The last few weeks I’ve been in a funk, it’s been depressing and I haven’t been able to think. I started to come out of it yesterday and I looked over my posts since January. They are depressing, I needed to write them, but I should balance everything out better. My next topic is a lot better. How To Be Happy?
A lot of people live their lives in fear and desperation. The last year and a half have been rough for me. I left my job and haven’t received a steady paycheck since then. If that didn’t cause enough stress, I kept creating and failing with new business ideas. At one point, I had an ongoing list of 20+ ideas, and as I flushed them out the list got smaller and smaller. Finally, I started looking into radical ideas.
…I considered starting a cricket farm. Thank God I came to my senses.
Every failure brought a new wave of depression, and sadness. At first, I kept falling for it, but after a while, I developed some new muscles and I’ve learned to fight it. So here is what I do, when I’m struggling in the trenches and trying to stay positive.
How To Be Happy; Quick Tips
Staying Positive: It’s Easy To Stay Positive When Everything Is Going Well. Staying Positive In Turmoil Is Something Else. You Can’t Hide From The Negativity, But You Should Acknowledge It. After That, Focus On What You Can Change, And What’s Going Well.
I Force Myself To Smile: You gotta fake it to make it, when you fake it long enough that smile will make you happy. (I know it sounds weird, but it works).
Get Some Exercise: Go for a run, bike ride, or chop wood. Whatever you do, make sure you get your heart rate up and let it be out in the sun. You’ll burn some bad endorphins, and release the good ones into your system.
Take A Nap: Who doesn’t love a good nap, reduce the negativity and give your mind a quick break by taking a nap.
Keeping Happiness: In Your Heart Can Be Difficult. Happiness Is An Emotion, And Emotions Don’t Stay Long. However, If You Can Stay Positive, And Remember How Blessed You Are. Roots Will Develop, And You’ll Find Yourself Content In Yourself And God.
Take A Deep Breath: Most of the things that make us unhappy are temporary. Don’t let a temporary feeling stop you from being the best you can be.
What Stops You From Being Happy?
Before you get into my list learning how to be happy, we should figure out why you’re not. I honestly believe our default is to err on the side of happiness. When we’re not, it’s as if something was taken away from us. Therefore I like to think about when we have what we need, and the people we love.
Look into your heart and ask yourself. Why don’t I feel happiness? Maybe you feel inferior, or you lost someone you loved. Could you be in a rough place right now?
You can learn how to be happy, but you have to choose it. Life is an endless roller coaster. Some things you can control, and other things will blow up in your face. Most of the time your only choice involves how you’ll react.
Recently I was driving to a snowboard shop in Minneapolis, and as I was merging onto the highway another motorist stopped in front of me. This took place at the end of the ramp, and I got extremely angry. After a few minutes, I finally calmed down by taking a few deep breaths. What happened to me was messed up, and it’s a horrible driving practice to do that. But how I reacted was worse, and it was only the beginning.
Negativity Stopped Me From Finding Happiness
I started noticing this issue a few years back, and I’ve worked on it a lot. Seldom does it raise its ugly head, but when it does I need to take stock of my situation calm down, take a few breaths.
One of the first times I noticed it, I was snowboarding down a black diamond. It was an epic night, with a steep run, and good snow. Out of the blue, this little girl, probably in 5th grade walked in front of me. She shouldn’t have been walking and she only had one snowboard strap on. If I would’ve been thinking properly, I’d have noticed something was wrong. Instead, I yelled at her to watch out and get off the hill if she was going to walk around.
I got to the bottom and hopped onto the chair. I figured I’d hit that run-up again, and this time hopefully the kid wouldn’t be around. Then I saw her sitting down on the run and it looked like she was crying.
I was a jerk and can only make the amends that are possible, but I still feel horrible about that.
Hurting Others, Means You Lack Joy
By the time I’d gotten to her, a skier had stopped to help, some ice had been lodged in her bindings and she didn’t know how to clear it. The skier had no idea himself. I removed the ice and apologized to the little girl. I told her I was a jerk, and not to listen to those words I said. Hopefully, she took my second saying to heart.
I love being blunt, but sometimes I go too far. At least I apologized to her, but that doesn’t make up for it.
If you find yourself blowing up on people, and not listening to their issues, then you have a huge issue with self-focus. That focus on yourself will eventually lead you to death, but you can choose the path of letting go and forgiving.
And that’s forgiving yourself and others.
Staying Positive; How To Be Happy,
Do you want happiness? Be positive. Whenever I’ve lost control or fell into depression it always started with me losing my positive outlook. Once that’s gone, how do you find happiness? I can’t have happiness if I’m being negative.
To stay positive, I try to look on the bright side of everything. Now there are some bad views about this. I certainly don’t mean becoming like Chris Traeger from the TV show Parks and Rec (although he’s a favorite character of mine). His character is amazing in that show but his fatal flaw is that he won’t look at the negative of anything.
To stay positive, you must acknowledge the negative is there. Once you know that, it’s easier to avoid. I tend to view it as dodging cow poop in a pasture. Once you see it, it’s easier to not step in it.
When You Get Sad, Is There A Trigger?
This is big for me because I always have a trigger when I start to get sad or depressed. I have all the happiness in the world one moment, and the next I’ll sink to the lowest low. For me, the following are triggers that I have to fight.
- When I’m tired
- If I’m stressed
- When My ideas aren’t panning out like I thought.
You can probably add to this list, but these things will prevent you from finding happiness.
Top 3 Ways I Cheer Myself Up.
This list could go on for a while, but instead, I wrote the three things I do when I need to cheer myself up. Happiness isn’t something that comes or stays easily. Sometimes you have to work for it. When you feel it going away, reach out and grab ahold of it.
Go For A Walk; How To Be Happy
When I find myself being stressed and losing my positivity. I like to go for a walk. I live near an awesome lake system in Minneapolis, and it’s amazing how much a walk will clear your head. If you can’t go for a walk outside, head to the mall or a big box store. Just find someplace to change your surroundings. When you exercise, the bad endorphins will be worked out of your system, and you can think more clearly.
I live in Minneapolis, and this last year we had a polar vortex hit, I was stuck inside for 3 days, and I still found ways to work out and keep myself from getting depressed. It was difficult, but I survived. You can too.
Find A Hobby; Find Your Happiness
A hobby should be something you enjoy and it helps your mind. Some people do puzzles, play video games, or even knit. You want something that’ll distract your mind and open up some creativity in it. When you find that activity, you’ve got an excellent hobby.
I love snowboarding, and during the winter it’s what I do, even when it’s below zero for weeks. Because of this love, I even started a snowboarding blog. This helps me focus, stay in shape, and keep up with my hobby.
During the 2 months of summer we have in Minnesota (just kidding, partially), I’ll go running and I do a lot of biking. I want to see nature as it always transforms my mindset.
Chat With Friends/Family
(depending on the family)
My friends and family have saved me a lot. When I’m down and not feeling happy. They are there for me. I can’t tell you how many times I’m lost positivity, and one of my friends jumps into my life to refocus me.
My family has caused me a lot of stress In my life, but they still give a good perspective on things. Chatting with them has helped me through some of the biggest trials in my life. My sister convinced me to leave a school that made me mentally unhealthy. She really helped open my eyes.
By having a good community of people around you, you’ll fly higher than you ever thought or expected.
That’s how I stay positive and learn how to be happy. It takes a lot of work. I’d rather work at staying happy than the alternative. I hate being depressed, and I’ll avoid it at all costs.