“Your level of happiness is going to be one of the most life altering things you can choose to control. It isn’t about choosing to be a perfect little happy robot. It is about choosing a happy life, regardless of what challenges you have to face.”
I thought that I would share one of the happiness tools I talk about in The Contagiously Positive Woman’s Guide To Healthy Living. This is for your mind and your body.
Do you believe that happiness is a choice? We have this voice in our head that says no, I call it the Saboteur. It creates this false belief and narrative that makes us believe that the external world is where our happiness lies. This voice also makes us believe that we don’t have the power to make a choice, and that is a lie and story we tell ourselves over and over again.
It sounds like…
“If this would happen, I would finally be happy.”
“If he/she would just stop doing that I would finally be happy.”
“If I had all these things and all this money, I would finally be happy.”
“If I had that job, or didn’t have this job, I would finally be happy.”
“If I weighed that exact specific weight, I would finally be happy.”
Honestly, the best way to shut down that nasty Saboteur talking trash and lies in our mind is to choose happiness. You (we) have to make a decision in each moment, right here and now that nothing else matters but your happiness, your joy, and your wellbeing.
Choosing happiness also plays a huge role on our health. Let me explain. When doing my research on the link between our emotions and our bodies, I came across research by Dr. Mark Liponis. In all of his studies, it showed that emotions always affect our physical state.
We get proof of this every day. Trembling hands when nervous, butterflies in the stomach when excited or anxious, flushed faced when embarrassed, sweating or pacing heart when scared.
Numerous studies show how negative emotions affect health, so why not the other way around. If negative emotions can make you sick, could positive emotions make you healthy? Absolutely!
This might shock you, but I did not come out of the box the Contagiously Positive Girl. In fact, it was quite the opposite and it wasn’t until my late twenties that I was dubbed the Contagiously Positive Girl. Negativity and unhappiness were like a drug to me. I loved being around negative people because it made me feel better – misery so loves company. I remember feeling like the unhappier I was, the unhealthier my body was (felt). When I made the decision to become the happiest person I knew, it was also the start of healing body. That was a big goal for the unhappy young woman that I was. It has been about 20 years since I made that decision and I never looked back. It definitely didn’t happen over night, and it isn’t always easy, but I healed my toxic mind by choosing every single day…
“I choose happiness.”
“I choose to be happy.”
“I choose to feel happy.”
The first step is always choosing what you want. When you make the choice, any choice, to change, remember these little Contagiously Positive nuggets I’ve learned along the way.
Be willing to choose and choose and choose and choose again. You have to keep trying and keep choosing until you get it, until it feels right, until it hits you right in the gut, gives you goose bumps, and makes your soul sing with joy! Turn over every stone. I’ve learned that it takes a lot longer to find yourself than it is does to lose yourself, but it is absolutely worth the effort.
Be willing to be open-minded, meaning, be an endless student. To grow is to learn and to learn is to grow. As crazy as this may sound, you don’t know it all. Be open-minded to trying new things, and to opening up your heart and your mind. That is how you prevent getting stuck. We have different needs, different desires and different wants at different times in our lives, and being open-minded helps lead us to what we need in this moment and to what is going to make us happy in this moment.
Don’t get stuck in the trap of, “I’ve always done it that way.” If that way isn’t working for you, you need to be open to a new way.
Say to yourself, “This will be my new job.” Being happy is my new dream job. I got very clear about what I wanted and how I wanted to feel every day. HAPPY. Every day, I go to my new job of happiness. I ask myself, “What do I need to do today to be happy?”
Being happy means having a positive mindset. Try to be positive in everything that you do. How can you be more positive doing the things you don’t want to do? For example: cleaning the house, doing chores, paying the bills, going to work, having a difficult conversation with someone, etc. The more we practice being positive during regular life events, the happier we will be. We attract what we put out into the world. If we are being negative, we will attract more negativity. If we are being positive, we will attract more positivity. Always be conscious of what you are putting out into the universe.
Being positive doesn’t mean you won’t have problems; it just puts you in a better place to solve them. It takes you out of, “this is never going to get better” to “this is a challenge, but I will figure it out. I will get through this.”
Keep things simple. Sounds like that should be an easy task, right? But so many of us struggle with simplicity because we are not designed for it. It has been beaten into our head that we must hustle, work hard, and burn ourselves out if we want to achieve our goals.
That was my old mentality, and let me tell you, it didn’t work out for me so much when I achieved my goal, but I also suffered from burnout. We have adopted a culture of “let’s make that much harder than it has to be.” Whether it is healthy eating, working out, or even just regular daily tasks, so many of us tend to think that if we are not hustling, filling every single minute of the day, or working super hard, we must not be doing enough. Guess where that leads you? Stress-Ville!
By not overcomplicating things and simply thinking of ways to simplify your life (giving yourself an ‘I’m only human break) you are giving yourself the greatest gift – ease and flow. Simplicity lightens the load that we so quickly pile on ourselves. There is so much power in simplicity – way more power than hustle, hustle, hustle, stress, stress, stress. Simplicity can mean many things. It can mean:
Starting where you are, focusing on this moment, today, instead of worrying and stressing out that you have not gotten where you want to go yet. Having faith that you will get there, and “there” will be so much more satisfying if you don’t arrive burnt out, stressed out, maxed out.
Choosing to make one healthy meal that can feed you for three days instead of trying to make a different meal, three times a day, seven days a week.
Simplicity can be choosing to exercise twice a week, instead of stressing out over how you are going to fit in seven 1-hour workouts. Or maybe you take your family for a walk so you can mix family time with fitness time.
It can even be making the choice not to add another chore to your already full day. Trust me, the laundry will still be there tomorrow.
What is one thing you can let go of, or choose to do that will simplify your day and help you up your happiness game? Think about something that is causing you stress, is there a way to make it less stressful? Does it actually have to be done in this moment? Is it truly urgent or can it wait until tomorrow or next week?
The most important thing that I want you to know is that you are not alone. I can almost guarantee that out of the 7 billion people in the world, eventually, each and every one, at some point in their lives, will have a limiting belief, or do not feel like working the work of being happy or healthy. I still have tiny mad ideas that try to creep in, but my new positive beliefs are what truly inspire me to stay committed to being happy and healthy and push the reset button when I’m not.
Laurie-ann Sheldrick, The Contagiously Positive Girl