We all have setbacks and challenges in life. While some setbacks are minor, and easy to move past, others can affect us deeply. Some challenges leave us wondering whether our lives will ever be the same again. These sorts of setbacks can leave us questioning how to be happy again.
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Let’s dive into how to be happy again after a setback in life.
Give yourself permission to be happy
You need to give yourself permission to be happy. You have to permit yourself to be joyful again.
Giving yourself permission means allowing yourself to be happy despite what has happened in the past or what is happening around you right now. It means allowing yourself to be happy after everything you have endured.
Giving yourself permission is important. It’s a step forward in dealing with any guilt or shame you might be carrying around.
Take the first step and let yourself be happy.
Books on happiness that can help –
- The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life by Shawn Achor
- The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent A Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin
- Chase The Fun: 100 Days to Discover Fun Right Where You Are by Annie F. Downs
- Getting Back to Happy: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Reality, and Turn Your Trials into Triumphs by Marc Chernoff and Angel Chernoff
Buy on Amazon
Believe you deserve to be happy again
Had your heart broken in a terrible breakup or divorce? Situations like these can shake your confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes they can shake us to our core.
When your heart is broken or you feel abandoned by a loved one it can shake your confidence so much that you feel that you don’t deserve to be happy.
When we believe we don’t deserve to be happy we self-sabotage. We don’t act lovingly towards ourselves because deep down we don’t believe that we deserve love, self-acceptance, and happiness.
Believe you deserve to be happy.
CreativeLive has a popular online course The Power of Happiness run by Vanessa Van Edwards. Check out the modules for this course, to see if this course could help you. 🙂
Find reasons to be happy
Sometimes we have to find reasons to be happy. We have to proactively seek out reasons to feel joy and happiness.
We have to CREATE reasons to be happy. It’s not about just sitting around waiting for happiness to come to us. We need to grab it with both hands.
We do that by seeking joy in the simplest of things.
Years ago, when I was going through a difficult time in my life, I would have a morning routine on my walk to the office that brought me moments of joy. It was such a simple process. I would walk past a cafe that had a lovely picture of a cat painted on its wall. Then I’d marvel at the trees in our city mall, and the way the sun created a beautiful soft light against one of the buildings and the crisp blue sky. I’d listen to the beautiful call of a bird in the trees.
Listening to the bird every morning and walking through the mall being absorbed in the moment made me feel happy even when the rest of my day was sometimes a mental struggle.
It was a moment of pure joy every morning and it helped me turn things around. It was such a simple morning routine but it made such a big difference in my life.
You must find happiness in the little things
Happiness isn’t just about the big things. If anything, one of the great secrets of life is finding the joy and wonder in the everyday things.
Books that can help you through difficult times. I have read each of these books and they have helped me a great deal. These 3 books are some of my favorite self-help books. I often re-read sections of them when I am struggling with a particular issue or need a boost.
- How to Be a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
- How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t: 14 Habits That Are Holding You Back From Happiness by Andrea Owen
- Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? Everyday Tools for Life’s Ups and Downs by Dr. Julie Smith
Buy on Amazon
Do more things that make you happy
Want to be happy? Then you need to do things that make you happy!
It seems like such a no-brainer but so many of us seem to constantly be doing things that make us miserable.
I wrote a whole post about this subject, so make sure you check out How to Do More of What Makes You Happy
Deal with any grief that is weighing you down
If you want to be happy again, you need to deal with any grief you might be dealing with. Grieving isn’t just about a person or a pet we love dying. It can be much more than that.
Sometimes we may need to grieve major endings in our lives. Losing jobs that we loved, cutting toxic people out of our lives, or realizing that we are never going to have the relationship we wanted with a loved one.
We can grieve something that we have never even had!
Grief is a challenging beast. It isn’t linear. It doesn’t logically step through its five stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) in a timed, methodical approach. It’s completely the opposite of logical. One minute you might feel nearly normal and the next moment, you are sobbing your eyes out.
Grief can sneak up on you when you least expect it. One small trigger and it all comes rushing back.
Grief is something that you should not try to rush. Working through grief takes time. Remember there is no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to grief, so be kind and patient with yourself.
Books on grief that can help you if you are struggling –
- It’s Okay that You Are Not Okay: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand by Megan Devine
- Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief by Joanne Cacciatore Ph.D.
- Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief by Martha W. Hickman
Deal with your shame
Shame is something that we all feel. It’s also something that we need to deal with. We all make mistakes. We all do things we regret.
Sometimes our unhappiness may be caused by other people’s actions but often it’s caused by our actions, and behaviors (not that we are too good at admitting that to ourselves).
Hence the shame.
Brene Brown the expert on shame has some wonderful advice in her bestselling books on shame and vulnerability –
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead
- Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Buy on Amazon
Face your problems
Often our go-to for dealing with our problems is avoiding them. We pretend they don’t exist. We go into denial.
Denial might make us feel comfortable for a while but it eats away at our happiness. It leaves us with a terrible feeling of unfinished business and let’s be honest dread. Denying our problems leaves us with a deep feeling of dread.
We dread the things we are trying to deny raising their ugly head and making our situation worse. Because that’s the kicker, when we deny our problems and try to hide from them, they tend to grow and morph into much bigger issues.
When we face our problems, we can take steps to work through them. We challenge ourselves to fix them which helps move our lives forward.
Tone down your anger
A lot of people seem very angry. Whether their anger is justifiable is not the issue. Yet the fact remains that many of us have our anger meters ramped up on high.
The slightest thing annoys us. The smallest error, mistake or indiscretion has us venting our emotions on social media.
If you want to be happy again, it pays to dial down your anger. Instead, ramp up your patience, compassion, and caring.
If you have a lot of anger, it might be worth speaking to a trained medical professional to help get your anger under control.
Related post – Feeling Angry? Who Are You Really Mad At?
Don’t sit at home alone
Don’t get me wrong, I love my home. Plus I’m an introvert so I gladly, happily spend a lot of time at home. But even I have my limits when it comes to isolation. Too much isolation is bad for your mental and physical health. Too much isolation can start to affect your happiness.
When we are going through a difficult time, many of us isolate ourselves. This isolation only adds to our struggle.
Reaching out to people even if it is over the phone and head out of the house as often as you can.
Get out in nature
Being out in nature is a great way to boost your happiness.
Standing on the beach and watching the surf roll up on the sand is such a therapeutic experience. Sunsets and sunrises can fill us with the same sense of wonder and awe. Staring up at the moon and the stars can remind us how big and amazing the world truly is.
Whether it is hiking in the woods or simply walking around your local park, being out in nature helps us to feel grounded. Throw in spending precious time with your beloved pet (either out in nature or in your own backyard) and you increase your happiness and joy quota even more.
Be around people who support you
It’s important that you spend time around people who support you. Spending time with people who get you and accept who you are makes you happy.
Being around people who don’t support you will do the complete opposite. It will make you miserable.
When I was young, I used to fear being lonely. It terrified me. Having gotten older and having spent a lot of time on my own, I have learned something. Being alone is not something to be scared of. Having people in your life that you love who don’t support you is a lot worse.
We all need people who believe in us, people who support us when life throws a curve ball our way.
Spend time with your supporters. The people you support who also support you. Just a reminder, you don’t need dozens of these people, one can make a huge difference in your life.
Don’t compare your happiness to someone else’s
This is where most of us come unstuck when it comes to our happiness.
We might have a wonderful day enjoying our own company and feeling fulfilled until we jump on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok and see everyone else’s happy moments.
Then we feel terrible.
Suddenly our happiness doesn’t compare. One minute we were perfectly happy and then when compared to someone else’s perceived happiness our happiness suddenly feels a lot less than.
Our happiness comes up short when we compare it to someone else’s.
Comparison is a happiness killer. Learn how to avoid comparing yourself to other people and watch your happiness increase.
Related posts and books that can help you stop comparing yourself –
- Comparititis: How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and Be Genuinely Happy by Melissa Amborsini
- 16 Thought-Provoking Comparison Quotes
- How to Stop Comparing Yourself to People on Social Media
Buy on Amazon
Just be (without your phone)
Unfortunately, many of us seem to equate happiness with having an electrical device in our hands. Whether it’s our mobiles, tablets, laptops, gaming programs, or about a million different apps we might be using.
Find happiness without these things.
Disconnect as often as you can. I promise you the world won’t end and you just might find some peace of mind.
Seek happiness in the chaos
If you are waiting for everything in life to be perfect or normal or calm or whatever similar word you want to substitute here before you are happy you will be waiting a long time.
Stuff happens, some we can control, and a lot we can’t.
When we put off our happiness until everything is perfect we are putting our happiness and our lives on hold.
Which kind of leads me to the next point.
Don’t put your happiness on hold
We often put our happiness on hold without realizing it.
We think we will be happy again when we get married, lose weight, have a baby, get a better job, or have a bigger house. The list goes on and on.
When we put our happiness on hold, there is always something that has to happen before we can be happy again. Instead, we need to work on being happy while we are working towards our goals.
Don’t expect to be happy all the time
It’s important to remember that you aren’t going to be happy ALL of the time.
Yes, some people are naturally optimistic, and positive a lot of the time but as humans, it is normal to feel sadness, disappointment, and frustration when we suffer a huge setback.
Often the super positive people are quicker at bouncing back after a setback but it doesn’t mean that they don’t struggle with their feelings.
Related post – Are You Expecting Too Much From Happiness?
Not being ourselves makes us unhappy. We struggle with a lot of unhappiness when we aren’t being true to ourselves. We struggle with life when we have to pretend to be someone or something other than who we truly are.
True happiness and being at peace with yourself means being honest about who you are.
Stay true to yourself and be the best version of yourself.
Related posts –
Work on your self-worth and personal growth
If you hate yourself you will struggle to be happy. Self-loathing does not pave the way to happiness.
Having a high sense of self-worth and confidence is important. If you want to be happy again, you need to work on your self-worth.
If you are struggling with self-doubt (which often happens after a setback), I recommend an excellent Creativelive online course that you can take. It’s called How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Building Real Confidence by the amazing Mel Robbins. I have taken this CreativeLive course myself and got a lot out of it. You can read my review here.
Here are a couple of my articles that can help you.
- Know Your Own Worth
- 10 Powerful Ways to Improve Your Self-Worth and Self-Esteem
- 10 Ways High Self-Esteem and Self-Worth Has a Huge Impact on Your Life
Give yourself time to heal
Healing can be an important step in getting back to being happy again.
When we have been in a bad relationship or suffered a devastating loss, it’s important that we give ourselves time to heal. To heal we need to be kind to ourselves, we need to show ourselves compassion.
While the time it takes to heal can feel frustrating and challenging, we must give ourselves the gift of that time. We deserve to heal and feel at peace again.
As much as we would like to, we can’t rush the healing. You shouldn’t try to skip the healing either (in case you thought that was an option). But you can get trained professional help, which leads to my next point.
Related post – Finding Peace After a Toxic Relationship – How to Find the Peace You Deserve
Get help if you need it
Sometimes we need some extra help and support. Sometimes we need professional help from a trained therapist and/or a medical professional. Never feel ashamed to reach out for help.
Look to see what help is available in your area. There may be a phone or online service you can utilize for free. Or you may be able to access counseling through a work program. You may even be able to get some Government-assisted counseling. Dig deep to find the options that are available in your area.
Start researching, there may be a lot more options available for you to get the help you need than you realize.
How to be happy again after a setback
Everyone falls down. Everyone has to deal with setbacks. The truth is, we will fall (and fail) many times if we are taking risks to improve ourselves and trying to get out of our comfort zone. It’s not about the setback itself.
It’s about getting back up again and moving forward with determination, courage, and joy.
Sometimes it takes us longer to get back up again than we’d like, and that’s okay.
Work on your personalized action plan on how to be happy again. Take one step at a time and bring happiness and joy back into your life.
Make sure you have a look at what CreativeLive has to offer. They have an excellent range of personal development courses that can help get your happy on!
If you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends on social media. Sharing is always greatly appreciated and it might help someone who needs a step in the right direction. 🙂
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