Today’s “TO-DO” list: Find your HAPPY
No, I don’t want to “find my purpose” right now (honestly, that always stresses me out) – or “make peace with my PAST.” How about we start with getting “back to Happy?
Some days it’s harder than ever to find your happy place.
I mean – do you find it? (heeere happy, happy)
Do you create it? (hmm, what does it look like~ tall, wide, red, grey?)
The answer is yes – to both – and it’s definitely something we can learn how to do.
Inspiration for HAPPINESS
I did a 5-part (maybe 6?) video series on the lessons from a book I rediscovered during my grief journey. The book is called: The TOP 5 regrets of the DYING (by Bronnie Ware).
It’s such a beautiful gift from people who knew they only had a few weeks left to live. It was their way of giving back – their last loving gesture – so that we might make different choices and AVOID living a life of regret.
There were lots of different regrets and wishes for “do-overs” – but this book summarizes the top 5 common themes.
This post is specifically about the regret:
“I wish that I had let myself be happier.”
A lot of the people interviewed for the book said they never realized Happiness was a choice.
They had chosen to stay stuck in the familiar and routine – not happy – but not quite Unhappy.
HAPPIER in Midlife
This feeling of “trying to be Happy” – figure out what makes us Happy again – starts to bubble up in our 50’s.
Up until then we’ve likely been consumed with raising our families and happily fulfilling our #1 role as MOM.
Now we’re frozen in FEAR – fear of failure, fear of change, fear of rejection, even fear of success. These unrealized fears keep so many of us from going after what we really want. It convinces us we don’t have what it takes to achieve our dreams & goals.
This FEAR leaves us living a life of pretend. That “we’re good, we’re content.”
Trying to ignore those feelings & daily nudges that we deserve more. What we’re really craving is Fun & Excitement and Laughter!
What does HAPPINESS look like?
Happiness means different things to each of us – but what is COMMON to us all is that we ALL have the ABILITY to create our own HAPPINESS.
Here’s 4 secrets from Happy people:
⇒ They know how to ignite the Happy Hormones – endorphins. All we have to do is ignite those and let them work their magic.
⇒ Happy generates more Happy! Happy people look for the bright side (i.e. lighten up) and know that being optimistic is a decision & a skill.
⇒ Focus on other people. One of the fastest ways to generate immense Happiness is to make a difference in someone else’s life. Be generous with giving your time & attention to someone else.
⇒ Be aware and thankful of your current situation. Do you have a comfy bed? Can you take a hot shower? Do you have a car? Do you have family you can talk to? Can you walk and/or breathe without assistance….(I know!)
Happy vs. Unhappy
Do you ever wake up and immediately your brain starts to list ALL the things you:
It’s so much easier (and for some us – more natural) to focus on the negative. But whatever we focus on WILL bring us more of it.
Whenever we get caught up in all the challenging or wrong things – it’s like living in a fog that blurs our view of all the GOOD stuff.
Think of a time or event – maybe with extended family that you don’t get to see that often – and you were consumed by and “issue” or problem.
You were there – but not really there.
What connection or interaction did you miss out on – what memory did you NOT make?
FEELING good is the fastest way to HAPPINESS
Happiness comes from how we feel > how we feel comes from what we tell ourselves (our words) > our words come from our thoughts.
So it all starts with our MENTAL state – our mental well-being.
The simplest way to get to Happiness – is to MOVE. This causes Endorphins to be released and changes our “state.”
I started this post by saying – NO – I don’t want to find my Passion – I just want to start by feeling good –
Feeling good (mentally and physically) – BEING HAPPY – is the first step to getting you excited & engaged in life again.
So, #1 Happiness is a CHOICE – but we can also do things to help us get there faster – to get in that STATE of FEELING GOOD – FEELING HAPPY!
Once you’ve chosen “happiness” and know how to get yourself into this state – it’ll naturally progress to increased confidence, more adventure-risk-taking, being open to new relationships & trying new hobbies.
We begin to find things we actually ENJOY & ultimately find our sweet spot – dare I say “passion?!”.
Any type of creative outlet (art, dance, writing, gardening, volunteering) helps eliminate the daily stressors of life.
Unfortunately, many people fail to live a life filled with passion. They’re robotic – and do the same thing every single day. Have the SAME thoughts – do the SAME activities – and get the SAME RESULT.
What’s an activity you could you spend hours doing every day – something where you’d lose all track of time? Well that would be your “Happy Zone.” (bonus if you can find a way to make money at it!!)
2 is HAPPIER than 1
Some people are self-described loners. They are perfectly fine with being by themselves & self-sufficient.
But being sufficient and fulfilled are not the same thing.
I agree that your #1 relationship should be with yourself – and there’s less risk of disappointment and heartbreak if it’s just you.
But you’re also limiting the level of soul-nourishing satisfaction that we can only get from relationships with other people.
Connecting with others is what makes the world go around, We can choose to be friends with people just like us – or we can be drawn to people who seem like our complete opposite.
Because it’s what we each bring to the table that enriches our lives.
Expanding our world = expanding our Happiness
Another cool thing about getting older & wiser – and braver, is that we can choose to put effort into a relationship or choose to walk away.
But we need to get connected – because other people help remind us we are part of something bigger. It also reminds us of how important our unique lessons & experiences are. We’re expected to share those and help someone else.
Do you think you went through (and survived) that dark/challenging/crazy time just to teach YOU a lesson?
The world is full of amazing people. Good people with BIG hearts who want the same thing you want – TO BE HAPPY!!
Permission to be HAPPY
A common complaint from women as they get older is that they didn’t take the time to nurture their friendships while raising their kids. A full plate meant something had to give – and usually it was their friendships.
So now – we find ourselves in our 50’s and we feel alone – missing the REWARDING kind of relationship we can only get from our friends.
Every day we need to give ourselves permission & a push to choose: I can make a little effort – or not. I can stay in my own little world or I can expand it to include others (even through SMedia).
You never know who might teach us, entertain us, or need us.
The magic formula for HAPPINESS
The quality of our life is determined by our choices and our habits (what we do).
That’s the “magic” formula. Nothing more – nothing less.
Let me ask this: Can you imagine lying on your deathbed wishing you had let yourself be happier?! (doesn’t that make your stomach turn?)
Fortunately for us – we get to choose!
Life is a choice – YOU are the chooser of your life-
come hang out with your new friends over in my group @ The Juicy Life– there’s a bunch of us choosing Happiness all the time!