Have you ever asked yourself why you can never catch a break? You feel stuck in a dark hole with no ladder to escape. You yell for help and nobody hears you. If this sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right place. There is not an overnight solution to cure this problem. It takes time, patience and perseverance. Imagine you no longer dreaded Monday’s. Imagine if you could turn your day around after your kids caused you to be 10 min late to work. All you need is a place to start, so I’m going to give you your starting place right here with four tips to lead a happy life.
The number one thing that needs shifting is your mindset. Mindset is everything when it comes to living a happy life and the thing that only you have complete control over. Your mood is a choice. Negativity is perpetuated by negativity which is why you feel stuck. However, the good news is that the opposite holds true as well. That’s why people can be happy even if they are handed a deal of cards that may be covered in a questionable slime. It’s your life and you are in the driver’s seat.
Being in a good place mentally allows for a clearer headspace and permits better decision making. I’d have to imagine you’ve been told before never to make decisions when you’re in a bad mood. It’s where the phrase “let me sleep on it” comes from. Giving time and distance away from a situation saves from making a rash and regretful decision in the moment.
But let’s be honest, it’s sometimes REALLY HARD to put yourself in a positive place when the stress and anxiety is suffocating. As I type this, I have recently been going through a rough patch with my 22 month old. He used to be a pretty decent sleeper and was able to fall asleep on his own. Lately, he’s been wanting to be rocked to sleep and held that way for the night. Our nights have been filled with lots of tears coming from him and I both. In the midst of feeling defeated and at times even angry, I consciously think, “I need to put myself in a better mindset so I can handle the situation better.” BUT IT’S REALLY HARD.
Sleep is a requirement our bodies need to re-set in order to be highly functional. When the body is deprived of a critical need, it sends us into a downward spiral. You see? Negativity perpetuates negativity.
2. A HAPPY LIFE STARTS WITH MORNING ROUTINE
A happy life starts with setting the tone in the morning. It’s like being able to hit a re-set button. It’s a new day, a fresh start. So many successful people do simple mental exercises at the start of their day to set the tone of the day ahead. How these exercises present themselves looks a little bit different for everyone.
Ideas for morning exercises
- Take 5 really good deep breaths.
- Saying out loud 3 things you are grateful for.
- Set your intention for the day. Example: “Despite the busy day of meeting with clients, I won’t allow outside forces and news ruin my day”. Or “I look forward to meeting with my clients today. Some may be sour to deal with, but I will let their bad day or circumstances ruin mine”.
- Say out loud 3 positive affirmations about yourself or your work.
- Journaling (this I will talk more about later).
- Send someone a positive message and be the light to the start of their day.
- Compliment yourself
Setting the tone for the day doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process. In fact, these exercises should only take a few minutes out of your day. What’s important is that you take the effort to put your mind in the right place. Try something and if it’s not working, try something else. Do what works for you. Conforming to what other people do or what you think you “should do” will bring less enjoyment to the process and will become more of a burden. This results in not being able to stick to it and losing the opportunity to see what you can manifest from starting the day with a positive attitude.
How to fit it in
These are just some ideas on how to fit it in if you wonder how you can add another thing to the to-do list. Like I said, this shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
- In the shower – for the ones limited on time
- Morning commute
- In bed as soon as you wake up
- At the end of a morning mediation session
- During a morning mediation session
- In conjunction with your morning coffee
It’s important to remember…
If you have a rough morning to start, you still have your whole day ahead of you. Don’t let your spilled coffee or flat tire ruin your entire day. They are circumstances and are temporary. Your favorite shirt you spilled your coffee on likely won’t be your favorite in 3 months so let it go. Say “NOT TODAY!!”, laugh and start fresh.
You are in control of your day. Don’t wait for others to determine what kind of day you are going to have. Be ahead of the game. Call your own shots.
Starting your day off mad or angry closes your mind, causing you to overlook good opportunities staring you in the face. Positive energy draws positive circumstance and opportunity. Remember that.
3. Mid-day Check
Check in with yourself mid-day and see if you can make adjustments. Maybe you need to give yourself a little pep talk. Don’t be afraid to use your morning routine tools in the middle of the day if needed to make mindset shifts. Being aware of where you are at mentally and checking in with your mood and feelings is an awesome skill to have as you create that happy life you dream of having.
This may not be a popular item among many because the idea of it sounds childish. However, the power behind words on paper is sometimes what almost seems magical at times. Words have a way of expressing themselves and just coming out when given the opportunity. You may discover feelings you didn’t even know you had.
Journaling has a way of communicating with the sub-conscious mind. This allows you to get to know yourself better and dig deep within yourself. You start to figure out what you want out of life and what you don’t.
Be clear about how you see your life in respect to goals and dreams. When you have a clear vision and you write them down every single day, you are opening yourself to the universe and allowing yourself to make the changes needed to turn your dreams a reality.
Fun Fact: I wrote in a diary EVERY DAY from 7th grade until the end of my Freshman year of college. EVERY. DAY. In hindsight, I’m sad I let it go for all those years, but I am back at it and doing a few times a week.
Living a happy life isn’t always easy. It’s also not feasible to be happy every second of every day. Just do your best. It takes work, but make the effort and you’ll be glad you did.