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Lately I’ve been asked by several people how I manage to stay happy and positive all of the time. I always take that question as a compliment, but I also don’t want to mislead anyone to believe I am always happy and positive. I’ve been through a couple of seasons in my life where I struggled big time. Those times were after major life-changing events when I was kicked in the face and punched in the gut and were truly dark days in my life. There is a saying that goes “This too shall pass.” It’s applicable to both good times and bad times. I prefer to stay in the “good times” portion of that equation
I don’t know if there is a “Key To Happiness” and I often wonder if it’s a learned characteristic or if it is a trait we are born with. Happiness is not determined by the size of your bank account or the amount of money you possess. Happiness is not derived from trophies or accolades, as the rush they generate fade away quickly. Happiness is not found in another person. All I know is that it’s a whole lot better to be happy than to be sad. I know… You’re getting a wealth of wisdom with that observation.
So what are these 10 things I do to stay happy? I’ll gladly share them with you, however, I’m not so arrogant as to believe my 10 things will bring the same amount of happy for you as it does for me. Though I do believe some of the principles and ideas can translate. These are just a few of the things that I do to ensure I stay close in contact with things that keep a smile on my face and a smile on my heart.
Every single morning at 11:30 an app on my phone sends me a notification to make my daily entry into The Gratitude Journal. On a daily basis I write down five things that I am grateful for that day. By being reminded daily of the blessings I have in my life and focusing on them, it’s more difficult to focus on the negatives that may enter into my life. I love this app on my phone – it truly has changed my perspective about so many things!
2) Hang Out With Fun & Happy People
Much like I have mentioned on previous posts to hang around successful people if you want to be successful, I feel this translates well into staying happy. This is typically a double whammy of benefit for me as my definition of a successful person always includes happiness and living a fulfilling life. Fun & happy people exude excitement and create laughter. The more you can laugh, the happier you’ll be. So find some fun people who are happy to the core and hang out with them.
3) Get Out Of The House
Hello, my name is Bonnie Cribbs and I am a workaholic. Working from home my entire career and my tendency to work like crazy can actually have some negative effects, like sitting at a desk all day or talking on the phone all day with very little movement. There are times when I feel like I could stay locked up in my house for weeks at a time with very little interaction with others, which is totally unhealthy for the happiness factor. So I get out of the house and make sure that I’m out in nature and getting some fresh air on a very regular basis. It’s great to have the flexibility to work at 2 in the morning when I want, but it’s even better to be able to leave at 2 in the afternoon when I want.
You can look at my profile picture and tell I am not an exercise junkie, but I do get exercise in several times a week. I shoot for 5 days a week. The endorphins from exercise give you energy and I really do believe they are part of the happiness equation as well.
5) Listen To Positive Music
What is it about music that can so quickly move the soul? I listen to a lot of inspirational music that keeps my faith grounded and my spirits up. Music is so powerful – I love the way I can hear a song from my middle school years and it instantly take me back to a specific moment. I love the way music is tied so closely to our memory, emotions and soul. Music can have a positive affect on us or a negative affect on us, depending on what you choose. Music is like friends who can greatly influence you, so choose it wisely.
6) A Few Sitcoms
I don’t watch a lot of TV at all, but when I do they are typically comedies or suspense thrillers. There are a few shows that literally make me laugh out loud. This summer, for the first time ever, I’ve been watching Big Bang Theory and can’t believe I’ve deprived myself of this show for so long. The laughter is so good for the soul. I don’t recommend watching TOO much TV, but I know the laughter is good for balance and perspective.
7) Avoid Negative People
I like to say it this way: “I am allergic to negative people.” Plain and simple, I avoid having negative people in my life. They drain you, they are contagious and they zap you of your energy. And just to clarify, I do believe there is a big difference between someone going through a rough time and being temporarily down and someone who is simply negative.
8) I Do What I Love
If you do not love what you do every day for an income, then you have to ask yourself is it really worth it? I’ve never understood why people stay in jobs they hate. Yes, I understand the need to make money and pay your bills, but I certainly believe that can be done by doing what you love. I must admit, I can’t handle stress too well, so I want absolutely NO part of having a job that I don’t enjoy. By doing what I love every day, I constantly feel blessed, fulfilled and like I am a part of something important.
9) Help & Bless Others
Post like these always make me so uncomfortable because I’m talking about me. I tend to focus on helping others and blessing others MUCH more than I think about me. Helping others, truly helping others, gives me a rush much like exercise or getting a new customer. I hope that doesn’t seem selfish…but it really is an incredibly good feeling to help others. I think that’s why I love having others on my team who are built the same way and love to help others. It’s just a cool feeling.
10) Build A Deeper Faith
I know there is a difference between Joy and happiness, though I’m not exactly sure how I would define the differences. “Joy” is deep rooted and “happiness” is more of a feeling or emotion, or at least that’s own explanation of the two. My faith brings me Joy and is the very reason I have true Joy that’s even present when happiness may temporarily go away. My faith has grown so much in the past few years as I’ve experienced a ton of things in life that has kicked me in the face. The roots of who I am have been tested, and while shaken, tested and tossed about, my faith became stronger and set more firmly in place. My faith and my life around my faith definitely are a huge part of why I am and how I can be happy.
Wow! I could have kept going! There are so many little things I try to do to keep positive vibes, happiness and good karma in my life.
PS – What do you do to bring happiness into your life?