Have you ever noticed that whenever you are sad or frustrated about something you can never seem to escape it. You see it everywhere you go, on TV, at the grocery store, while on your morning run. You see it even when you shouldn't. Any little thing becomes a connection to it in your brain. Way to go brain. Since this post I really have been trying to move forward and be happy, but you know, we all have our set backs. This week was supposed to be a big week for me but things didn't work out the way I hoped. Right now it's all a little game of fake it till you make it. I am a big believer that this really does work. Fake a laugh, fake a smile, and slowly but surely those smiles become real. That laugh you thought would make you feel guilt instead brings relief. I laughed so hard the other week that I cried. To this day it might just be my favorite laugh of all time. I needed it more than I knew. Since then I've been doing my research of more ways that can hopefully speed up the process (because, you know, being sad is the pits). So if you're like me and need a little "boost" in your life, here are just a few ways to be happier.
1. Get outside. This is easier said than done. If you're anything like me, you do a good job of creating little barricades around your heart. You stay in your pj's, eat lots of cereal (because it's easy), you stay clear of any incoming calls, and Netflix. Lots and lots of Netflix. 90's rom-coms to be precise. But all these things are temporary fixes, and soon the sadness comes back ten fold. But what I found is, nothing does the soul better than stepping outside. You can only hide from the world for so long, but the truth is, life goes on. You step outside and see people all around, running their errands, driving to work, having lunch dates with friends. And you soon realize you want to be apart of that world. So you take that first deep breath that you haven't had in days and walk out the door, and let me tell you.. it's amazing!! Being inside just leads you to be left alone with your own thoughts (which rarely are ever any good). Getting outside gives you a chance to get outside of your own head. You feel a surge of energy, creativity and the realization that other good things will head your way.
2. Positive reinforcement. When going through times of hardship it's important to surround yourself with people who are on your side and there to uplift you when you need it. People who know just the right times to leave you alone, to push your buttons, to send flowers or give hugs. I think it's easy to gravitate and want to be around people who are just as sad as you are. It's easy. It's easy because staying sad can feel like the better option. But the truth of the matter is, they're drowning you. Pulling you down to the bottom of the ocean. It's in these times that you have to look up. Look for that life boat and for the ones who are throwing the life preservers your way, because that's what they are. They are your life preservers holding you up, pulling you up on that boat and taking you back to shore.
3. Know the bad days from the good. Not every day is going to be on your side, and that's okay. It's important to know that we can't always be happy. When things don't go our way I like to think that it's life's little way of humbling us. Now I know that in extreme cases this will not be an acceptable answer or may not even apply, but for me in this instance it does. This isn't to say that I was doing anything wrong, but it humbled me. It humbled me to know that sometimes rotten things can happen to even me, and that I will live through it. Painfully, I might add, but I will. It made me weaker and stronger all at the same time (if that makes any sense). I know not every day is going to be my day, and that's okay. I'm now prepared for that. I'm prepared for those bad days if and when they should ever come. I know that some things are just out of our control and all we can do is wait. Wait for the waves to settle and then face the next day. It's just like Anne Shirley says, "Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it."
4. Have a plan. Starting the day with this simple question: "What good shall I do today?" Sometimes even setting the most simplest of goals is all it takes to make us feel productive. I don't know about you but whenever I feel productive, when I'm checking things off my list, it brings me loads of happiness. You went grocery shopping. Yay! You went to the gym. Yay! You answered just one email. Yay! Cherish those little victories, because that's what they are. Small steps that you're taking to get back into the swing of life.
5. Have a purpose. Now by no means does this mean that you need to find the all encompassing answer to what our purpose is here in this world. No. Steer clear of that because for right now that's not what you need. Well, maybe it is, I don't know. But for me, this is a time to focus on myself and just giving myself one small purpose to aim towards. It could be as simple as make someone smile every day, or even just finding a DIY project to work on and get really good at. Anything to bring you happiness! But let those purposes push you a little bit out of your comfort zone. It helps keep things interesting.
And if all else fails, ask yourself, WWRSD - What would Ron Swanson do?