“Life is SUPER easy. I don’t even have to try, I have it all completely figured out and it’s just going fantastic!” -No one ever
Everything about life is overwhelming. Whether it’s the good stuff or the bad. It’s amazing and terrible and funny and weird all at the same time. Every single one of us has either had struggles, is going through struggles or will go through struggle at some point over the course of our lives. The struggle is very REAL. Nobody can control when something is going to go wrong in their lives…but that doesn’t mean that we need to sit around and wait for it either. That is pretty much the story of my life: “I’ll just be over here guys….waiting for everything to come crashing down”. I have lived life this way for far too long and I am taking steps to rewrite my story. In this post I just want to share a few things I try to implement into my life everyday to keep myself from thinking about all the horrible things that could happen and just enjoy that I’m alive right now.
These are just a few things I am working on and I have noticed a significant difference in my overall mood and stress level! If you want to share some of your own ideas in the comments section PLEASE do! I would love to hear from you on this and maybe we can all be on our way to happier, more enjoyable lives!
GET RID OF STUFF– I’m not talking about “re-organizing” the stuff you already have. You have to seriously get rid of some stuff. I don’t know about you but I have wasted so many hours of my life organizing all my crap into piles/boxes/bags just to move to a new place and unpack that same stuff and realize that I haven’t even touched it since the last time I packed it up. Be bold. If it isn’t important to you or just plain useless, ditch it. Sell it. Give it away. Whatever you have to do to get it out of your space then do it. You will feel relieved. I don’t recall ever feeling bad after getting rid of things that I didn’t need.
Here are some examples of things that I have no rhyme or reason to keep hanging on to yet they’re still sitting here taking up space:
– An entire box filled to the top with random cords of which I have absolutely no idea what they go to.
– Five million baby blankets
– About 200 notepads with 2-3 unwritten in pages
– Papers. Just SO many papers that I’m sure if I went through them I could probably throw 99% of them away.
Personally, I have plans to try a minimalist approach (maybe a new blog idea?) Here’s a link for one on Amazon:
This is a good place to quote Stepbrothers; “There’s so much room for activities!” Yes. Yes there is!! Do this today!!
DO SOMETHING NICE FOR SOMEONE– I have noticed that this simple idea is lost on a lot of people because something gets in the way. They’re own unhappiness gets in the way. I am guilty of it too. I have been angry or depressed and when presented with the opportunity to help someone else or help myself, I have done the latter on many occasions and it has taken me 28 years to realize that is exactly the opposite of what I should be doing to create happiness in my life. We can only achieve a significant level of happiness in our OWN lives if we learn how to give to others. Oprah figured it out a long time ago people. If you can afford to give away cars and houses then by all means go for it but as for the rest of us, just do something little because big or small it has the exact same effect!
Nice things you can do for people (that don’t require a 6 figure income!):
– Drop a coffee off for someone at their workplace
– Clean something! (dishes, gutters, their house, their car…So many possibilities!)
– Give a compliment. To a stranger, to someone you love but don’t tell them enough, to your hairstylist or your mailman or the cashier checking you out at the store. It will make their WHOLE DAY GUARANTEED!!
– Bake something and give it to your neighbors or you mom or someone you know. Just go straight old school and drop off a tray of brownies on their doorstep with a nice note saying “just because” or thank them for something nice they did recently. Make sure they have an idea where it came from so that it’s not sketchy (kinda sad that I have to include that but in this day and age you never know I guess)
Just get creative and find ways to make someone smile and it will in turn put a smile on your own face. My own mom is a shining example of doing nice things for people. She knows exactly what people need and she always seems to have “a little something” for somebody. She rocks at being nice!!
NURTURE YOURSELF- It is important to remember that as well as doing for others you can’t neglect yourself. This could look like a number of things (eating healthier, exercising more etc..) but specifically, nurture yourself with knowledge. I believe it is the core to our existence to always be learning and to strive to be better people than we were the day before. If you think you are perfect then you have cut off that connection to learning and therefore you cannot continue to grow. Figure out what you’re interested in and learn as much as you can about it or learn about something you know NOTHING about so that you can join in conversations instead of standing on the sidelines whenever someone brings it up. Have you always wanted to learn a second language? Do you wish you had a different job but you aren’t exactly qualified because you need to go back to school? Are you curious about parallel universes and wormholes (I am!). Whether you want to learn so that you can further your career or you just want to have more intellectual conversations with people the point is to always be open to learning. Self-improvement books are a great way to grow knowledge and confidence at the same time and the more confident you are in yourself, the happier you will be!
Check out this link for some books to start with!
LAUGH MORE- Seems obvious huh? For something that everybody tells you all the time and with the plethora of hilarious Youtube videos you would think this is a no-brainer. Are you someone who takes everything a little too seriously? Maybe you think there is a time for laughter and a time for business. I think you’re wrong. I think it is all intertwined and you can find the humor in any situation. Think about all the things you’re stressed about right now. Money problems, health issues, stress from work, stress from the people you work WITH, parenting…the list goes on and on. Now think about how often you seek out the humor in those issues? My guess is probably not enough. I have a two year old who has recently been potty trained (and when I say potty trained…I mean “potty” trained…not “poop” trained) as in…he sh*ts everywhere. Including a fast food bathroom which I will not name (mostly because I have tried to erase that day from my memory). It has been one of the most frustrating things I have ever had to deal with in my 28 years and the only way I’ve gotten through it is by just reminding myself that it will pass and to just see it for what it will be when he’s 18…hilarious. The thing is, everything can be stressful if you let it get to you. The world is a pretty messed up place and I think we have a lot to work on but we can also benefit by lightening up a little in our day to day routine.
DON’T EXPECT ANYTHING FROM ANYONE- Nobody owes you anything. You are responsible for your life and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you will see that being happy is going to come from the steps YOU take to get there. I don’t necessarily believe that we can “choose” happiness but I do believe we can absolutely “choose” to work on getting there. Stop complaining about reasons you’re unhappy and do something about it. Yes, this is easier said than done but nobody is going to hand you happiness. You have to care about having it. You have to feel worthy of it (which you totally are!) and you have to find it for yourself. I hear it all the time “my job sucks”, “I’m unhappy in my relationship”, “I’m depressed”. Those are all perfectly valid reasons for someone to be unhappy and I have said all of them myself, even all at once so I understand. But I am on my way to happiness because I have made decisions to get me closer to it. So many times I have cried out for help and though people have felt sorry for me and tried to help, in the end I had to make the decisions to get where I wanted to be. It won’t happen instantly of course, but you have to start by changing your mindset. Expect that from yourself. Hold yourself accountable and you will see your life transform.
Of course there are hundreds of ways to find happiness but I believe almost all of them can probably fit into one of these categories. It may not happen overnight, but if you work on these things consistently you will start seeing improvements in your mood and so will everyone else!!
Leave your comments or share your own story about choices you’ve made to have a happier life. What are you stressed about and how do you cope with that in a positive way? I’d LOVE to hear from you! If this post was helpful please let me know or feel free to share it and help make happier lives today!!