6 Things You Can Start Today to Boost Your Happiness

Here’s my top 6 things you can start doing today to boost your happiness:

Accumulate Memories1.  Accumulate memories not things.

What memory will you create today?  Huge challenge for most, since I myself work all week long and by the time the weekend comes, I’m tired.  But sometimes I’m really not that tired, I’m just stuck in a habit of thinking I need to rest and I plop myself down on the couch.  There are no memories being made with your kids watching you watch the latest DIY show.  Or dragging your kids to Walmart to buy the latest toy or gadget.  Okay…these are memories,  but not a worthwhile memories!  Here’s a blog post that tells you why you are happier when you spend money on experiences rather than things.  Here’s my favorite book on simplifying your life.  

 


 

sinai2. Stop Comparing yourself to others.

When we compare ourselves to others, we are measuring our life against things and people who don’t have the same calling on their life as yours.  I strongly believe that God has a unique purpose for my life.  If I compare my life against someone else, my focus gets lost on someone else’s purpose instead of mine.  Other great reasons can be found here:  3 Reasons to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others  Here’s my favorite book on finding your sweet spot.

 


 

Journaling3.  Write in a journal.

It’s surprising to me how fast I feel better about anything thats’ worrying me or stressing me out, when I start journaling about it.  I hadn’t journaled in weeks.  I was increasing becoming more anxious.  I sat down Saturday morning and started to journal.  Old fashioned pen and paper.  And now my anxiety is gone.  Feels like a miracle!  I believe relief comes from voicing things that are inside of you.  Especially if you don’t have a friend or spouse who will listen to your ramblings.  My husband is a good listener, but some things I just don’t feel like sharing.  When I journal, I can get out those things I’m thinking without the fear of of sounding stupid, or having someone fix what I’m thinking.  (Men are built to fix.  Many times I just want to share without being fixed.)  Journaling allows me that.   Here’s a great post on why to Journal and how to get started.    Here’s my favorite book on journaling.


Unforgiveness4. Forgive.

When we walk around with unforgiveness in our heart, it drags us down. It takes up residence where peace and love should be in our hearts and minds.  It uses up energy.  I remember the first time I was wronged by someone, I mean life shattering “wronged.”  I went to a pastor for help.  He said forgive this person.  I said I can’t forgive because this person isn’t sorry.  My pastor said forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person’s repentance.  It has everything to do with our heart’s desire.  Since that time, I’ve had many opportunities to practice forgiveness.  I’ve even given other’s the opportunity to forgive me.  Ever got a splinter in your foot?  When it’s finally removed, there is such relief.  It’s the same with forgiveness.    Here’s a post on How To Forgive the Unforgivable.  Here’s My Favorite Book on Forgiveness


get outdoors5. Get outside and do something healthy.

There’s a reason why I like to exercise in the morning.  When I get out first thing in the morning, it sets the day in the right way.  And it’s more than mental for me.  Sure I feel accomplished and good that I’ve done something so important to my health.  But it’s more than a accomplished.  It gets my blood pumping.  And I just feel better.  Period.  Waiting until after work hasn’t worked for me.  I drag all day long…and then I get my pick me up.  That doesn’t make much sense to me.  And getting on  a treadmill doesn’t have the same affect either.  I need outside air and sunshine.  Even though there’s not much sunshine in the early morning, I still feel like I’m getting some vitamin D.  Here’s Why Exercise can Make you Happy.  Here’s my favorite fitness book (written by my coach.)


 

Instant Happiness6. Help Someone Else.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of forgetting your own sorrows.  Sometimes it’s gaining perspective.  Every morning on my way to work I call a friend who is struggling.  I don’t care how rough I’m feeling at the moment…when I call to give her encouragement, it makes me feel better.  One thanksgiving I was feeling pretty down about not having any family coming for dinner.  My husband and I were spending it alone.  That morning, we went and bought several family dinners from Cracker Barrel and took them down to the south side of San Antonio, where poverty is an epidemic. The joy on their faces brought me such peace.  It’s hard to feel down after lifting someone else up.   Here’s why Helping Someone Else Improves Your Mood.  Here’s my favorite book on Serving.


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8 steps to free yourself of aggravation

aggravation

Sometimes I get aggravated over really simple things.  Like this morning.  I subscribe to text notifications of one of my favorite pastor’s tweets.   I’m guessing that something went wrong this morning, because I got around 10 text messages within ten minutes…so for the last ten minutes my phone’s been making noise.  And each time I go to look…the first two were okay…but every one after that, my annoyance…my aggravation intensified.  Did I want to throw my phone out the window?  No, but trying to write a blog with my phone going off proved to be a challenge.

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” ~Ambrose Bierce

1.  You have a choice.

Yes, you really do have a choice.  We live in an imperfect world with many imperfect people.  (Me included!)  Because we are born with a sinful nature, we will…yes…sin.  We have times we make mistakes.  Things go wrong.  Sometimes we make poor choices.  It happens.  A lot.  We are put into situations multiple times a day.  Newly married? New job? Even more so…  So why not start out the day with a decision or a choice.  A right choice.  Not to ignore when things go wrong, but to choose living the way God wants us to live.

galations5

2.  Question the purpose.

I can’t help but think of the guy who’s alarm didn’t go off the morning of September 11th.  He rushed out the door, barely said goodbye to his wife and kids, aggravated that he was late.  He didn’t even have time to grab a cup of coffee as he rushed out the door, cursing his stupid alarm clock.  He was on the train when he heard the news about a plane crashing into his office building at The World Trade Center.

It’s a habit to develop for sure.  A habit of questioning why this inconvenience is happing to me.  Ask “why is this happening?”  You may not ever know…  But having faith that God is in control helps.

3.  Where’s your focus?

EVERY time I get aggravated, it’s because my focus is on myself.  It’s my selfishness that robs me of my joy and happiness.

4.   Learn to respond instead of react.

thomasjeffersonquote

Angry people seem to act first, and think later.  No doubt Thomas Jefferson’s advice (quoted above) to count to ten or even a hundred before speaking while angry is aimed at giving people time to reflect on the consequences of their actions and possibly avoid impulsive, destructive acts that will be regretted later.

When I get aggravated and want to react immediately, the outcome NEVER comes out in my favor. I mess it up every time.  Mostly because my emotions take over my brain and I’m unable to think straight.  But when I take the time to step back, and think through my response, I do much better.  I’m able to reason.  I’m not crying.  I’m not angry.  I respond out of respect and love instead of anger and frustration.

5. Controlling actions instead of emotions

I really struggle controlling my emotions some times.  No matter how much I tell myself to calm down…I can’t get my heart to stop beating fast or my palms to stop sweating.  Yesterday I spent the day in court.  We were seeking to protect the grandson I’m raising from a mother who has repeatedly put him in dangerous situations.  My heart was racing when the judge called our case.  I felt sick to my stomach.  I couldn’t control those things.  But I could control my actions.  I didn’t speak to the mother.  I avoided even looking at her.  I smiled.  (Amazing how smiling actually calmed my heart and stomach!)

6.  Set the example

Do you have a spouse or a child who gets aggravated frequently? Is it because they’ve seen you get aggravated?  My 2 year old is like a sponge.  He is picking up on emotions and actions.  If he sees his father get frustrated in traffic, he then comes home and gets frustrated with his toys.  He’s learned it.  He’s seen it.  Sometimes just knowing that you are teaching others around you to act like you is enough motivation to make a change.  It may be a child or it may be a spouse…

7. What response do you want?

If you get aggravated with me, then my immediate reaction is to become aggravated with you.  Your aggravation doesn’t motivate me.  It doesn’t make me love you more.  It doesn’t make me move faster.  Perhaps you don’t even know you’re displaying aggravation… Well wake up and become aware.  Nit-picking, bickering, insults….they are not attractive!  And no one likes to be around a couple who nag on each other…  It truly will ruin your social life!

7.  Start Journaling

My biggest help to dealing with frustration and aggravation is to take it to paper with a pen.  I’ve been journaling since I was 11 years old.  When it goes down on paper, somehow it helps me to deal with the emotions I’m struggling to control.  (And yes…my journaling is now translating into blogging!)

8.  Learning to Laugh

I laughed today when the 10th text came in.  I thought, if this pastor knew how his system of sending out tweets failed, I’m sure he’d be scratching his head…struggling with frustration I’m sure!  So try to laugh… It’s much more fun to smile than frown.  Feels better to be happy than angry…