For awhile now my Sunday morning routine involves getting up around 7:30am (which sadly is sleeping in around here…), snuggling on my couch with a book and a cup of coffee, and watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. There is never a day that I watch it that I don’t learn how to be a better person. There are awesome discussions each week on different ways to live your best life, and I have found that this is my own little version of church on a Sunday morning.
YOu see, I’m a sucker for self help. I love me some personal development and think that there is always something I can do better for myself and those around me. I want to live my best life and Oprah is helping me do that. She’s amazing, right? I tend to watch a couple hours of it off and on and take a lot of different lessons and mold them into something that works in my life. This week what I took from the shows was different ways to be happier. I know it’s easy to become downtrodden and depressed, and to take the little things and turn them into HUGE problems. While I tend to be a more ‘glass half full’ type of person, I find that I can still get stuck with a ‘woe is me’ attitude. Here are three ways to be instantly happier in life (that I am doing RIGHT NOW.)
1) Be grateful for what you have: health, family, the basics.
Okay, so I am often horrible at this! I read blogs and wonder why I don’t have as many readers, or I worry about not having the trendy sneakers that are hot right now, or I stress about my house not being what I want it to be. When I have been doing this lately I try to remember the basic things: I have a hardworking husband that loves me, I have two healthy children, I am healthy and here to love on all of them, and I have a home with all the necessities in it to live in. I don’t need anything else. I can survive without the new sneakers or the 100,000 Instagram followers, I can’t be okay without the health and happiness of my loved ones. Whenever I am being ungrateful, I scale things back to what I NEED in life and the rest becomes nonsense. Sometimes all we need to be happy is a little perspective, am I right?
2) Do something for someone else.
This is huge! If I am feeling unhappy with life I try to do something nice for someone else. It can be small (a compliment), or bigger (a handmade meal or a free night of babysitting.) It is amazing how being genuinely helpful and kind can turn your attitude around. I have been blessed to be surrounded by some selfless people who have helped me when I have needed it (down and out with the flu and my husband out of town), and I love to reciprocate. I don’t help people to look better in other’s eyes, I do it because it makes me happy to help them. That is it. The side benefit is that you have made someone else’s life easier, and that is worth everything.
3) Do something you LOVE every single day.
I need a couple of things to stay sane on a daily basis, but having a little time to read and have that ME time is very important. Technically speaking I need some alone time and time to write and long days to do what I like, but since that is nearly impossible I have to narrow it down. Reading for me is how I destress. I love having the time to lay in bed and read a great story, it really is my happy place. I am a reader through and through. If you left me alone for weeks on end I could be perfectly content with my Kindle and a connection to Amazon. Throughout the years I have had less time to read than others, I would steal moments while breastfeeding with a newborn, grab 5-10 minutes while my toddlers napped, or I’d take an hour at bedtime to read. I make time to read because it is important to me. I truly believe you make time for things that are important to you. Now I can read while my kids are playing outside, I grab a couple of hours before bed to sink into a great story, and I am so much happier when I can do this. My kids have grown up with their mama always reading and I love that they are exhibiting the same traits.
Tell me, what do YOU do to stay happy?