The Alphabet

H is for Happiness

This is a big one- one I gave a lot of thought and consideration on.

How happy are you? In this moment? Today? This week, month..year…

Are you doing things that make you unhappy? If you are, then why are you still doing them?

What really makes you happy? Do you even know?

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Did you forget that it’s a choice?

Are you choosing and deciding to be happy?

These are questions I’ve really been focusing on the last few months. I’ve been trying to dive deep to really discover the experiences that truly bring me joy, peace, and happiness.

We each have our own specific set of requirements to make us happy. Perhaps we need to have a window over our kitchen sink, or we will absolutely not drive a yellow car. There’s also simple things we decide on doing that add some enjoyment to our lives like cooking, or maybe reading a book, or taking a walk, perhaps it’s folding clean laundry while you watch Sex and the City re-runs. Each of us has little quirks that make us happy and bring some joy to our lives, and no one’s needs are exactly the same as yours. You are completely unique in this aspect. And what’s better is you have the ability to customize your life to be able to achieve the most amount of happiness total.

One of the most impactful things I have learned over the last few months is that you have to be willing and wanting to be happy. I believe that being happy is a choice you have to make every day. From the moment you open your eyes from a deep slumber, to the second you rest your head on that pillow and prepare for your dreams, you have to believe that you want AND deserve happiness. You can’t be wishy – washy. You can’t want to be happy one day and the next day tell yourself you don’t deserve it. That is an exhausting round of tug of war that will only bring you down a deep dark hole. Just give in, and admit that you deserve happiness (BECAUSE YOU DO), and then choose to believe that every day.

Personally for me, the hardest part is remembering each day that I should just be happy. It’s such a simple thing too. Perhaps all to often we, myself included, get stuck constantly thinking about the future, the unknown, the what if’s. We start longing for new material items that we think can bring us joy and contentment, and we stop focusing on all the awesome things we already have, we lose sight of ‘what is’. Ultimately, I’m not sure that you can be happy if you are not content with what you have in this current moment. Happiness is fed by gratitude and appreciation for the things you have in your life, if you’re not thankful for anything, I’m not sure how that’s gonna pan out for you…

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In my efforts to try and be happier though I have realized that I am much more aware of how I initially react to certain situations now.  How aware of your actions are you? Think about it the next time you get road rage, or something else that spontaneously sets you into a dark mood, why did it upset you so much? Do you instinctually react with cuss words or by holding up the middle finger? How long do you let it effect you? How long are you in a bad mood for after, and how long do you complain about it or some other wrong that’s been done to you? A wrong that when you look at from the big picture perspective, really doesn’t matter.

You make decisions every day about how to react to the different situations you encounter. If you encounter all or most of those situations with a negative, or grumpy attitude, then you’re not going to be happy because you’ve already made up your mind that life is crap.

People who are consistently happy and peppy really don’t let much get to them. They are focused on themselves. They have control over their feelings and emotions and don’t just go off the handle when aggravated. They breathe in, they let it go, and move on with their lives. -(strictly a personal observation, not from a scientific study).

If you wake up in the morning and you decide to put a smile on your face, and you decide to be excited about that morning cup of coffee, if you try to look for the upside in most things and really just try to let silly irritants roll off your back, then I think you can be successful at being happy. It’s taken me some time because it’s like training a new habit.

Even though it sounds simple, it’s not something that can be quickly changed overnight, for some people, perhaps there are others out there who can just decide to be something, and then they are it. Sometimes certain people need to retrain the way they think. Which is where being aware comes in helpful.

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It might seem like a really difficult process at first if you’ve been putting others before you your entire life. But it starts when you make one decision for yourself in regards to your happiness. It could be signing up for that new class, cooking a new recipe, buying that pair of shoes, it could even go as far as leaving an unhealthy relationship (of any kind).

Our decisions and actions start with us. If we take the time to be consciously aware of our reactions, and put a little extra effort into keep a smile on our face every day.  We all deserve to be happy, especially in a world that only seems to be getting darker. this process starts within us.  So make the change an choose to start being happy.

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