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Let’s face it:  Life is just hard sometimes.

And it’s the worst when it not only comes out of left field, but also everything decides to go wrong all at once.  It seems like it’s never just one thing, know what I mean?

It’s like, sure, the car might break and we’ll think we have that covered, then BAM, we’re sick, then BAM our fridge breaks… on and on until we’re crabby and miserable.

Maybe that’s you right now.  I don’t know.  But does it help you to know you’re totally not alone?  It happens to everyone.  Promise.

Whatever it is, I get it.  It’s sucky to be in a season where you want so badly to be happy and you’re just… not.  Where it seems like everyone and everything is out to get you.

Even when all that’s happening, it’s still possible to be happy.

How To Be Happy, Even When Life Is Hard

Focus on the good stuff.

The secret ingredient behind happiness is really gratitude.

I mean, you could have everything going for you on the surface, but there’s always going to be something more you could have.  There’s always going to be a way in which your life could be better.

If you want to be happy, though, you have to worry less about how your life could be better and think more about how awesome it is right this minute.

It’s not always easy to focus on the good stuff, especially when it feels like the world is crumbling around you.  The truth is, though, there’s always something to be grateful for.

That ginormous pile of laundry?  How awesome is it to have not only all the clothes you need, that are weather-appropriate, but also running water.  No natural streams for you!

Dirty dishes in the sink?  Woohoo, you got to eat today!  And again, let’s talk about how awesome running is compared to the alternative.

Waking up freezing in bed because your husband stole your sheets again?  How awesome is it that you’re not sleeping alone, and that your husband is safe?

Are you reading this right now?  Lucky you – you had the opportunity to learn how to read.

It might not be easy to see – but there’s always something to be grateful for.  You just have to look 🙂

 

Take care of yourself.

When I feel lousy, my first response is usually to eat junk food, hang out in my pajamas more, and lounge around watching Forensic Files… and every time, without fail, this makes me feel bloated, grumpy, and anxious.  It doesn’t help me feel better at all.

Well, at least, not if I do it for days on end – one day of lazy stress-eating is sometimes helpful 😉

But if life is sucky right now, it’s even more important that you take care of yourself.

So eat good food.  Try to get enough rest.  Exercise a little (even if it’s just a 10 minute walk).

Like I said, the occasional stress-eating?  No big.  But if you do it all the time to cope, you’re going to make yourself way more miserable.

But on the topic of rest, allow yourself to slow down a little.  I’m really bad at this: I have a full-steam-ahead kind of personality, and it comes out even more when I’m stressed out.

But it’s amazing what a difference taking a minute to read a book or look at the stars or color with my little boy can make.  When I let myself take it a little slower and re-center, it’s like all the little particles swirling around in my mind settle in so I can think more clearly (and focus on the good stuff :))

 

Spread the joy.

The fastest way to improve my mood is, without a doubt, doing something nice for someone else.

Not only does this put your own situation in perspective (especially if you’re a catastrophizer like myself), but it also helps you to remember that this season of your life will eventually pass.  Because when you see others in hard situations, it may remind you of something you’ve dealt with in the past, which will help you remember you made it through that alive – and are probably better for it!

It also helps you feel better when you serve others because it just makes you feel like a more likeable person.  Everyone wants to feel liked 🙂

Remember that helping others doesn’t have to be a huge sacrifice.  Even just calling a friend to chat for a few minutes or baking cookies for a coworker can make a huge difference in their day.

If you’re having trouble seeing the good in the world, it helps to put some good out there.

 

Regardless of what’s happening in your life right now, whether you’re under financial strain, having issues in your marriage, or struggling with some other personal issue, I want you to know it’ll pass.  It might not feel like it, but I promise – give it some time and things will look up.

Until then, do some things to help yourself choose happiness 🙂

 

Love this!