Last year, I decided to embark on a 45 days of happiness journey. The goal was to identify moments of happiness and post them each day on social media. This included both giving and receiving it. I consider myself a pretty positive person, so I thought it would be a piece of cake. And so it began…
The first week or so was super easy. I freely gave love to those around me, spent quality time with friends and family, had some amazing experiences, increased my productivity at work, and celebrated a birthday. The highlights were watching my goals and dreams begin to manifest, meeting great people, gut wrenching laughter, and even driving a boat on the Chicago River. My crew supported me and my daily posts were getting positive feedback. I even inspired a couple of social media friends to start their own happiness journey.
As things moved forward, I quickly discovered that everyday wasn’t a bed of roses. As a matter of fact, there were days when happiness wasn’t looking for me and I wasn’t looking for it. Sometimes, I felt like I was being tested. That’s when I realized that the decision to be happy requires intention. This is what I learned:
In order to be happy, you have got to choose happiness – There are days when happiness will seem like an urban myth and you have to make a conscious decision to have it in your life. This may include hanging out with your favorite friends, having a good laugh, doing something you really love, or spending quiet time alone.
Surround yourself with people that share your same rhythm (phrase courtesy of Bishop T.D. Jakes) – It’s much easier to find joy with people that enjoy life. Birds of a feather do flock together. The quickest way to bring your mood down is by hanging with the Debby Downers and Grim Reapers of the world.
Step out of your comfort zone and try some things that you have always been dying to do – Monotony can sometimes be a drag. Inject some excitement into your life by doing something new. If there are things you have always wanted to try, do those things! If it feels right, try it!
Give love freely and express your gratitude – Sometimes life can harden us. It can be easier to be guarded than to love freely. Once you open yourself up, you will see it come back to you. Also, being grateful for what you have as opposed to what you don’t makes life much easier.
Prayer, rest, meditation, and exercise are game changers – These practices guarantee a mood change and often results in positive physical changes.
Summertime is the perfect time to get and keep the “happy” in your life. Let us know how it goes.
Courtney Bell is passionate about helping people achieve their goals. She is a Life Coach, Professor, and Blogger with over ten years of experience creating strategies for adults and students to live the lives they desire. Courtney currently lives in Chicago. Like her Facebook page – Courtney Bell Coaches and follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @cbellcoaches.