Happiness is a Work in Progress
One of the greatest things about life is that we get a new opportunity to try again every day. This can be a blessing because if things didn’t go your way, you can alway try again tomorrow. Tomorrow will always give you a second chance to be better, whether this is at work, at school, or with your family. Do you know what other second chance tomorrow gives you? A chance to be happier. Tomorrow is another opportunity for you to be happy.
When thinking about happiness, we often try to boil it down to circumstances. We might blame situations out of our control or other people for our unhappiness. But the truth is that our happiness is our own responsibility. It’s like that Eleanor Roosevelt quote: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” No one can take away your happiness without your consent.
While it can be empowering to take ownership, it can also be a stressful thought. To be clear, this isn’t to say that brain chemistry isn’t a factor in mood. Depression and anxiety are caused by neurotransmitter imbalances, so you can’t control what your brain is doing. But what you can control, in any circumstance, is how you respond. Your happiness is an everyday process because, as much as we may want it, there is no magic switch or life hack to make the future happier.
The Happiness Process
So, you’re in control of your happiness, but what does this look like? The key here is that happiness is a process. Every day, you have the opportunity to control your mood. You can do this by practicing self care to keep your brain and body healthy, and by practicing kyndfulness to boost your mood. Other elements of the happiness process involve routine, activity, and choices.
Routine: it is important to set up a routine that works for you. This can mean going to a gym a couple times a week, scheduling lunch dates with friends, or practicing mindfulness to start your day. Once you build things that make you happy into your routine, you’ll boost your mood every day.
Activity: make time for activities that let you relax and decompress. An activity could be going hiking, volunteering, or even staying in to watch a good movie. Break up the monotony with things to look forward to!
Choices: When you’re having a bad day, ask yourself “was it a bad day or a bad 5 minutes that I milked all day?” While we don’t always have control over how we think, there are times when we can make the choices to just let it go. This may mean giving up your anger at someone, deciding not to stress over what you can’t control, or refocusing on yourself rather than others.
Happiness is a work in progress, and everyone’s process is different. If you want to be happier, it is time to take control over your happiness! Remember: happiness isn’t always gym time and lattes, sometimes it is meeting with a therapist or changing meds. However you work on your happiness, just remember that every little bit helps to boost your mood.
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