Seriously though – four words. This sentence changed my life. I mean, I had seen it before many times on signs, mugs, various things throughout the years. But until I stopped and ‘mindfully’ read those four words, it hadn’t hit me. That day it did. HARD. Happiness IS a choice. And it’s MY choice. I can decide to be happy. I don’t need anyone else to increase my happiness. That includes my family, my friends, my colleagues at work and even my own husband. None of them are responsible for MY happiness. I DECIDE to be happy. ME.
How did it finally hit me? Well, for one thing, I was 40 years old when it did. So years of living experience and learned wisdom helped me to understand what those words actually meant and how to manifest them. I took a course on mindfulness which helped me to look at each word and really think about the meaning of them. By the way, I truly believe that mindfulness should be taught in school!
It definitely takes practice to choose happiness each and every day, but I promise you that once you do, blended family life becomes much more enjoyable!
Here are three tips on how to practice choosing happiness:
- BE POSITIVE – When someone asks you how your day is going, try to refrain from complaining about all of the stressors you have going on that are probably being caused by the ex wife or your stepchildren. No one wants to hear that anyway! Focus on the positive things that are happening in your life. I’m sure you know someone that always seems happy and positive. I’m guessing you like to be around that person. Most people do! Happiness and positivity is so contagious. You will feel so good at the end of the conversation too, instead of being even more stressed because you chose to focus on the bad things happening in your life!
- PRACTICE GRATITUDE – I used to think that this was a time waster. Oprah and my husband taught me otherwise! Before I married my second husband and became a Stepmom, I can remember watching Oprah when she talked about writing down 3 things you are grateful for each day. I figured, I know what I’m grateful for, why do I need to write it down?? When I became a Stepmom, my focus on the good things in my life wasn’t there. My husband was the one who shifted my focus to the amazing things we have together. He sat me down and made me verbally list them out. (I guess he thought I was being too negative). So now, I practice gratitude every day. I write them down in my planner. It’s not always 3 things, but I always am able to remember at least one thing from my day that I am grateful for. I now understand WHY Oprah suggested writing them down. It makes you focus on them and always you to look back whenever you may need to.
- SELF CARE – I know that YOU know this. Self care is a hot topic all over the internet and especially in the ‘Stepmom’ world. BUT, are you doing it?!!! We all know it’s important, I don’t think anyone can say it isn’t. But knowing it and doing it are two different things. In the past, I would have plans with myself on a Sunday afternoon that I would cancel because my stepdaughter really wanted me to go to her hockey game. Guilt takes over and I lose my hour of me time. It was always the first thing that would get “rescheduled”. I have since learned to say NO. You have to figure out what makes YOU happy and MAKE time for those things each week. Even if you can find time every day, that would be better. You deserve that. Make it happen!
Happiness is a choice. YOU DECIDE. Read it again.
Happiness is a CHOICE. YOU decide. Again….
HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE. YOU DECIDE.