I’m a happy person. Anyone that knows me will tell you that I usually have a smile on my face! Am I happy because I’ve never gone through hard times? Definitely not. Actually, probably the opposite. I think going through difficult situations has made me realize how precious life can be and to live in the moment.
Here are a few things that help me stay happy and positive, even when I am faced with challenging times:
1. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff: Seriously! It isn’t worth it! We are human and everyone makes mistakes. If I make a mistake or something happens that upsets me I try to take a step back and ask myself if this is something that will still upset me in three, six or twelve months from now. If it isn’t, I move forward. That really helps me put things in perspective and what is actually worth getting upset about.
2. Spend Time Alone: I like to meditate or do yoga. Even going for a walk and getting some fresh air can help shift your frame of mind.
3. Practice Gratitude Daily: Try starting the day with a positive thought or affirmation. It can be as simple as saying thank you that you are alive to live another day. Watch how that sets a positive tone for your day and your life in general.
4. Negative Self Talk: Just stop doing it. I am a huge believer in what you think about, you bring about. If you start thinking something negative, try consciously stopping yourself and replace it with a positive thought. It may feel awkward at the start but it really does make a difference. If something doesn’t go the way you were hoping, don’t beat yourself up about it. Trust that it wasn’t meant to be and that something even better is on the way for you.
5. Let Go: Holding on to negative things, feelings or people from your past isn’t serving you in your present. Try writing down on a piece of paper anything that you want to let go of, set an intention of wanting to release those negative feelings and then either burn or flush the paper down the toilet! It is pretty powerful!
6. Exercise: Exercising is directly linked to the release of endorphins, which are chemicals that make you feel good. Taking care of your body not only makes you feel good physically, it also helps you have a clear mind and makes you feel happier.
7. Dare to Dream: I think we live in a society that doesn’t always encourage dreaming. We seem to get caught up in the every day and a lot of times start living our lives on autopilot. I want to challenge you to take a moment and actually give yourself permission to dream! Ask yourself if money weren’t an issue, what would you be doing with your life? What truly makes you happy? If you could be anything, or go anywhere – what would that look like for you? Don’t be afraid to dream!
8. Journaling: I won’t lie, getting in the habit of journaling on a regular basis wasn’t easy for me (Even though I love to write! Go figure!). But it is a very powerful tool that can be used in so many positive ways. I actually split my journal into two sections. The first section I use to write about what is going on in my life and things that I am grateful for. The second half of my journal I use for negative things that I want to release. When I write about those negative situations and feelings, it helps me to let them go and move forward.
9. Love Yourself: Self-love is so important. You hear all the time that you have to love yourself before you can really love another person. There are so many ways to do this: find your “happy place”, write a list of the top 10 things you love about yourself, spend time doing something that you enjoy and are good at. Another great way to express self-love is to explore your spirituality. Regardless of what you believe, faith is the foundation of self-love. It can take you on an inner journey where you will open up to new ideas, emotions and passions and help you discover your authentic self. This is the true epitome of self-love.
10. Live in the Moment: The moment you stop living in the past or worrying about the future, is the moment you will start to understand happiness. Learn from the past and be excited about the potential in your future but be present and live in the moment. Even if you are going through a bad time, there is comfort in knowing that it won’t last forever. Life is made up of moments, some good and some bad. We have to experience both in order to appreciate the other. Life is a gift and no one knows how long we have here so enjoy it and live each moment to its fullest.