There are several things that make me really happy. Hector, coffee, my nieces, sunflowers, popcorn, salsa music, and the color yellow (just to name a few.)
I can’t say that I am always a positive person. Sometimes the more difficult parts of adult life gets the best of me and when things get a little tough, I can’t help but dwell on the negative vs looking at all the positive and wonderful things I have going on. Giving myself a hard time is what I do and I do it because I hold myself to a very high and sometimes unrealistic standard. I expect a lot from myself and when I don’t achieve what I set out for or some vision I had in mind, I tend to think I have “failed” or worse, that others will think I have. Examples could be achieving the perfect body or losing weight, gaining weight, changing careers, taking a sick day at work, not achieving a goal, not having enough money, not eating the healthy option, not having a house and kids yet, etc. etc. Sounds exhausting, right?
I’ve had a lot happen in a short amount of time it seems like this last year that can really bring a person down. And I hate to complain but everyone’s struggles are different and personal.
I haven’t talked about it yet on the blog but the one thing that effected me the most this year (and still does) was my uncle passing away in February. My uncle was diagnosed with ALS at the young age of 52. It was really a shock to us all. How anyone in our family could ever be affected by ALS was something we could not even fathom but it happened and were definitely not exempt from a really terrible disease. My uncle was so young when he passed away, and he had so much to live for still. He wanted to do and see things but he always put himself last. He sacrificed so much to keep his family happy. He suffered from depression most of his life and let the depression get the best of him most days. It was sad to see him like that. It’s also heartbreaking to think about what he could have done or been if this horrible disease didn’t take over his short life. My uncle was an inspiration to us all and he was the best uncle. He loved us and his family so much and if I can take anything from his passing, it’s that life is WAY too short. At any given moment, things can change and as long as I have my health, I am going to do my best to live my best life and be so thankful for all that I’ve been blessed with. It’s not worth it to be stuck in this mindset of negativity or dwelling on those 5 pounds I’ve gained especially when we are given one life to live. It’s up to us to make the most of what we got! Thinking happy means being happy.
After he passed away, I told myself no more. No more feeling bad. No more negativity. No more doubt. No more fearing what others people think of me. No more fear, PERIOD. Ultimately, I told myself that I must strive to live my best life every single day and as long as I am healthy and happy, I am unstoppable. Today, I wanted to share 15 simple ways on what I do to stay positive, what makes me happy, and what to do when you’re feeling a little blue. Because when life gives you lemons, you take those lemons and you make the best lemonade EVER!
- Smile – Have you ever just tried to smile while walking down the street or in a crowd of people? The hustle and bustle of a commute in the morning and dealing with crowds can sometimes get to me when I’m already running late or I am in a hurry. I literally have to tell myself to stop getting frustrated and just smile. Take in the fact that it’s a beautiful day or it’s really not that big of a deal if you’re 5 minutes late. Smiling is contagious and the minute I smile, I feel 100x better. No joke! Try it!
- Give A Compliment (or two) – There are so many instances where I think a colleague of mine looks nice or I spot a random woman on the street with great hair or stylish outfit and I never actually take the time to tell them. Complimenting someone can make their day and in the end making someone happy makes ME happy. Why not go out of your way to do it more?
- Listen to music- Music is a huge part of my life. Since I was a little girl, music was always my happy place. I love listening to music in the morning, after work, while I’m cleaning because it pumps me up and motivates me for the day. I listen to all kinds of music too depending on my mood.
- Workout – You do NOT have to be a fitness guru. By working out I mean just move around. Go for a walk or a run. Take a fitness class. I know for me being in group fitness classes does wonders for my soul. I love being surrounded by others who motivate me. Plus, I love a little bit of competition. Working out makes me feel good both mentally and physically. I sometimes forget that feeling and why I do it but once I do it, it’s addicting and gives me those feel good endorphins that are so very real.
- Dance – If I hear a good song playing, I dance. Anywhere. I sometimes embarrass Hector because of it. I sometimes like to put on salsa and start dancing because it makes me so frekin happy!
- Plan a vacation – Having something to look forward to does wonders for me. I love planning a trip even if for a day because it’s an adventure. Getting away is necessary sometimes and YOU deserve to take that vacation. I feel like here in America we have it wrong when we think we don’t deserve vacations or that work is more important. Work should never ever be more important than your well being.
- Spend time with family – When I’m having a hard day or feel sad, I FaceTime with my nieces because they make my heart happy. My family lives very close to us so I feel very lucky to be able to drive over whenever I need some family time.
- Read an uplifting book – I am currently reading a book called You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. It’s all about loving yourself. I am LOVING it mostly because of the author’s humor. I want to read it every single day to remind me that I AM worthy and awesome because why not? We are ALL bad-asses. Time to start thinking like one!
- Step away from social media – This is a big one. Whenever I feel myself getting down, I decide that I need to take a break from social media. It’s so easy to compare your life to others when really no one’s life is perfect. We only put out there what we want people to see. Social media is great to connect, but sometimes you need to disconnect to get in touch with reality again.
- STOP CARING ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF YOU – Biggest challenge and biggest lesson of all. Growing up, I was taught to think of what others might think so much so that it controls most of my decisions still today. And why? If anyone has an issue with your decisions in life, just remember it’s not you they have an issue with, it’s themselves. You cannot make everyone happy. Screw what they think and remember that if something makes YOU happy, that’s all that should matter.
- Donate or volunteer to charity – I wish I did this more. I’ve done runs that donate to charity, given to the homeless, and have volunteered with Special Olympics. I know I can give so much more of myself to others who may be less fortunate.
- Treat yourself – Be it a piece of cake or going shopping, if it makes you happy, do it. You deserve it AND more.
- Give yourself a break and stop trying to achieve perfection – My ultimate struggle. Not an easy one but I need to learn that I am not perfect. NO ONE is or ever will be. As long as I stop to make this realization every day, I will be able to live a much happier life.
- Take a class – Learn a new language (my goal is learn more Spanish), take a cooking class, art class, music class. Whatever it is, learning something new may give you a whole new meaning to your life!
- Turn to your most trusted family member or friend and tell them to give you 3 compliments – Because I need to be flattered sometimes, too. It feels good to hear what others admire or what they see that you might not. You need those reminders.
I know we are all working on being happy in our own unique ways. The most important thing of all is to love yourself. You are so worth it and are one beautiful being!
What are some things that make you happy?
To learn more about ALS, click here.
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