Hello Happiness It’s me, Karen

Do you ever wish you were one of those people who was happy ALL – THE – TIME? You know who I’m talking about. The women who are the life of the party. Their faces glow with Joy. Laughing. They are the ones everyone wants to be around?

But not you. Deep thinker. Leaning towards seriousness. A bit more quiet. Feeling every emotion so strong. Wearing every one of those emotions on your face for everyone to see.

Relax, they say. You look mad. What’s the matter? All these feelings and emotions that you carry. You want so desperately to let it go. You crave lightheartedness and being easy going but you just don’t know how.

I have good news! Joy isn’t as hard to attain as it may seem. It grows out of the small things we can do everyday to cultivate it and watch it grow. Here are 6 tips to help those feelings flourish!

1. Self Acceptance —> Love yourself. Love the emotions. Deep feelings. That serious nature. Love the unique person that God created you to be. When we are striving to be someone else it will be exhausting. We are pushing against how God created us to be and it will never feel natural. God has a purpose for you and your personality is a part of that. When we walk around hating ourselves our faces will show that. You can still be happy even when you are a more serious person!! When you finally find acceptance for yourself. Stop the comparing. Trying to be someone else. There will be a natural ease and peace about you. You will carry yourself with confidence knowing that God created you this way. And it is good.

2. Gratitude —> Your life is made up of a million tiny moments that when you put them all together make this wonderful life you are living. Which moments are you focusing on? Pay attention to the good stuff that comes in your day. This requires a discipline at first. Which is why writing it down either in that moment or as a self reflection at the end of the day is a perfect practice. “Gratitude” journals will help you form this habit of being aware when the tiny blessings come into your life. Grateful people are generally happier people because they choose to focus on the positive things no mater how small they may be.

The next 4 steps are things you can do everyday to keep the happiness habit flowing!

3. Eat and sleep —> Yup.. I’m going there. But I promise to be quick! What you eat matters. There is a direct link between your gut and your brain. Preservatives. Chemicals. They weigh down our immune system and also our moods. Sluggish. Unmotivated. Foggy brain. just to name a few. Sleep? Yes- you need a good nights sleep, at least 7 hours. It is the time when your cells regenerate. Your body heals. And…. if you are eating right before bed none of this will happen. Your body will be busy digesting and processing the food you just ate. Which means you might wake up a bit grouchy looking for that extra cup of coffee. ha! So keep it simple. Eat healthy. Skip the pre-bedtime snack. And get some zzzz’s

4. Get social! —> Remember when your kids were small? (or maybe they still are) All the playdates we made to keep them socialized. We had them running around on playgrounds or playing make believe and dress up. This did not just wear them out so they took a good nap that day. ( I loved that) It also lifted their endorphins and self esteem. Well, that doesn’t change as we age. It is still a vital part of our happiness. Connection. We all need it. God created it that way. Even a 10-minute catch-up can bring feelings of warmth to our souls. Feelings of acceptance and love bring joy. So make that coffee date. A quick meet up for lunch. Its not just for the toddlers!

5. Time with God —> This should be our number one go-to. But if you are anything like me (a human) I sometimes fall short in this area and forget to cry out to God for help. Spend time, whatever that looks like for you, reading the bible. Say what God says about you. Read out load how much He loves you. Will never leave you. Sings with joy over you. Find scriptures personal to you and your situation you may be facing. Look for the promise. You will show me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; In your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

6. Get moving —> It’s no surprise that I would save the best for last! Ha! It is also no secret that a good, hard workout can do wonders for your mood. That rush of endorphins we feel. And the sense of accomplishment after a good workout. It doesn’t even have to be an all out sweat party either. Simply going for a walk. A hike in the woods. These can do wonders for our moods. It helps us to step outside (literally) of ourselves and focus on something else. The sunshine. Fresh air. The ability to move. All things to be grateful for (add them to your list) It doesn’t have to be an hour long workout either if you are short on time. Split it up into time segments throughout your day too. You make the rules!

Be true to yourself. Make your own kind of Happy. Do more of it. And then share that smile with the rest of us! We all need it. 😁

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