The Art of Being Happy

I’m sure that I’ve mentioned it a few times here before, but I’ll say it again because I think it’s super important:

I believe that you choose happiness.

You can’t control everything that happens in the world, but you can control how you react to it.  And I know that there are harder times, TRUST ME.  I’m not saying you’re never allowed to be upset.  But don’t dwell.  Feel it, use it, and then move on.  But that’s not the point of all this…my focus today is CHOOSING HAPPINESS.

I think that there are things that you can do, every day, that change your life a little bit.  Not giant, earth shattering things, but easy little things that make it easier to just let go and be happy.

1. Take a second, before you get out of bed, to smile in the dark.  I’m convinced that smiling starts a chemical reaction that sets the tone for how your day will go.  It helps you determine, right from the moment you wake up, how you’re going to handle the day.  I’ve been known to start the day with a, “grumble, grumble, harumph…” but I try to always smile at the end of that statement, because tired doesn’t have to equal grumpy.

bright flash

I tried to take a picture of us smiling in the dark once, but the flash was WAY BRIGHTER than I anticipated…

2. Make your bed. See?  Another tiny little thing.  I mean really – how long does it take you to make your bed?  A minute?  MAYBE two?  But from that moment on, every time you walk into your room, at least that part will be clean.  At no point during your day will you have to know, even in a small part right at the back of your brain, that your sheets are a jumbled mess.

3. Drink lots of water. I know…it doesn’t seem like a happy thing, but I’m always grumpy and headachey when I’m dehydrated.  Besides, being well hydrated will keep your skin supple and WHO DOESN’T LOVE GOOD SKIN???

4. Surprise people something nice, just because. I admit that I don’t do this EVERY day, but I try to do it as often as possible.  You get bonus points for this one if you’re doing something nice for someone you love.  Fold someone’s laundry.  Make someone’s lunch. Tick something off of someone’s to do list.  Once in a while, pay for the coffee behind you in the drive through.  The key to this is not to expect anything in return.  There’s a certain shade of happiness that you only achieve when you’re helping someone else.

5. Surround yourself with beautiful things. Notice that I said beautiful.  They don’t need to be expensive.  Our house truly became a home when we put up some pictures.  Nothing fancy – just pictures that we took ourselves, printed off, framed, and hung on the walls.  But all of a sudden, we were surrounded by family and warm memories.  When we got pregnant and engaged, my soon-to-be-sister-in-law was in South Africa and she brought us back a beautiful little statuette of a family – two adults and a small child holding hands.  To this day, it’s one of my favorite things and I feel loved and happy every time I see it.  That’s what I’m talking about, kittens.  Surround yourself with what you want to see.

So there you have it – a few easy things that I try to do every day to make sure that my life is the best life.

What would you add to the list?  What little things make you happy?