I’ve been thinking a lot lately about that one simple yet so very complicated word: Happiness. How many times have you heard people say things like, “I just want you to be happy” or “If you aren’t happy don’t do it?”? These types of phrases sound so simple. So, why is it that true and lasting happiness can be so difficult to find and hang on to? I’ll admit that I’ve been very blessed to have found many areas in my life that bring me extreme happiness and joy – My health and my family being at the top of the list.
Truth be told I still strive to achieve this peaceful state in many other areas of my life. I have found that by simplifying this task and taking solace in the repetition of your choices to better your state of mind make the journey much easier and in the end will get you to the state you seek. These are 3 simple steps that have helped me soooooo much over the years and that I truly believe work.
1. Let Go of the Negativity!
I’m talking full blown Frozen “Let It Go” karaoke moment (Now, you will be singing that song in your head the rest of the day. You’re welcome! Ha!). Trust me, I know how good it feels in the moment to throw an epic pity party, but in the end the negativity will simply weigh you down and isolate you from what you want.
One of the easiest ways to do this is with your breathing. I find for me when I feel those negative thoughts creeping in I simply take 10-15 seconds to close my eyes and breathe, big cleansing breaths. Taking the time to acknowledge the negativity and consciously release it is so incredibly powerful. It definitely takes practice. Some days, I find myself breathing through the whole day, but trust me on this it gets easier and over time the positive outlook on all things will dominate the negatives!
2. Choose a Healthy Lifestyle
Now, this one doesn’t just pertain to diet and exercise, although I think we can all agree that by choosing to do good things with our bodies contribute an overwhelming amount of “feel good” emotions. Remember in Legally Blonde when she said “People who exercise get endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands!” (Hilarious and oh-so-true!).
Choosing a healthy lifestyle also means surrounding yourself with people that make you feel good. Positive friends go a long way in the happiness department.
In addition to people, make sure your surroundings also make you happy, a good de-clutter and organization session in your home can do wonders for your mood. Choose to live in the type of environment that reflects the kind of mood you strive for!
3. Be Kind to Others
This one is hands down my favorite, but can sometimes be the hardest. I have found over the years that instead of being the first to fight back or get angry I try to just take a breath and give a kind word instead. Even if it is as simple as “I hear you, and although I know we don’t see eye to eye in this moment I can respect your opinion.” Tough I know, but trust me when you walk away you will feel so much better. I guarantee you will leave a lasting positive impact on the disagreeable person.
Also, on days that I’m feeling a little down and out I try to take any opportunities to do nice things for the people around me. It immediately gets me out of my own funk and turns my attention on others which will no doubt always make yourself feel better. Not only will it change your mood, but think about it, you are now aiding someone else’s pursuit of happiness! Win, win!
Yes, happiness is much more complicated than three simple steps, but I take peace in knowing that so much of it is simply my choice! You can choose to be happy and continue to pursue it, or you can in the same old funk by your own choice. I don’t know about you, but I find extreme joy in knowing that by choosing to practice these three steps in my everyday life I get one step closer to the happiness I seek. So, get out there and get happy!
Stay Happy & Healthy!
Happiness is closer than you think. Do you follow these three steps?