“Happify” Your Life

There are so many beautiful things in this world, so many beautiful people, so much love. Even if this life gets a little cramped and crooked sometimes, it’s all we’ve got and there are so many things to love about it. You just have to learn how to see the light. Yes, I know being happy is hard. It’s temperamental. It’s exhausting. I hope one day being happy doesn’t have to be so hard.

 
I’ve learned, though, that happiness isn’t an emotion—it’s a state of mind. Think happy, be happy. If you send your thoughts down one road, your actions will surely follow and vice versa. Your choices, thoughts and actions can influence your level of happiness. It’s not as easy as flipping a switch, but you can turn up your happiness level.
  • Invest in relationships. Surround yourself with happy people. Being around people who are content lifts your own mood too! In the words of Oprah Winfrey, “Surround yourself only with people who will lift you higher”. Although it’s easy to take friends and family for granted, these relationships need nurturing. Let people know that you appreciate what they do for you or even just that you’re glad they’re part of your life.
  • Express gratitude. Gratitude is more than saying thank you. It’s a sense of wonder, appreciation and, yes, thankfulness for life. Often, it takes a serious illness or other tragic event to jolt people into appreciating the good things in their lives. Don’t wait for something like that to happen to you. Make a commitment to practice gratitude. Each day identify at least one thing that enriches your life.
  • Cultivate optimism. Develop the habit of seeing the positive side of things. Bad things do happen (it would be silly to pretend otherwise), but you don’t have to let the negatives color your whole outlook on life. Start by recognizing negative thoughts as you have them. Then take a step back and ask yourself these key questions: Is the situation really as bad as I think? Is there another way to look at the situation? What can I learn from this experience that I can use in the future?
  • Live in the moment. Don’t postpone joy waiting for a day when your life is less busy or less stressful. That day may never come. Instead, look for opportunities to savor the small pleasures of everyday life. Focus on the positives in the present moment, instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

I am consistently learning new ways to be happy every single day of my life. Happiness should be practiced. I am not always happy; humans can never always be happy. I experience sadness, anger, jealousy, etc., but having a solid base of happiness and optimism to lean on really, truly helps me not dwell on negative emotions for too long. You just have to train yourself.  It takes time. Baby steps. Tackle one thing at a time.

The one thing that has truly allowed me to be the way I am is by learning to love myself. I talk about this consistently because honestly, if you don’t love yourself, I don’t see how anyone can be happy….true, deep, heart-felt happiness. You just have to start. Just try it. There’s nothing to lose. People are too caught up in the thought “I can’t.” Yes you can. Stop selling yourself so short. One day you just have to stop letting the demons win and say, “Today, I will love myself.” It may be as small as “Today, I will love myself by smiling at myself in the mirror every morning this week.” Then the next week add something like, “Today, I will love myself by dressing up in clothes that make me feel pretty.” And so on and so forth.

I woke up one school morning and it was just planning on having an average day (go to school, do homework, go to sleep), but I didn’t want to let a day “go to waste” like that or have a “boring” attitude, so for the entire day, I wrote a list of all the things that made me happy/smile that day. It not only allowed me to notice the happiness that small things can bring, but it “forced” me to search for happiness in day-to-day life!
 
Here’s the list:
 
So, yes happiness is not always easy. I have a tendency to be pessimistic at times. One of the ways I’m working on getting good at focusing on happiness is by signing up for a site called Happify. It’s a site that uses daily activities to get you to focus on the important things in your life, to be happy with what you have, and to find happiness in every day. It’s cheesy, but I’m loving it!
 
It’s totally free and fun, so I highly suggest giving it a whirl! (It’s also an app if you’d like to have that option!)

What is something you do to cultivate happiness? What are the “little things” that make you smile? 🙂

Laurie Hamame

Ball of sunshine. Chronic giggler. A lover of all things sweet potato. An overly friendly, world traveling, body positive warrior. Avid bookworm. Self-proclaimed chef and spiritually Italian. Promotor of daily walks, coffee dates and 30-second dance parties.

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Laurie Hamame

Ball of sunshine. Chronic giggler. A lover of all things sweet potato. An overly friendly, world traveling, body positive warrior. Avid bookworm. Self-proclaimed chef and spiritually Italian. Promotor of daily walks, coffee dates and 30-second dance parties.

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