Tuesday, May 22, 2012

C'mon get happy!

Posted By: Leah

One of my favorite topics to talk about is how to bring more happiness into our lives. I consider myself pretend to be an expert, just becaue I've been successful in bringing happiness into my own life. So many people see me and just assume my life is so wonderful and always has been because I appear to be so cheerful and bubbily all the time. And yes, this is true for the most part. My life really doesn't suck currently, but this absolutely hasn't always been the case. I created my own directional guide of what steps I took to get my happy-back. And you can get your happy back too.

And... if you're a new reader (HI!) this might help you learn a little more about me, because obviously you want to know (why else are you reading this? :)

So who am I and what makes me the expert on finding the happiness in everyday? I'm a single mama, I'm a working mama, I have had debt, I've experienced loss, I have been like all of you and at times wondered 'why me? how did this end up being my life?'

I'm happy to report that in a very short time I was able to completely turn my life around, to realize my 'new normal' and to become happy again. Actually, forget 'happy again' I was able to live a life of freedom and purpose. To embrace what I truly enjoy. A life filled with experiences beyond my wildest dreams of what I thought possible. And today I'm going to share with you some tips to make your own life this 'lovely.'

1- Get rid of the bad in your life. Ok bad is a little too harsh. Get rid of the things that make you anything less than happy. Whether it's a job, a house or a relationship; toxic people and places bring you down. Yes, this is scary. Change is hard. Maybe it's something you deep down know you need to do. Maybe it's something society may judge you on, like if you're a stay at home mom... hate it... and want to get back to work. Maybe it's a relationship or even marriage. Don't stay in a bad situation just because you don't want to become a statistic. Get brave and do what you need to do. Seek the support to make this change. Help is out there. My city has a Women's Resource Center. I'm sure your city does too. They can help with all of this. For free.

2- Love yourself. Now that you've had the courage to change, you will be feeling on top of the world. Or you'll be scared, wondering if you did what was right for your family and more importantly, yourself. Whatever the outcome, I truly believe 'everything happens for a reason.' As Joel Osteen says, 'stop being a victim and be a victor.' Do what you need to do to put yourself first. Trust me on this, if you don't put yourself first, no one else ever will.

3- Find faith and hope. Many people choose to attend church for this. But... sometimes church can be the reason of guilt in other people's lives. Find a way to serve the greater good. This can be through volunteering, donating your time or skills. Everyone has something to give. Only you know what your unique skill is. And if you don't think you have one, know you'll discover it. Do some soul searching and find what you have to give. Hope shifts, hope changes. But you'll find it.

4- Be open to new experiences. Don't say no to an opportunity just because it scares you or is something you've never done before. You may find your new favorite activity. You may discover a lifestyle different from your own that you were meant to live. For me, after I got divorced, I went vegan for a while. I lost 20 lbs, felt amazing, and regained all the self confidence that I had lost. I am totally back on the meat and dairy now... but during the time it was the best decision I could have made. For my self-esteem, my karma, all of that :) PS I have a zillion vegan tips, recipes, etc over on the right ---->

5- Be positive! This is sometimes hard. Especially with blogs, and social media. That's where we go to vent, to gain support from friends, from other people similar to ourselves. But misery loves company. You are the one who can make the decision to have a good day versus a bad day. You are the one who can force a smile and suck it up to make it through the day. No, life is not always sunshine and roses. There will always be situations that you're faced with that are not fun. Make the decision to be positive and anything will be easier to deal with.

What makes you happy? Things that make me happy are having a clean house (even though I hate to clean), feeling confident (even if that means wearing make-up and I don't think I have the time), eating healthy (even though it takes more planning than I want), exercising (even though I hate it). Doing the things that make us happy sometimes isn't easy. Sometimes it is. The more you practice being positive, and living the life you know you need to live, the easier it gets.

Know that end of the day, your happiness lies within yourself. You're the one out there making this happen. Yes, other people will be positively impacted, but just spread the happy. Let them know what it is that works for you. What your secret to happiness... and if you truly aren't happy, if it's something that needs professional help there is no shame in getting it.

PS the pic at the top is totally a throw back to this POST literally right before (i mean not hours, like weeks) I made the decision to get separated. I do miss wearing all that bling lol. A girl's gotta sparkle : )

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