After Monday’s post went live and I read the responses, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest. A lot of people say that “misery loves company” but I think that it’s people just want to feel normal and like they aren’t alone in feeling the way that they do. The overwhelming response that I received made me feel incredibly normal! And in sharing my feelings, struggles, and a bit of shame I feel as though the shedding process has begun and now I’m making the conscious choice to be happy.

After doing some soul searching, chatting with my smart hubs, and reviewing some things I already know, I came up with these things to do that I will be more conscious about doing:

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1. Stop Worrying/Stressing

I am the very definition of a worry wort. The amount of stress I’ve put myself under is evident in the size of my stomach. Am I a good enough mother? Am I good enough wife? Am I raising my girls the right way? Have I totally messed mini up because I yell at her? How do I get abc to stop biting me? Did I remember to take the meat out the freezer? How can I feed my family on a small budget and not sacrifice taste or health? Why won’t my pants fit? I worry and stress about pretty much everything. But how can you be happy when you’re mind is constantly in motion in a negative way? It can’t be. That’s the answer. Some of the things I stress about have no answers and I need to just accept that in doing my best, I’ll be good enough. Some of these things I really need to just pray about and then let it go. Other things I need to write down so that I haven’t forgotten them and because I have them written down, I don’t have to stress over remembering them!

2. Appreciate the Great

I have a loving husband. Two beautiful children after being told I wouldn’t be able to have any. I have a home. Food in my kitchen. And people that care enough about my well-being that they reached out to me after reading a post that highlighted a down-side in my life. There’s so much great in the world despite all of the bad. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t acknowledge the bad but focus on the good and keep making things great. At the end of each day I’m going to practice writing down something great from the day.

3. Smile

At yourself and others. Often times we forget to share a smile with the most important person–ourselves. I know when I look in the mirror I tend to focus on what’s wrong. The new post-baby pudge that has shown up, blemishes, the chubbiness of my cheeks, etc. are normally what I see. It’s so rare that I just look in the mirror and smile. I smile at people going down the street. I smile at my babies. I smile at my husband. But I don’t smile at me. Share a smile with yourself daily.Happy_Life_Quotes_03

4. Spend More Time With Friends & Family

This is something that I have been slacking on. Be intentional about the time that you spend with others. Plan lunches. Go out for coffee. Join an organization. Invite people over (even if they don’t come). Join a MeetUp group of like-minded individuals. But spend more time with people that make you happy. My goal is to have lunch/coffee/date with at least one person a week.

5. Help Someone Else

I love helping others. This is something that makes me feel really happy. I joined an organization called Classy Living Society (CLS) which is a volunteer group. It’s a GREAT group because there’s always something scheduled to volunteer. This is something that I am passionate about and am happy that I do have more time to spend helping others.

6. Exercise

There’s something that is so joyful about being covered in sweat and exhausted. As facetious as this sounds, I’m being serious. I used running as a way to handle stress when I moved back to Atlanta and I felt wonderful. There was a lot of not so great happening but I was positive and happy and I think that the amount of exercise that I did at the time was helpful.

7. Feed Your Spirit

For some, this looks like going to church. For others, this may be working out, being in nature, reading the Bible, chanting. Whatever it is that you do that feeds your spirit is something that should be done. I can’t be happy if my spirit isn’t right. I love being outside. I’m Christian and when I’m outside, I feel like I am closer to God.

Out of all of the feelings in the world I can feel, I’m comfortable with choosing happy.

What are some things that you do to “choose happy” with intention?

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