This post was inspired by the following question I was asked:
“Daisy, how do you stay so happy?”
Before I attempt to answer the question, I have to correct what it presumes. I do not stay happy all the time. I get sad. I get grumpy. There are days that I spend angry with myself, angry at others in my life, and angry at the entire world. I give myself time to be sad if I need to be sad. I allow myself to be grumpy and vent if I have to. Being angry is certainly okay in my book because it means I give a damn.
The key is not to dwell in these moments. Give yourself the time you need and move on! Bounce back. Let the negativity you feel encourage you to make changes or to speak up. Secondly, don’t get grumpy over every little thing. Do not let insignificant matters or people make you sad or angry. The world is imperfect. Accept that and only worry about things that truly matter.
You cannot control all the circumstances that the world and life throw at you. I have shitty days. I have failed miserably. I disappoint myself and others disappoint me as well. The nature of the world, the process of disease, the inevitable progress from order to disorder. I am not immune to the uproar. You aren’t either. Nobody is.
Control what you can control (which is a lot!). Build yourself a strong foundation of happiness. Even if life is smooth sailing right now, think of ways to be even happier! Do not focus on trying to be happy only when you’re at a low. Happiness should be your priority at ALL times. This way, when things go haywire, you are already at a positive place and will be able to handle matters better.
Some things that I control and make me happy (you can control them too!):
- Sleep: At least seven hours every night. How can a tired mind make the effort to be happy? You need energy to do the things that must be done to be happy!
- Exercise: Easy. Health means happiness. Also, gotta love those endorphins.
- Relationships: Keep them healthy as well. Nurture your relationships with the people you love and care about. Do not worry about people who only bring you down. Surround yourself with happy people.
- Fulfillment: Make a difference. Be a positive influence on someone’s life. I personally love animals and find fulfillment in my job. I also volunteer when time permits. When time doesn’t permit, make a donation. Easy peasy.
- Do what you love: You may not love your job. Fine. Let’s say that it takes 45 hours of your week (I’ve thrown time in for getting ready in the morning and the commute). Let’s say you follow my advice and sleep seven hours a night. That’s 49 hours in one week. Together, there go 94 hours of your week. That leaves you with 74! Precious hours to do whatever you please! Do not let them go to waste. Do things that you love… Paint, go outside, cook, run, read, listen to music, play an instrument, sing, dance, spend time with people you love.
- Look forward to life: Always have something to look forward to. Things in the immediate future like a birthday celebration, a weekend getaway, a daytrip, a reunion with friends, nice weather, a race (in the case of runners!). If I realize that I have nothing exciting planned for weeks, I make plans! My friends call me The Coordinator for a reason. You can also look forward to things in the distant future, even if you have no idea when they will happen. Marriage, children (not for me!), a degree, a new job, a dream vacation. Be excited about life!
- Focus: I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Do not focus on the little things. There are bound to be many and they simply do not matter. I step in shit in the morning. My hair is a mess. I get stuck in traffic. I forget my wallet. Rain ruins my plans. People are rude. I don’t always get a lunch break. So what? It is all rather insignificant and not worth your time or worth messing up your mood.
- Give yourself some credit: Be your own #1 fan. It is not arrogant or conceited to acknowledge that you are a badass. Know your qualities. Don’t expect others to recognize and list them for you. It’s a bonus when they do, but you have to build yourself up first.
So much of my confidence comes from the fact that I have convinced myself that I am in control of so many things. I have the final say in my own happiness, regardless of what is thrown at me. I make the choice to react the way I do, nobody else does. I choose how I spend my time and who I spend it with. I take matters into my own hands. I make mistakes and they are mine. I was in control of them too, I just didn’t play them well. It happens. On to the next with a lesson learned and continued tenacity, preferably with a smile.
I encourage you to try these things because they work for me. My life isn’t perfect, it never will be. As I stated, I have failed time and time again. The world is one of opportunity, though. Life goes on and gives you options. My life didn’t end in those moments of major suckage. It will not end until I take my final breath. In the meantime, I will take what opportunities I can and…. You guessed it, be as happy as can be!
The title of this post comes from the lyrics of the following song:
Listening to good music that perks me up is also instrumental to being a happy daisy. Dancing to it is the icing on the cake.