We’ve all had those days. The ones where staying in the bed seems much more conducive to having a productive day than getting out of it. Because if those gray clouds hanging over me aren’t going away, then what’s the point of pretending it’s sunny? I know you understand what I’m saying here. Some days aren’t good. Some weeks aren’t good. Truth be told, I’ve gone through seasons where I feel like holing myself up in the house with about three thousand books, deciding to home school the kids and move to a ranch on a hundred acres as an alternative to my current situation
Thing is, no one has a perfect life. Even that idyllic away-from-everyone, living-on-a-ranch-in-Montana –idea isn’t perfect either. My feet would still hit the floor every morning wishing I didn’t have to do a thing. There are days, no matter where we are, when the less-than-happy me persists in being top mood for the day. So how do we combat the seasons of sadness when it appears like the season will never end?
Here’s a list of things to say to yourself when you’re feeling less than happy. Instead, infuse your language with the words below, and you’ll see a world of difference.
1. “I will not compare myself to anyone.”
The old cliché “comparison is the thief of joy” is a fact. Regardless, we will compare ourselves to others and think others have it better. That’s human nature. The trick is to see that we are no better or no worse than anyone else is and where we are in life is exactly where we need to be. No one has a perfect life. Not the magazine model, not your best friend, no one. Compare yourself to only yourself and how much better you want to be today than who you were yesterday.
2. “I will give of myself.”
Want to break out of the “poor me” slump? Or even the” I’m sad and I don’t know what to do about it” ideology? Give. Give of yourself and your time to those who really need help, like putting food on their table or a place to live. Those things, and realizing I have so much, usually burn a fire in me to reverse course and steer my unhappiness into happiness. Giving forces me to forget about myself and focus on those who really need it.
3. “I will love myself.”
Love where you’re at right now. You may not have it all together. You may have none of it together, like me. But by loving yourself, you’re taking care of yourself. Take yoga, go to the gym, read a self-help book, eat right. They’re all things that better you but don’t promote sadness. If anything, all of these infuse happiness into your heart, soul, and mind because you’re watching out for you. It’s easy to be happy when it involves caring about yourself!
4. “I will love others.”
This is one thing I want to work on this year. It’s easy to love nice people but much harder to love those who are lonely, sad, or selfish. Truth is, we’re all of those things. And by loving others, we are again giving of ourselves. At the end of the day, it isn’t about what we bought or the deal we made or where we’re going or coming from, it’s about who’s in our life and making sure we love them no matter how they make us feel. To quote the amazing poet Maya Angelou, “People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That is what I want to give to others. When you have the power to make others feel amazing, that is happiness at its finest.
5. “I will meditate every day.”
I do this, or at least I try to, everyday. Whether you’re spiritual or not, meditating on good things and ridding your mind of the negative things that shoot our way all day long, is like drinking a health drink full of vitamins. For me, I meditate on God and what He’sdone for me as often as I can as a way to ground my thinking because I’m a real mess. I’m critical, I’m selfish, I’m unhappy because I’m human. We have emotions. Humans search for peace and fulfillment. But true peace comes to us with rest, thankfulness, and hope. And by mediating on truth, we shift our minds off the negative and onto the positive. Whether you do this morning, noon or night, or all three, it’s a perfect way continually reassess what’s important.
6. “I will go to bed thankful.”
Being thankful is another way to stop comparing ourselves to others. Make a list of ten amazing things that happened to you that day every night before you go to bed. Whether it was the perfect cup of coffee, or saving 75 cents on a can of soup, these little things add up to big things. By being thankful, we recall the little, happy things that happened to use throughout the day. And it’s a reminder that happiness surrounds us all the time … we just have to look for it, take it and choose to live happy through my thankfulness.
7. “I will wake up thankful.”
This is another thing I struggle with. First thing I want to do when I wake up is check my phone, which leads to checking Instagram, which leads to comparing myself, which leads to unhappiness. Yikes! First thing I need to do is to wake up with joy in my heart and the easiest way to do that is to thank God that I even woke up! Life is a gift. Then, just as I did the night before, I go through things I’m happy with right now: the warm, soft bed, the dark room, the coffee brewing. They’re all little. And yet, those are huge happy things!
There will always be days of sadness amidst the happiness. Sometimes, we will linger in seasons that make it seem we’re hopelessly lost, dragging ourselves through the valley of despair. But, don’t give up! The valleys don’t last forever. The mountain of hope and happiness is there to climb. And once we see these mountains are everywhere, well, you won’t need that cabin in Montana to be happy after all. (Maybe
And if all else fails...
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