. You have the power to create the change you desire. It only requires you to take the first step, the rest will follow.

  50. Stop searching. It is human nature to want more. We overwhelm ourselves through hustling, pushing, seeking, and searching for bigger, better, smarter, wealthier, and happier. The secret is to stop. Embrace stillness and learn to allow inspiration and answers to flow. You will find fulfillment.


How did you relate to the list of truths? Did you feel some resistance, learn something new, or nod your head in agreement? Maybe you disagree. At the very least, if you are reflecting on your thoughts, feelings, and behavior, you are halfway to truer happiness in your life. Once you decide you have the potential to change your life for the better, your willingness will lead you in the right direction.


For support or further discussion about any of the points raised in this article, you are invited to email Ali to ask questions, share your views, and enquire about how you can work together to achieve your greatest happiness. Get the book, The Glorious Responsibility of Happiness.


 

Ali Williams, Therapist

Ali Williams is the 'uncomplicated' therapist specialising in healing trauma codes in the brain and body. After losing her mother at the age of 16 to breast cancer, and receiving two cancer diagnoses herself, Ali chose wisdom, not war. After studying formally to become a qualified therapist, Ali has developed programs and strategies to help women focus on healing their own lives. Her first published book reflects the theme of taking responsibility for happiness. Ali believes everyone has the opportunity to claim their birth right to be happy regardless of circumstances.

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