Now, if you think I am one of those people who wake up singing and flitting about the kitchen first thing in the morning, let me take this opportunity to tell you that that is absolutely not so.
I am actually slow to wake up. I like quiet, peaceful mornings preferably without an alarm telling me when my day needs to start. I don’t use a lot of words right out of the gate, but my brain is awake long before my eyelids open and is busily taking my thoughts in a million and one directions. If the sun is shining, it doesn’t take much encouragement for me to keep my eyes open, but if it is dark, dreary or cold, it’s going to take a bit more coaxing for me to leave the comfy-ness of my bed! I’m one of those people that have to set the alarm thirty minutes longer, just so I have thirty minutes of hitting the snooze button time before my feet have to actually, physically hit the floor! Lol!
On that same note, it is before I ever throw the covers off of me, in those early moments of consciousness that I’ve already decided what kind of day I am going to have. Happiness, is a choice.
The outside world is out of your control. So how can you have a happy day in spite of it? Here’s a few thoughts that I use for myself that I have gathered over the years.
1. Happiness is a choice.
Every single morning, you have the choice of how you are going to face your day. You may have no control over what time you have to be at work, what the traffic is going to be like, what kind of mood Pam from accounting is going to be in or what your customers are going to throw at you. But believe it or not, the first decision of the day should be happiness. Today, is going to be a good day.
Everyday, you get to wake up to a new beginning. And even while that alarm is grating against every nerve in your half- conscious body, you decide. Are you thankful that you are even awake? Or are you grumbling because you HAVE to be awake. Go ahead and grumble, get it out of your system, but then let the gratefulness take over and decide that you are going to be happy.
2. Count Your Blessings
Take a few moments, nine to be exact before the snooze button wears off, to run through a quick list of reasons to be thankful. I am thankful that the sun is shining. I am thankful that I have a reason to get out of bed. I am thankful that I am supporting myself. I am thankful that Pam is on vacation this week. I am thankful for my family… etc… you get the idea. Everyone has something… several somethings to be thankful for. Start your day off acknowledging them and you’ll be amazed at the effect it has on your day.
If you are having trouble at first, be thankful for the obvious. Air in your lungs. Eyes that see, feet that can walk, food to eat, coffee in the coffee pot (Or money for Starbucks!Lol) Suddenly, you will find so many more things, your vision will expand to more than just your own life, your peripheral thankfulness vision will come in to play as well!
Have you tried to be in a bad mood while you’re smiling? Not an easy task to do! So this helpful tip is for those of you looking for the easy button. Just smile. You will find that your face will change your insides. And when you see others smiling back at you, it’s usually a good enough reason to keep on smiling. It’s easy, it doesn’t cost anything, it doesn’t even make you change your routine. Just smile.
4. Don’t React, Decide
As mentioned before, you have no idea what is going to come at you during your day, but you can decide before you set one foot out of your house, (or bed, if you’re staying home) how you are going to respond to outside engagement.
You and only you are responsible for your decisions. Blame stops here. People may be rude, but you choose how you react. Traffic may be at a standstill, but you choose how you react. A hurricane may have damaged your home, but you decide how you will react. You may have a flat tire, but you decide how you are going to react.
Your gut reaction may be to scream and yell and blame others, but since you are choosing to have a happy day, then you decide how you are going to respond, and nothing is so terrible that a response can’t be suspended for a few seconds so you can readjust your thoughts. When people are rude, choose kindness. When bad things happen, decide how you are going to deal with them. If things happen that bring sadness, feel it, but don’t get lost in it. Decide what you are going to do next.
Things of the world may be out of your control, but you are one hundred percent in charge of how you react.
Where is your default button set?
Which is your “automatic reaction”?
Impatience of gratitude? Jealousy or encouragement? Exasperation or hope? Despair or faith?
We all have things in life that we HAVE to do. But how will you approach them?
We all have people in our life that we’d rather not deal with. How can you still love them?
We all have upsets, trial and tribulations. How can you make love, laughter and happiness your priority?
Adjust your default settings. Practice these steps for happiness every day and soon, they will become automatic and people will look at you funny. In a good, I-wish–I-was-so- happy, kind of way. Life becomes more fulfilling, the skies are a little more blue, and that snooze button doesn’t seem so annoying. Okay, yes it does, but not enough to ruin the day!
5. Surround yourself with positive things.
If you known you are prone to bad moods or worse, depression, don’t listen to those sad songs!! Brighten up your wardrobe! Hang some pictures that make you smile, so you see them the moment you open your eyes! Have fresh cut flowers on your counter or table. Burn some lavender candles. Do everything you can to help you reset your defaults! Don’t give in to the negativity. Don’t get involved with gossip, just walk away. And don’t watch or read those negative news stories or social media posts! Have a steady stream of puppies and kitties if you need to. (or baby sloths… a personal favorite)
6. And finally Look for the Good.
What you look for you will find. Try and find the good in any and all things. There are two sides to every coin and every situation in life. Always look for the good. Slow traffic? Great! You can drink your coffee without bumps or potholes! Pam in accounting acting up again? Fine, Kill her with kindness! It’ll annoy the heck out of her! Hurricane destroy your home? So be it… you probably wanted a new living room set anyway.
Oversimpligying, yes, maybe a little, but that’s where you have to start. If you constantly look for the bad in your life or in the lives of others (which is none of your business, by the way) you will find it. Stop there. There are enough people in the world shoving bad news and bad behavior in our face. Go beyond that. Look a little deeper. Find the good. It’s there.
Now go… throw off those blankets, turn off that alarm and have a happy day!
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