Choosing to be Happy

Disclaimer: The advice solicited below is not intended for someone with depression. If you are suffering from this illness, please seek psychological treatment for your healing. United Way Helpline 1-800-233-HELP. This article is intended for someone feeling “stuck” and needing a bit of empowerment.

Living out your dreams may feel like an illusion or something for other people, but the reality is we are all capable of doing it. Happiness isn’t fleeting, but it is also not permanent. It is something we have to consistently work at to attain. In this article I will discuss several practices you can use to bring more happiness into your life. These approaches can be used to empower you, lead your life in a new direction, and increase your overall well-being. Choosing happy is something everyone can do by incorporating a few changes into their lives. 

Healthy Boundaries

One of the most important methods of choosing happy is to set healthy boundaries in your relationships. This can be difficult, but will become easier with practice. You are the most important person in your life and should be treated as such! If you feel that someone is taking advantage of your kindness, call them out on it. Create an open dialogue so the two of you can develop a relationship that works for the both of you or you may need to cut this person out entirely. Sometimes ending a relationship is the best choice for your mental health. You don’t need to keep toxic people in your life for fear of hurting their feelings. 

Making Good Decisions

Another way to increase your well-being is by making positive decisions. Choosing the best option for you can take time, especially if you’re like me and tend to blurt out a spontaneous answer rather than think for a minute before choosing. Additionally, it is important to remember that you are allowed to change your mind at any time. This may seem selfish, but if you are able to make decisions that help you to be the best version of yourself, you are then better able to take care of those around you as well as  increase your quality of work. You are the most important person in your life and you cannot serve from an empty vessel.

Self-Care

I know I talk about self-care often, but that is because it is so important. Taking care of yourself is one of the best decisions you can make. It prevents burn out in relationships and your career. It helps to decrease anger by giving you time to process your frustrations in a healthy way, which can lead to less mood swings or snapping at people. Additionally, it lowers your stress levels. Stress is terrible for our bodies and if left alone it can lead to serious mental and physical health issues. Self-care doesn’t need to be anything elaborate, just take 5-10 minutes each day and do  something for you.

Time Management

Leaving tasks for the proverbial “later” or can actually cause more stress than if they are completed as they come along. When you wait to complete a project or chore, you run the risk of not having enough time or something else coming up which leads to even more work accumulating. In order to stop procrastinating, you need to learn how to manage your time. This also ties in to setting boundaries. If you already have enough on your plate and are asked to complete more work, be firm and give your reasons why you cannot. Knowing your limits will show others that you are in control and have good leadership skills. Time management helps you to recognize your limits and allows you to increase your quality of work. This benefits not only you, but those around you as well.

When you first start the process of “choosing happy” it can feel scary and selfish, but with time it will become easier to know your limits and set boundaries in relationships. You deserve to make decisions based on how they will affect your life. Taking proper care of yourself doesn’t make  you greedy, it makes you a strong, independent person who knows what they are capable of. Consider the above suggestions the next time you find yourself struggling. Take notice of how you handle the situation and what the outcomes are. It takes both practice and patience to find a good balance of taking care of yourself and accomplishing your priorities. Above all, be kind to yourself.

XOXO,

Devin