Finding Happiness No Matter What Life Throws Your Way

Finding Happiness No Matter What Life Throws Your Way 1 -
Finding Happiness No Matter What Life Throws Your Way 1 -

Finding Happiness No Matter What Life Throws Your Way

Hello, Today I want to talk about an important topic that affects all of us – how to be happy even when life gets tough. We all go through hard times, but there are practical ways we can choose joy instead of misery. I’ve picked up some nuggets of wisdom over the years, so let me break down 8 strategies that have really helped me maintain a positive spirit in good times and bad.

1. Lend a Helping Hand

You’ve likely heard the phrase “it’s better to give than receive” and studies back this up. Helping others in small ways tremendously boosts our own happiness and gives us a sense of purpose. Something as simple as holding the door for someone or spending an afternoon volunteering at a food bank fills us up. I like to start each day by asking myself to whom I can lend a little help – whether it’s a friend going through grief or even buying a coffee for the person behind me in line. Give it a try next time life has you down!

2. Play to Your Strengths

I used to obsess over my weaknesses until I realized how much joy I get from simply leveraging my natural strengths and talents. I’ll never be the best athlete, but I love writing and connecting with people. When I spend time writing or reaching out to friends, I feel vibrant and alive. What comes easily for you? Using those innate strengths is key to feeling confident and enthusiastic. Need help discovering your superpowers? Take a strengths quiz online or ask friends what they admire in you.

3. Forgive and Forget

This one can be so tough, right? Letting go of grudges feels nearly impossible when people hurt us. But make no mistake – clinging to anger and resentment really dampens our whole outlook on life. I’ve learned that for my own peace of mind, I have to practice forgiveness even when it feels totally undeserved. It’s kind of like swallowing nasty medicine – hard to get down but so healing! Having trouble getting over betrayals? Write it all down on paper, let yourself feel angry, then tear it up or burn it. It works every time!

4. Run Your Own Race

We all know that comparing ourselves to others is the joy-kill to end all joy-kills! My neighbor might have a hotter body or a bigger house, but focusing on that is sure to make me miserable fast. I have to remind myself that it’s a pointless game that I’ll never win. My only real competition is with my past self – am I wiser, healthier, and happier than I was last year? Reframe what success means to you, and you’ll find a lot more to celebrate in your own life!

5. Invest in Relationships

This lesson took me way too long to learn. I used to think accomplishments and checking things off my to-do list were the keys to happiness until I realized relationships trump everything. Coffee dates, game nights, and even simple texts with loved ones fill my bucket like nothing else. All those cheesy platitudes about friendship and family being most important rang true for me. If your social calendar needs a boost, reach out to 3 people this week for a long-overdue catch-up! Your heart will thank you.

6. Find Joy That Money Can’t Buy

We live in a very consumeristic society that wants us to believe more stuff brings more happiness. But my credit card debt proved very quickly that this is absolutely false! Now, one of my personal mantras is “The best things in life are free.” A belly laugh with my son, watching the sunset from my porch, an intellectually stimulating chat with a friend…none of these joys can be packaged and bought. In fact, comparing ourselves and our stuff to others will almost always leave us dissatisfied. Find activities, experiences, and relationships that money can’t influence.

Alright, we covered the first 6 tips… Take a deep breath and grab some coffee before we dive into 7 more proven ways to choose happiness!

7. Build Upward Spirals

I love this phrase “upward spirals” – basically positive habits that compound, making people happier over time. For me, things like exercising 3x a week, calling my mom on Sundays, reading inspiring books or doing random acts of kindness get me into an upbeat groove. I feel lighter, more energetic, and more joyful. On the flip side, bad habits like doomscrolling Instagram pull me into a downward funk fast! Take inventory of your daily patterns – nourish what boosts you up and prune what drags you down.

8. Harness the Power of Words

Yeah, yeah, it sounds super cheesy, but actively praising myself has been game-changing. Our self-talk is constant and powerful, yet we often let that little inner voice bully us around. When I start my day telling myself “You got this!” or “You’re capable and smart!” it totally shifts my mood for the better. On tougher days I actually say encouraging mantras out loud to interrupt my spiral into negativity. Try writing 3 positive affirmations and reading them back daily – I promise it will work wonders!

Okay, we still have a few more happiness boosters to get to! Let’s talk specifics…

Live in the Moment

Finding Happiness No Matter What Life Throws Your Way 2 -
Finding Happiness No Matter What Life Throws Your Way 2 –

I used to spend way too much time reflecting on the past or worrying about the future. But none of that exists – the only thing we have is this very moment. When I catch my mind wandering to the past or hypothetical futures, I gently redirect my focus to what I can see, taste, touch, and feel right now. Lighting a candle, petting my dog, or listening to music brings me into the present pleasantly. Give it a shot next time your mind races to distressing places!

Identify Your Top Priorities

With so much vying for our attention these days, I had to get clear on what truly matters most. I found when lots of little stresses and frustrations pile up, it’s usually because I’ve lost sight of my guiding values. Now I consciously focus on my priorities like faith, family and physical health rather than getting derailed by society’s pressure to succeed. Essentially, I had to filter out the static to hone in on the core of what makes me happy. I encourage you to define the 3-5 priorities that bring you lasting joy and then actually align your schedule with them. It’s amazing how content this makes me.

Stop Putting Things Off

Ugh, procrastination – it’s every productivity guru’s worst nightmare, including mine! I used to delay important tasks for ridiculous reasons, making me anxious and miserable. Finally, I got real about why I was avoiding certain things and forced myself to dive in. Even with mundane stuff like cleaning or organizing papers, checking it off my mental list gives me a huge energy boost. Whatever elephant in the room drains you, promise to handle it this week. You’ll feel so proud!

Say No Without Guilt

Women especially tend to overextend themselves, trying to please everyone else. Well, I’m here to permit you not only to say no when you need to but to feel zero guilt about it! I now realize I can’t be all things to all people and still be happy. When another commitment doesn’t excite me, I politely decline – no explanations are needed. Try it next time instead of begrudgingly taking on more than your bandwidth allows. You – and your mental health – deserve boundaries.

Ask For Help

Pride and isolation were seriously squashing my happiness until I finally raised the white flag. None of us are supposed to navigate life’s struggles alone, but reaching out for support was tough for me initially. Now I see asking trusted friends and mentors for either encouragement or practical help is smart, not weak! Especially if you’re feeling lonely or depressed, connect with both personal and professional mental health resources right away. You are 100% worth it!

Whew, that was quite the hand-cramping journey we just went on! But I told you I’d unload all my best tips and tricks to choose joy no matter what. Happiness truly is a lifelong adventure filled with ups and downs. By putting some of these happiness habits into practice, I believe you can build a life of deeper fulfillment and resilience. Appreciate the little moments, invest in meaningful relationships, and take good care of your mindset and body. Now tell me friend – what brings you the most joy? Let’s keep the conversation going!

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