Mindset and small choices can help us live our best lives now, despite our circumstances.
I’m about to share advice with you I have difficulty practicing sometimes. Don’t let that stop you from hearing me out though. Even if you are able to do these things some of the time, you’ll be better off than if you don’t do them at all.
Pull the Camera Back for the Wide Shot
Looking at the big picture is a good way to start. Sometimes minutia inflames our ire when it’s not worth the effort. Some years ago, I heard someone say that all upset should be run through the filter of a simple question.
Will this matter five years from now?
If the answer to this question is NO, then it likely isn’t worth expending too much frustration and energy on. Do what you can to work it out in the short-term and be grateful that it isn’t of huge significance in the long-term.
If the answer is YES, a bit more work is required. Figuring out how to navigate a situation so serious that it will ripple five years into the future is important. Here are the key steps:
- Determine what you can control about the situation. What do you have a choice or a say in? What actions can you take to help? Do these things — whatever they are and however grueling they might be. Enlist help if needed.
- Determine what you can’t control about the situation. Whatever you can’t control, pause to feel it and allow yourself the emotions attached to it. Then, release it. This may be a process. You may hate every minute of it, but you must release it.
- Make peace, even imperfect peace with your circumstances. Once you do what you can do and release the rest, you can look ahead. Approaching your future from a position of peace will facilitate good things as you move forward.
What’s Good Today?
Reflect for a minute on today only. Even if it’s been a rotten-to-the-core kind of day, there must be some glimmer of good.
What’s going on in your life that is good? Are you healthy? Are your kids happy and healthy? Do you have a job? A place to live? A meal? Someone you love? Someone who loves you?
Even if you’re experiencing turmoil, if you have just a couple of these things, you are blessed.
Is there something you can look to as a snippet of happiness today? Perhaps you saw a beautiful sunset or got to enjoy a song you love on the radio. Maybe your kid came home and hugged you tightly, even if she did get a note home from the teacher.
There is always something good to be happy off. Even in the most difficult times, there is beauty to be found and reason for gratitude.
I have found that when I’m struggling, doing something to encourage or serve others helps. Send an encouraging text to a friend who’s struggling also. Invite a neighbor over for coffee. Bake brownies for someone who’s been under the weather.
Small benevolence yields great results.
Acts of kindness have a way of boosting our mood. Small benevolence yields great results. It helps extract us from our own self-absorption. Contributing to someone else’s well-being feels good — for you and for the other person.
Life ebbs and flows, ushering us through seasons of good and bad. Seasons don’t last forever. Deciding to embrace happiness has been a lifeline for me on many occasions. It isn’t easy, but it’s better than surrendering to being miserable.
Choosing happy is a strengthening exercise. Flex your emotional muscles and find joy in small moments and acts of kindness. You never know who may benefit besides you.
always be happy no matter what a happy mind lead you to great things