I was watching a movie the other evening, One True Thing, with Meryl Streep and Renee Zellwegger. Meryl’s character was dying toward the end of the movie, and she looked at her daughter, played by Zellwegger, and told her to choose happiness in her life. She explained that it was much easier to choose happiness in life than to choose to be unhappy. For some reason this one statement really impacted me. It was so simple yet so profound. How much energy do you waste complaining about things? How much energy do you spend wishing your life were different in some capacity? On the flip side, how often do you express gratitude for what you do have in your life? How often do you take a step back and really embrace all the positives that life has to offer? As simple as it sounds, it really is a choice that you can make. Sometimes it is just flipping the switch in your head that you are going to look at things differently and choose to feel happy and blessed. I am not saying that you need to ignore the difficulties that life throws at you, because there will be many in life, but it is a matter of what you want your life to look and feel like the majority of the time.
Personally, when I am grounded and positive in nature, things tend to come more naturally. In essence, the universe provides what I am focusing on. When I am going through a rough patch, everything else seems so dire and magnified. If you don’t feel that you are a “happy” person by nature, that doesn’t mean it is a lost cause. You need to begin by focusing on what brings you joy now. When do you feel the happiest? Trust that you do have the power by intention to bring more joy into your life. Trust that by taking baby steps you can get rid of the negative voice on your shoulder, and be guided more by the positive and hopeful voice. Know that it takes far less energy to experience joy than it does to focus on the negatives. I am not saying that you are going to wake up tomorrow and just feel happy and jubilant, but you can try to see things through a different colored lens and experience a bit more of the joy factor.
1. Where’s the joy?
Do you feel a lack of happiness in your life? Do you feel as though your life is just passing by? Do you feel as though you’ve lost control? Acknowledgment is the first step in making some changes. You can give in to the hopeless feelings, or you can take charge. Know that each and every one of us is born with the right to be happy and content. No matter your circumstances, there is always something you can do to begin to turn things around.
2. Seek it out
What makes you happy? When do you experience the most joy? This week keep a journal of when you felt joy. Maybe it was when you were singing to music. Maybe it was when you were taking an aerobics class. Maybe it was when you were reading a good book. It’s important to detail these times so you can put yourself in those situations more often. Know what it takes to light you up and then do more of it.
3. Quiet time
One important step here is to take some much needed quiet time. I believe it is crucial to set aside this time every day. This time gives you the opportunity to say your affirmations, to pray if you do so, to reflect on what you are grateful for, or to just quiet your mind. This is when you set the tone for the rest of the day. Take this time to bring about the positive and supportive voice and lift your spirit