Even when we’re dealt lemons, it’s important to strive to find some happiness. Life isn’t perfect, but it will be much more enjoyable and memorable if you can find internal happiness. I’m talking about forgiveness, acceptance, and fulfillment that lead to inner peace.
There are always going to be negative influences that come into your life, but there are some avoidable ones to look out for – both for your happiness and the happiness of those around you.
The first thing that comes to mind is avoiding dwelling on outcomes you can’t change or affect. Nothing is more frustrating for some people than spending months rallying for a political candidate, only for them to lose in the end. It’s also frustrating when your favorite sport team loses in the playoffs. While these outcomes are disappointing, there isn’t anything we can do once the results are in, so what good does it do to stress over it in the long term? It’s best for our continued happiness to stop dwelling, accept the facts as soon as possible, and just “let it go.” Disney must be right.
In addition, sometimes it’s best to separate yourself from perpetually negative people in your life. Do you have a family member or friend that always seems to bring you down? Are they quick to point out and dwell on the negative aspects of every situation? With family members who just aren’t fitting into your new positive lifestyle, it’s probably best to distance yourself from them so that they are not a constant drain on your life. But when it comes to so-called “friends” in your life who aren’t good for you, it may be best to cut ties altogether. That’s because you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends.
Okay, so following my own advice – let’s not dwell on these negatives, and instead focus on the many positive influences and changes you can make that will forever change your life.
Even if you’re not into yoga like us, you can still apply one of the principles. At the beginning of my yoga classes, the instructor asks us to set our intention for the class and for the day. Thinking about your day in this way gives it purpose. The intention I set usually revolves around having a happy day. Every day, I choose to be happy to the best of my ability. Why not?
A very simple and fun way to affect your life in a positive way is to adopt a healthier diet and regular exercise. Endorphins are real folks! I realize that it may seem like a difficult change, but when I say “simple,” I’m talking about a more basic, whole-foods selection of foods. Your body will appreciate the whole foods and you will undoubtedly feel better. And when I say “fun,” I’m talking about incorporating fun activities in your routine that will make you feel like a kid again. If you enjoyed playing soccer as a kid, you could play soccer with your kids or join an adult soccer league. Carving out time to cook a new meal from scratch can also be fun!
Sometimes you also have to just stop and smell the roses, whether it’s spontaneous or by building in down time. We enjoy a variety of these type of activities, like nature-watching in a hammock, reading a book, or playing with our three cats.
Invest time in meaningful relationships. Good marriages require work. My grandparents always said that they work at their marriage every day by making sure to always be understanding and compassionate towards one another. Good friendships grow over time, and they’re worth it. Especially for couples like us who don’t have children, our friends have become a part of our family.
Do you wish you had time to do more of the things you love? The good news is that you do have the time! You just have to reorganize your time to allow you to do more of the things you love. We put this to the test in year 2016 when we discovered we loved to dance and yet the evening lessons would coincide with our weekly television sitcoms. Priorities! It didn’t take long for us to realize dancing makes us much happier than watching TV, so we cut the cable and joined regular dance lessons in the evening.