Happiness is something that we're always searching for in this life. People always say happiness is a choice. And although it may be, it's a hard choice to live out. You have to make a constant, conscious effort to maintain your happiness and sometimes it gets exhausting.
A few days ago I considered the idea of making a 10 secrets to being happy list so yesterday when I came across an article about Pope Francis where he shared 10 tips on being happy, I knew I had to to create my own, or expand on his. His list rocks and you should definitely go read it.
1. Ask God to help you- Whenever I start to feel grumpy and stressed out I close my eyes and just ask God to help lift my mood and focus on the positive in my life. When you ask, He delivers.
2. Keep a "grateful" journal- Each morning when I wake up I (try) to write down what I'm grateful for. This really starts my day by putting everything in perspective. Sometimes we forgot just how lucky we are to have simple things such as shelter, food, and water. That's when I realize how fortunate I really am.
3. Surround yourself with happy and positive people- I have written a post about this before and it is just so important to understand. When you're around people who are negative and mean then you become negative and mean. Take a look at your friends and ask yourself if they're a positive influence for you.
4. Treat yourself- or treat yo' self as Tom Haverford would say. Buy something or do something that you enjoy. It's okay to do something for yourself, in fact you should so something for yourself. It promotes happiness.
5. Exercise- this is a hard one for me still. Really hard. As in if I do work out it's pretty much a miracle. But I have to admit when I do work out it makes me feel so good. It has to do with dopamine being released or something like that, but all science aside it works.
6. Take a shower and get dressed- Okay maybe this applies to college students more than anyone else but I've realized I'm much happier on the days that I take care of myself then on the days I bum around in sweats with my unwashed hair. Moral of the story, listen to what you're mom has been telling you for years. Get dressed.
7. Laugh and laugh a lot- There's no denying laughing reduces stress and can change a frown upside down (even when you don't want it to). Put aside 10 minutes of time to talk to a silly friend or watch a funny TV show to brighten up your day.
8. Go outside (or at least out of the house)- This kinda goes along with #6. Even though we all need those lazy days when you stay inside all the time it is easy to get depressed. Outside in the real world there is an unlimited amount of adventures that you can go one which leads to an unlimited amount of memories you can make. So get off the couch and go be adventurous.
9. Do something kind for someone- When you focus on someone other then yourself, you (a) forget about your problems/struggles you're going through and (b) when you make someone smile it makes you smile.
10. Take what people say about you with a grain of salt- I used to (secretly) be so worried about what everyone thought of me. I would avoid people and social interactions because I was always thinking of the what ifs. What if these people think I'm annoying? I've come to realize that it really doesn't matter. At the end of the day one person's opinion (or 100 people for that matter) doesn't define me and who I am.
Happiness is contagious. Be change and then you will see the change. Life is too short to be unhappy.
Okay, enough of the clichés. Just be happy.