Financial stress, sickness, marriage issues, and other problems can seem to suck the happiness right out of life. However, you can feel happy even if it seems like your life is crumbling. Yet, even when it feels like things are a little too heavy, there is always a way to keep your chin up.
1. Notice the little things to be happy about.
It’s very easy to think that everything in your life is awful when you’re going through a rough patch. However, if you start noticing the little things, you’ll find that there are good things that happen every day. Moments of everyday magic can lift you up if you let them in. The glimpses of joy like butterflies on the breeze, the bashful smile of a baby in the grocery store, or the beauty of the morning sun slanting through the window can give you small bits of happiness each day.
2. Smile, even when you don’t feel like it.
Several scientific studies have shown a direct correlation between one’s facial expression and the way one feels. Ditch that Resting B*tch Face or the tense growl. You know the one. People who smile, even when they’re not necessarily feeling happy, have lower stress levels and are happier than those who frown. So even if you’re not feeling the smile, faking it ‘til you make it may help you feel a little bit happier.
3. Find small ways to pamper yourself.
When times are tough, you finding one small way to indulge yourself on a regular basis can lift your spirits. Taking time to meet a friend for coffee, allowing yourself a leisurely soak in the tub, or going out to dinner once a month can give you the mental breathing room to regroup and help face your troubles. This also gives you one nice thing to look forward to, even if you’re overwhelmed. Letting a little light in now and then and taking care of yourself can brighten your whole world.
4. Stop and breathe for just a few moments every day.
When life hits some bumps in the road, it often gets extremely busy. To combat the feeling that you’re drowning in problems, take a few minutes each day to just breathe. It can be like a life vest, helping you ride the waves. Meditation, prayer, or just quiet contemplation will help you keep your sanity when your schedule is overly full.
You might not feel like there’s simply not enough hours in the day to take a little “you” time. Schedule it in. Try using the few moments before bed. You can better care for those who might depend on you if you are making yourself a bigger priority.
5. Vent and then let it go.
Some people struggle with turning their problems over and over in their minds. If you feel stuck and cannot seem to shake these intrusive thoughts, find a trusted friend to whom you can vent. Remind that person that you’re not asking for advice or help; you just need to unload some stuff. If you don’t have someone you trust, counseling is another option. When you unload the things that are taking up too much real estate in your brain, you might find that the weight lifts and you’re able to feel positive and refreshed.
Hang in there! Everything is temporary. Try to not allow the stress to paralyze you. People who take little steps towards lightening up their issues tend to bounce back the fastest. You have the power to make the best of what you’re going through, so seize the day and do something just for you.