Hi my name is Jane and I am a happy person. But, not naturally, when I wake up, I choose happiness every morning.
First off, let’s talk about what this post isn’t about. This isn’t about mental illness. This isn’t about clinical depression. There are doctors for those kinds of things for a reason. This is about living in a world where dating apps are now based on mutual hate. This is about living in a world where it’s easier to be negative than positive.
I have a good life, I’m #blessed, and all that obnoxious stuff. I had a childhood that could only be described as magical with an incredible family. I have an amazing, supportive boyfriend that I lovingly refer to as the handsome hunk who gives me butterflies and we have a love story that makes me so happy to be a part of. I have a career that leaves me feeling rewarded and I am compensated well for. I have the time and means to be able to travel a bit and have some hobbies. After all that, I mean, who wouldn’t be happy?
It’s easy to be a cynic, our society loves the cynic. It’s uncool to be overly happy, those people get so annoying. We tell lovebirds to get a room. The cool people in movies are always edgy, brooding and misunderstood. Don’t even get me started on hipsters. And it’s so easy to fall into that trap yourself. Getting stuck in the cycle of negativity. Suddenly that good job isn’t where you expected yourself to be by now. Or the wonderful relationship doesn’t live up to the expectations that romcoms have set up for us. And then slowly over time, we become genuinely unhappy.
Happiness isn’t something that just happens. It’s practiced and chosen. We all have bad days, anyone who says otherwise is lying, or trying to sell something. Probably both. So how do you choose happiness every day? Here are five easy ways to choose happiness each day.
How easy is it, especially in the land of social media, to always want more than we have? I don’t have that Chanel bag that I’m just sure would make my life better. I don’t have a vacation home in Aspen, if I did then I’d be happy. I don’t look that perfect first thing when I wake up in the morning, and if I did people would love me more. I could go on and on, it’s endless. And it makes it so easy to lose sight of the things we do have. I’m sure there isn’t a single person reading this who isn’t grateful for anything at all. Remembering those things, writing them down, visiting them often and genuinely feeling gratitude for the marvelous things we have in our life is so important to our happiness. We can strive, hustle and wish for more. But we have to be happy wherever we are in life right now.
Get Out and Move
I’m putting this on the list, although it might gets some groans, because I wholeheartedly believe it. No one likes to work out you guys. Maybe there are a select few out there, but honestly I’ve never met them. I don’t mind working out, but it’s much easier for me to not. If my choices are gym or happy hour and I went with my heart, happy hour would win, every single time. But being active and scheduling time to get out and move, whatever that means to you, is so important. I truly don’t believe you can be at your fullest potential mentally if you’re ignoring your physical well being and health. I certainly don’t mean everyone needs to be marathon runners, lord knows I’m not. But I can tell you, becoming active and physically healthy is the number one thing that triggered my happiness, more than anything else. It’s on the list because it works.
Whatever that means to you. Some people like to breath and become one with the earth. Others like to talk to God. That could also mean just finding a quiet moment with coffee to sit and think. I like to, when I first wake up in the morning, close my eyes, relax, envision what I want my day to look like. It takes just a few minutes, it helps me feel centered, and have my big picture goals for the day figured out. When I don’t do this, I feel scrambled the whole rest of the day. What am I supposed to be doing? What did I need to accomplish? Ahh I can’t remember, and next thing I know I’m stressed out over small trivial things like laundry and not at all accomplishing my big picture goals that are actually going to lead to more happiness.
Boost Others Up
I try to every day tell someone something that shows I appreciate them, I’m thinking about them, or just to bolster their confidence. This is simple, but I have to be intentional about it or I forget. When you boost others up, it strengthens your relationship with them, and as social creatures, it makes you feel good in return. This is as simple as telling a coworker you admire the way they throw an outfit together, sending an email telling someone thank you for something or writing a letter with kind words for someone. Bringing others up, brings yourself up too.
Take Time for Yourself
We live in a society where an astronomical amount of people live in constant stress. From their jobs, to relationships, or money, and health concerns, the list goes on and on. And yet, we never put ourselves first. To really be happy, we can’t stretch ourselves so thin that we don’t have quality me time. This is our life people, let’s live it and be an active participant in it doing the things we love! Maybe that means taking a weekend day to binge all day on Netflix. Maybe that means taking a bubble bath and reading a few chapters in the book you’ve been trying to read but never have time. Maybe that means spending some time on hobbies. Whatever it means to you, write it in your schedule, block out the time, and make yourself a priority in your own life.
What do you do to make yourself happy?