Everyday life can often be full of chaos and negativity. We are constantly concerned with trying to ensure the happiness of others and keeping up with outside expectations. It can all become overwhelming and exhausting and then we are left with nothing for ourselves. When we are drained and unhappy, our negativity tends to spill out and onto those closest to us. It is a vicious cycle, but one that can be altered with a little bit of effort. Focus on your own inner happiness.
Perfection is NOT realistic
I admit I enjoy social media. I like staying connected with family and friends that live far away. It makes me happy to see their achievements, children, and vacations. However, I have a few friends who are truly jealous when they see positive updates from their connections. These same friends are angered by photos of models and actresses that are fit and beautiful. I remind myself that I cannot be jealous of these people. They live a different life than I do and experience struggles just as I do. Sure they have the perfect abs, but what did they have to sacrifice to get them? I believe in being healthy, but my lifestyle does not lend itself to extreme exercise and dieting and that is okay. Just as it is okay to enjoy an exercise driven lifestyle. The point is to not compare yourself to other people. You do not know all of the details of their life and the sadness that may hide behind the picture.
“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln
Keep it positive
When I am surrounded by negativity I can feel it begin to seep in and affect me. Sometimes it can be hard to avoid when you have family, friends, or coworkers that are prone to negative comments or behavior. Responding positively to negative behavior is key to your personal peace and happiness. Don’t let other people drag you down! If possible, try to limit your contact with negative individuals. If you must interact with them, try to encourage them to change their mindset by making positive comments in response to their negative ones. It is a lot harder to have a complaining session when you are the only one complaining.
“The only thing that will make you happy is being happy with who you are.” – Goldie Hawn
Make time for things that bring you joy
I love to read and after my daughter was born I convinced myself it was a selfish indulgence to continue reading the way I had previously. But denying myself something I enjoyed was not the answer. I did have to cut back on reading time, but it was a simple thing that brought me happiness so I started reading again. I love my daughter and spending time with her is more important to me than anything, but simple things that bring you joy are not something you have to let go. You may have to do it in moderation, but do not deny yourself activities that make you happy.
Sometimes clearing your mind and recentering yourself is just what you need to regain your inner peace. I have anxiety that is brought on by some social situations and I find that if I remove myself and take a few moments to meditate I can make it through the event. I even have an app on my phone with guided meditations that focus on breathing. I find that when I am anxious, I can return to that breathing and relax.
“The most important thing is to enjoy your life — to be happy. It’s all that matters.” – Audrey Hepburn
The best is yet to come
Stop thinking about yesterday and focus on tomorrow. I seem to remember all of my mistakes while I’m in the shower and then I get all worked up about things that happened in the past. What can I do to make it different now? I can’t do anything to change things that have already happened, but I can make sure what I do in the future is better. No matter how hard today may be, tomorrow is full of possibilities.