Being happy can often be a decision or a simply action that changes the trajectory of your day. Yesterday morning I was awakened from a much needed rest, first by a banging door then my dumb smart phone ringing. I jumped out of bed and I stumped my pinky toe on the corner, and of course I could not find my blankety blank cell phone to save my life. When I finally answered the phone the caller had hung up and I just sat on the edge of my bed dazed and pissed. As I looked down at my throbbing toe I felt the ‘stank mood’ settling over me. I thought to myself “this is about to be a funky day”!
I started thinking about all the things I needed to get done that day, and none of them could be done with ‘stank’ in my spirit. I knew I had to change my energy, otherwise my day was doomed. So I lay back in my bed and stretched out, I gave myself another 10 minutes, then I started again. This time when I sat up, I put a smile on my face and ignored my pulsing toe. I thought about one of my niece’s catchy morning tunes and hummed it all the way to the bathroom, I decided I was going to have a good day. An hour later I had banged out 2 chapters in my upcoming book and the day got better from there. You see it wasn’t about what happened to me, it was about how I decided to manage my feelings about those things.
Over the years I have learned a few things that help me get my happy on, daily.
1. Laugh at yourself and invite others to do the same. I’ve been known to post pictures of myself when I have a bad hair day. It’s important that I not take myself or my imperfections too seriously.
2. Make a list of things that give you instant joy and keep them close. When my nieces visit its the highlight of my day. I keep pictures and voice recordings of them on my cell phone (which I always have with me). Whenever I catch them saying or doing funny things I capture the moment for later, they always come in handy.
3. Manage the negative thoughts. When negative thoughts enter your mind, try to replace them with positive ones as quickly as possible. When negativity lingers, its takes route and erodes away your positive energy.
4. Breathe. Taking deep breaths clears your mind and body. It gets your blood pumping with fresh oxygen. When you focus on your breathing, there isn’t room for negative thoughts.
5. Regroup as needed. Don’t be afraid to find a quite place to regroup. Its hard to hit the reset button when the source of agitation is still present. You may need time away to regroup, and it make take more than a few minutes (if you have the option).
6. Me time. Take time EVERY day for yourself. When there are no Facebook notifications or ringing phones or screaming kids who need your attention. It gives your mind, body, and soul time to recharge.
Note: There are times when we are dealing with tragic or stressful long-term circumstances. Its important that you find a few minutes during EVERY day to have some authentic joy. It’s imperative to your emotional wellness and over all survival.