Happiness is a buzz word right now, and so it should be. But happiness means different things to everyone, so let’s start with what happiness means to us. Happiness is a feeling we have inside our self, to us, happiness is a choice we make every day. We make a conscious effort to see the glass half full, but it wasn’t always this way, and it doesn’t always have to be.
You see, when you choose happiness over any other emotion you are making a conscious effort in that moment to feel good, to feel loved and to feel safe but there are always moments in life when you cannot choose happiness. Whether you are unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel, you have received bad news, you are going through a really tough time in your life or if you are not feeling well. Happiness is a choice, but sometimes it can be a really hard choice to make and it is important to choose happiness authentically.
Authentic happiness is the real goal for us, we want to move through our emotions and end up with authentic happiness. Authentic happiness isn’t about always being bubbly and smiling, it is understanding your emotions, being comfortable to sit in them for a moment but being able to move forward from whatever might be holding you down. But, to do that you need to practise, you cannot change your mindset overnight.
For us, the key to happiness is gratitude. We are not talking being grateful for waking each day (which in itself is a blessing), or being grateful for our family and our health (these things are solid positives). We are talking about identifying the teeny tiny aspects of your life you may overlook or interpret as a pet peeve and being grateful for it. An example of being grateful for something small could be your nice cool tiles on a warm summers day and how they have ability to offer relief to your stressed out, hot feet.
There are times throughout the day were it is really hard to be grateful for the moment you are in, especially if you are a parent, but it is so important to turn the negative thoughts that are running through your brain into positives forms of gratitude. For example, you are already running late for work, you’ve heard the traffic is at nightmare level and your toilet training toddler decides now is the perfect opportunity to wee in his undies, true story. A few years ago I probably would have sat on the floor and cried, but not now. Partly because it is my job as a parent to show my son how to handle difficult situations and also because I am a strong ass woman who will take life on and be damn grateful for every event I am blessed to encounter, even this one.
So instead of crying on the floor, I told him how proud I was he was wearing undies and it’s okay to have accidents because that’s how we learn (and it’s true, no matter how old we are, we learning from our mistakes). I also mentioned that we were running late so we needed to get changed quickly and I whipped out a new packet of undies for him to choose from (because toddlers always need to be in control, or at least mine does). He was beaming with pride, quickly chose a new pair of jocks and the look on his face after he realised they had batman on them made me really stop and soak in that moment. That moment of pure happiness, of pride and of realising how quickly my little boy is growing up. I was also proud of myself, for not losing my marbles. I held him close and will never forget this moment as long as I live.
Life will always throw us curve balls but it is our job to analyse their path and either catch them, or hit them back. Choosing happiness isn’t always the easiest choice but it will always be the most rewarding. At the bottom of this blog there are some essential tips you can use in your everyday life to change your mindset and increase your happiness day to day. Remember, changing your mindset is exercising your mind, and with all forms of exercise you will not see an immediate change right away, but if you are consistent you will find a dramatic change over time.
How to increase your everyday happiness by shifting your mindset:
- Write down 3 things you are grateful for each night – this can be whatever you want! It could be as small as drinking your coffee before it went cold, or spending some alone time with your partner. Literally anything that made you smile that day.
- Meditate – I cannot recommend this enough, meditation comes in all forms, weather it is taking an extra minute in the shower, using an app to help guide your thought process or burning a candle for relaxation. Our candle Lumiere will help to unblock built up energy and fog from your mind, it can help with happiness, concentration and aids in meditation.
- Switch off your phone – it’s kind of silly that this promotes happiness, but in this highly connected world one comment online can bring your mood down several degrees, and we are always so distracted. We have a “no phone Sunday” rule in our home, where we literally leave our phones upstairs and everyone knows we will not reply to them, if there is an emergency we have family 2 minutes way so they will come to our house.
- Talk - talk openly if you aren’t feeling great, we recently lost our beautiful dad and the emotions are still raw, but if I am having a down day I just let my husband know that the grief ball was big today, and my emotions are raw (something I will talk about in a few weeks).
- Be grateful - take in each moment, remember the little things and say it out loud. I often say to my family “I am grateful for this moment, right here, right now” and it could just be us eating dinner together and they look at me kind of silly but then everyone looks around, agrees and smiles.
We hope these tips can help you exercise happiness in your everyday life. One things is for sure, you are taking the first step by reading this blog.