Every day we have a huge choice. We can choose whether or not we want to be happy.
Some of you get me, some of you are sitting there rolling your eyes at me. “Caitlin c’mon, you don’t choose happiness. You have to achieve whatever it is you’re striving for in order to truly be happy. Otherwise it’s just fake.” Well, dear, misled followers, that is very false.
We can choose to be happy. No, it’s not always easy, it’s usually easier to get cranky, or annoyed, or flustered, or just flat out pissed off. But wouldn’t you rather put all that energy and effort into fighting for happiness? I know I would. What do you get from being grumpy? Nothing but some annoyed family and friends. So why waste that energy?! It’s so much more fulfilling to just be happy.
I made a commitment to myself to make that choice every day, and not blow it! It’s not always easy, but I have been happier the last few months than I have ever been! Because no matter what life throws at me I feel like happiness brings a certain clarity to situations that frustration and anger always cloud!
I promise you, it isn’t as hard as it sounds! And here are my top 5 ways to choose happiness!
1) Look at the Big Picture!
Most of the time when we’re upset about something, it’s really nothing. This one sounds so cheesy, but I promise, next time you’re stressing and upset about something just pause. Ask yourself (honestly) if what is going on is going to really matter a year from now. Nine times out of ten, it won’t. In fact, it’s usually so small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, that you won’t even remember what happened a year from now. So stop petting the sweaty things! Whoops! You know what I mean!
2) Are You Being Too Selfish?
Another frequent cause of unhappiness is selfishness. We’ll be mad that something didn’t go our way and we get upset. Usually though, not getting our way isn’t really that big of a deal. But realizing that can take a little more honesty than #1! Most people want what they want, and respond pretty badly when they don’t get it. Instead of responding badly, why not take a beat and think about it. Is it really the end of the world if your cranky toddler wakes up from his nap after 20 minutes instead of the usual two hours? Yes, you get less time to blog (I may or may not be speaking from experience here) but you also get more time to bond with your kid. There’s usually a positive way to look at things, sometimes we just have to be willing to.
3) Just Be Mad!
This one sounds a little counter productive, but stick with me here. A wise, wise friend of J’s taught us this one and it is seriously gold.
How many times have you been in a fight with a spouse, family member, boyfriend, girlfriend, or friend, and just been so seriously furious? You’re so mad you don’t even want to calm down. I know, you’re all nodding cause we have all been there. I’m sure we’ve all had somebody feel that way in a fight with us too! The absolute best thing you can do is either tell yourself or the other person to take 30 minutes and be angry, but you have to be 100% angry. No happy thoughts. No smiling. Nothing but anger and bad thoughts.
I promise you when you’re mad, just that thought of sitting somewhere and be 100% furious will be enough to make you laugh. It’s always worked for me and when I use it on others. And it’s probably the easiest tip too!
4) Stop Complaining!
There is a great quote that says “Talk about your blessings more than your burdens.” And it is so freaking true. Always make it a point to talk about your blessings, it might be hard at first, especially if you’re a very big “talk about your burdens” kind of person, but it gets easier. Soon enough, it becomes second nature! Then one day you’ll be talking to somebody and you’ll realize you haven’t said a single negative thought! You were too busy being joyful (and in turn passing along some happiness and positivity) that you can’t even think of any burdens to whine about! (When this day comes I expect an excited and happy email from each and every one of you letting me know so I can share in your joy too!)
5) Control Your Own Attitude
I think it’s safe to assume that 99.999999992% of you would not sign yourselves into slavery, right? So why do people sign there attitude over to others every single day?
There’s this great expression I always use when Gigi is being short with me for no reason: don’t kick the cat. Which is a shortened version of this little story about this guy who had a bad day at work where his boss “kicked” him, he went and “kicked” his wife, who “kicked” the dog, who “kicked” the cat. Now, none of these people needed to be kicked. The boss should have checked his emotions and dealt with it. However he obviously didn’t, he choose to “kick” his worker. If this worker had said, “hey alright, obviously my boss is having an off day, but you know what, I got done what I needed to, and why does this man think he has a say in my mood? I control my mood, not him.” And nobody else would have had to have gotten kicked.
Just like every other tip I have listed here, no, this is not that simple. However, with practice it does become second nature. If you know a man who can’t seem to keep his finances in check for the life of him, you aren’t going to allow him to help you with your finances are you?! Same holds true here. Why let somebody control your emotions and your happiness when they can’t even handle there own? That just seems silly to me! So stop letting them. Nobody has the right or the power to affect your happiness unless you give them that power. Don’t. I promise. This tip will pay you back exponentially once you start implementing it in your life!
There you have it! My top 5 ways to choose happiness every day! They are all very do-able, try implementing a new one each week! I have only been on this quest for peace and happiness for a couple of weeks and every single one of these 5 have played a huge part in a massive change in my attitude, happiness, and just flat out love of life! I hope they can help you as much as they have helped me!
While writing this blog post I came up with so many more ideas that I have been using (and not even really realized I was using) than just these 5, so I will be posting a part 2 soon! Subscribe below so you don’t miss it!
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