Choosing Happiness

I’ve been reading a lot of books on marriage, happiness, change and if anything has resonated with me it’s that you can CHOOSE to be HAPPY. When something doesn’t go your way, you have the option to huff and puff, tell everyone you know about it and be worked up for the rest of the day, or you can choose to not let it bring you down. In reality, that person who uploaded something incorrectly for you on the form that you created, probably just did it wrong and wasn’t actually trying to sabotage your work. Maybe the person who cut you off on your drive to work wasn’t trying to cause an accident but was running late because their kid forgot their lunch box and they had to go home and get it. Trying to focus on the big picture can help you determine if that one incident really matters and if it should send your day in a downward spiral. I’m guessing 95% of the time, it won’t matter in a week and your heart would be better off if you hadn’t spend that time griping about it.

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I’m working on doing what makes me happy. We all have a lot of things that have to get done, but we don’t have to spend all of our time doing those and none doing what will brighten our lives until we’re done with the “have-to” list. It should be a compromise on how we spend our time. For me, there’s nothing better than a good run. If I had to make a list of other ways to get instant happiness in my life, I’d say:

  1. A dinner/movie date with my husband (or a cuddle session with one of the dogs if hubs is out of town)
  2. A spontaneous weekend escape to the beach
  3. A pedicure and/or massage
  4. Hot yoga (even better after a run)
  5. A catch-up session with a friend

Spending time working on your own happiness is imperative to achieving it. Obviously, there will be moments where you won’t be happy (and shouldn’t be) but in the times where it’s a choice to either let something slide or think on it all day, choosing to let it slide will get you to happiness 100 times faster. I’m making a deal with my husband to only talk about the good things that happened in a day for a week, and not complaining about the bad. Sometimes sharing feels good, but you’re not only letting other people thing you’re miserable, you tend to bring them down too.

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If you’re up for reading some excellent books on happiness, I recommend:

  1. The Happiness Project (Gretchin Rubin)  *follow up with Happier at Home if you need more!
  2. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (Richard Carlson)
  3. Happy Wives Club (Fawn Weaver)

And my next book is “Loving What Is” by Byron Katie (thanks, Lo).

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Removing things from your life that make you unhappy is okay. You can’t make someone else want to be happy (although, I am still working on trying to find a way to do this). Spending time around negative energy doesn’t do anything positive for your own mental state. Happiness is a choice we make every day. When you wake up, tell yourself it is going to be a good day – and mean it. Do things that will make you happy throughout the day. Start with a breakfast that will give you energy (and is healthy!), take a walk if you need a break at work, have lunch with your other half or a friend (getting out of the office for lunch is a MUST – even if you’re eating what you packed at a picnic table – just don’t set at your desk!), plan time to workout or walk in the evening, do some stretching or reading to relax at night. Do whatever makes YOU happy. Life’s too short to not be happy.

 

Hakuna Matata

It’s finally my “wedding week” and I’m just two days away from walking down the aisle in my favorite white dress. We’ve been very calm and collected this week. Actually, so calm and collected that people have commented on it over and over again. After watching the Lion King production on Sunday, we’ve decided that “Hakuna Matata” is a pretty good mantra.

My favorite pieces of advice that have been shared with us are:

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things are bound to happen that are out of your control and little things might happen that won’t matter in the long run. Focus on the day, the moment, and being with the groom.

For me, this is THE big one. I do sweat the small stuff. I have this beautiful vision in my head of our wedding day and a major stressor has been everything not falling into place as laid out in my head. However, I cannot control the weather and currently we have a 70% chance of rain. I will have to make the call tomorrow on weather my wedding will be inside or outside (there might be tears), but in the grand scheme of things, I’m still getting to marry the guy of my dreams and will have ALL of the most important people in our lives in one room for an entire night and THAT’S what is important.

 

2. Focus on the marriage, not just the wedding. A lot of time goes into planning a wedding. Even before the engagement, there were boards on Pinterest with loads of crafty wedding ideas. But the wedding is only one day and the marriage will last a lifetime. So there has to be effort figuring out how you will deal with the little and big things that arise in life. For some this is pre-marital counseling for others it’s reading books (e.g. The 5 Love Languages – Gary Chapman).

We’ve spent four years together, discussed money, kids, and we’ve already had to have the discussion about moving for jobs. We complement each other. The marriage is our first priority, although the wedding will be amazing.

3. Don’t forget to eat. For this girl, you don’t have to tell me to eat. But supposedly, you get so wrapped up in everything else that you “forget” to on your wedding day.

Not once have I “forgotten” to eat in my life and I don’t intend to on Saturday. PS, we are having the biggest, most Southern meal at our wedding. We will be enjoying it along with our guests.

Jamaica 2010
Jamaica 2010

 

Last minute advice for the bride and groom? Would love to hear it!