Monday, June 20, 2011

Keys to Happiness: It's a Choice, Part 1

Forget your troubles come on get happy! For this six week series, we'll discover some of the keys to happiness!

My mornings run pretty smoothly. Since it’s just me and the dog, there isn’t a lot that can get in my way in the morning. I get up work out, walk the dog, get dressed and head out the door. However, there are times when everything does not go as smoothly as planned.
A few months ago, I had a particularly bad start, Murphy and his darned law must have been hovering over my shoulder. I walked the dog and as I was picking up after him, I stepped in something that another pet owner had left behind (gross!). After I handled the messy shoes, I went to fix my morning coffee and knocked the entire travel mug over sending coffee spilling all over the counter top and the floor. Well, now I’m running late; so it’s inevitable that I would run into traffic!
As I sat in traffic, I called my boss and let her know I was running late. Next, I put on some music and called a friend who I knew was also on her way to work. We agreed that days that start off that bad have to get better. We didn’t project that the day was going to get worse.
When I got to work, I decided to be grateful that I got there in one piece. With the day I was having, it could have been worse.
Finally, when I walked through those doors, I visualized putting the bad things behind me and leaving them out there in the parking lot. Our moods are close to us, so close in fact, that it can be hard to change them, but it’s worth the effort. I ended up having a good day that day and I think it’s because I made the choice to have a better day.
So here are some tips for choosing happiness.
1. Realize that bad days and silly circumstances happen. Take a deep breath and move on. I was on a schedule and I didn’t have time to curse the dog that left the package or to cry over spilled coffee. When I felt the frustration creeping in, I actually said to myself “Crap happens. Deal with it. Keep it moving!”
2. Prepare for it. In the car, I called my boss and informed her I’d be late. I also called another co-worker and told her I’d be a minute or two late for our meeting. By making those quick calls, I alleviated a lot of worry and stress.
3. Find the humor in it. Can you believe I actually stepped in poop while going to pick up some poop? My friend and I had a good laugh about it on the phone.
4. Resist the urge to make things worse. “Why do these things always happen to me?” “Nothing ever goes right!” This is going to be a terrible day!” All of those kinds of statements just make a bad situation that much worse.
5. Use some mood changers. No not drugs and alcohol! LOL! By playing music I enjoyed in the car and calling an even-tempered friend, I diffused what could have been a bad situation.
You have a choice and you can choose to be happy. Sometimes you might choose to feel frustration or anger or sadness. That’s fine … as long as you recognize that the choice is yours!