I live by the motto “Today I Choose Joy!” No matter what happens the day before I start each day as a new day to start over. Here’s the thing you cannot wish yourself to a happier life. Happiness is a choice. You have to work for it. Yeah, things in life make it difficult but at the end of the day, you are the only one in control of your happiness.
Unless you do things to raise your levels of happiness, energy and overall positivity, you will continually drain yourself. You have to take ownership in making yourself happy! That is why I say “Life’s Hard, Choose Joy Anyways” because you have to choose happiness. Tell yourself “You know what? I am going to be happy today. No matter what happens. I am going to smile and I am going to do things that make me happy. I am going to choose not to let outside influences affect my mood.” So, to help make it easier to get started I made a list of things to do for a happier life.
To Do List For a Happier Life
Embrace a “Bedtime”
Trust me, I get the whole “I am an adult and I no longer need a bedtime.” But let me tell you a story. In college and for a time after I had this theory that it was ok to go to bed whenever I felt tired. I have an adventurous heart and acted like a toddler who distracts themselves from how tired they actually are. It was a horrible life decision. I would be a tired grump who just went through the motions instead of living life to its fully awake potential.
So, how did I change? I took control of my own schedule. I trained my body to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. It is pretty rare that I have to set an alarm since my body has a natural 5:30 AM get your bottom out of bed and start this awesome day alarm.
The amount of energy I have now than I did before is outstanding. Getting the right amount of sleep is a great start to an amazing day.
Practice the”F” Word
No, not that “F” word (Even though I do occasionally uses that F word too. Accidents happen.) …FORGIVENESS is the word we all should practice.
Why would you choose to hold on to pain, bitterness, and resentment? Forgiveness is a gift to yourself, not others. When you forgive someone or yourself you find peace and closure to the situation. Trust me, you are not letting someone off of the hook when you forgive them.
Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself, to be at peace, to be happy and to be able to sleep at night. You’re not doing this for them, you’re doing it for yourself, to set yourself free from the feelings of hurt, anger, and helplessness that kept you attached for so long, and to be at peace.
Turn Up The Tunes
Turn off the TV and turn on your favorite music. Listening to music while cleaning, working or just relaxing can instantly uplift your mood. I am an avid music listener. If you ever walk into my house there is a good chance that I will have music blaring and I am probably singing off key. (Embarrassing but honest!)
And if you need even more inspiration and motivation, listen to podcasts or Ted Talks. I have written about them before and on days I need a bit more of a pick me up I list to one of them. They give me the inspiration for living a happy healthy life!
Relax? Well Jenn, how do I do that? To be honest, that is a whole ‘nother blog post in itself but I can tell you some things that I do to relax.
My favorite way to get out of my own head and block out all outside stresses is yoga. I used to think yoga was for middle aged health gurus…Don’t judge me. But if I would have known how amazing yoga can be for the body but also for the mind I would have started a long time ago!
According to YogaJournal.com, yoga helps make you happier, improve your posture, and helps you focus and reduce stress. While breathing is an important part of yoga, it helps those who get anxiety or other conditions that raise blood pressure.
I have gotten over my misguided yoga assumptions and have become a yoga enthusiast. It is a workout that relaxes the mind and body but also reminds you of the muscles you forgot you had.
So next time you are stressed try yoga. Or if you see that yoga class at your gym, go ahead and give it a try.
Sweat It Out
Sure, we all know that exercise is good for you. It helps maintain a healthy weight and strengthens muscles. But did you know that exercise can also make you a happier person? Yep, It’s true.
Physical activity helps our bodies produce disease-fighting proteins—called antibodies—and our brains release endorphins. While antibodies boost happiness by keeping illness at bay, endorphins are feel-good chemicals that improve your mood while promoting feelings of euphoria. To top it all off, research suggests that regular activity may lead to lasting happiness.
The next time you’re feeling down, stressed or anxious, get off the couch and get some exercise instead. Because you’ll not only feel more confident, energized, and calm. You’ll be a healthier and happier person for life.
Feed Your Body
Do you ever sit down and eat too much pizza and then feel like crap an hour later? No, just me. Here’s the thing I love pizza and donuts but I hardly ever feel amazing after eating them. Now if I chow down on some healthy foods I always feel slim and awesome afterward.
I am not saying that you cannot treat yourself to the foods you love. All I ask is that you do so in moderation. Try to remember that food is fuel for our body and mind. If you remember that I believe you will have an easier time eating healthy!
Develop Positive Relationships
How can you be healthier, happier, more successful, and live longer? The answer is positive relationships. Positive relationships form a foundation for happiness and success. We all have relationships we have chosen like our friends, relationships we have inherited from our family, and relationships that are a result of our circumstances like work and classmates.
For a friendship or marriage to allow both people to flourish, each person is an active participant in helping create the other one’s positive future. Whether we are a friend, lover, daughter, or grandparent, each relationship gives us a chance to invest our energy in making another person’s reality better. Each of us needs to fully show up, be present, listen, express ourselves, and care for the other, and that requires time and attention. When it all works out well, and we can see the happiness on the other’s face, that creates, at least for me, the best feeling of satisfaction in the world.
Why You Deserve To Be Happy
Alright, I told you ways to become happier but I haven’t told you why. Why should you be happy? Well because you deserve it!
You deserve to be happy because you are not your past. You are not the choices you made or the chances you took when you didn’t know better than to take them.
You deserve to be happy because the past cannot be altered but the future’s still wide open.
You deserve to be happy because there is no sense in not being yourself.
You deserve to be happy because the voice in your head telling you otherwise is fear.
You deserve to be happy because happy people make their lives matter
We all deserve our own version of happiness. So go after your happiness and never look back!
What makes you happy?
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