How to Stay Happier in Hard Times

People-2567915_640Financial 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 life is crumbling under your feet. Even when it feels like things are a little too heavy, there is always a way to keep your chin up.

Sometimes it just takes time and riding through the waves of life and time to really heal. We hope these next 5 tips bring you a little peace as you go through what you’re going through.

  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. Little moments throughout the day can lift you up if you let them. Things 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 if you stop to appreciate them.
  2. Smile, even when you don’t feel like it. Scientific studies have shown a direct correlation between one’s facial expression and the way they feel. Sometimes we can prolong our own bad mood – without even noticing it – simply by an unconscious upset facial expression. When you are upset, try scrunching and relaxing your face to get some blood flowing. It can ease some frustration and help you let go of some of the extra negativity you are holding onto, just by releasing the tension. If you can crack a fake smile, even for a second, it can positively influence the way you feel.
  3. Find small ways to pamper yourself. When times are tough, finding just one small way to indulge yourself can lift your spirits. Whether it’s taking time to meet a friend for coffee, allowing yourself a leisurely soak in the tub, or even just sneaking a little piece of chocolate and taking the time to enjoy it can give you the mental breathing room to regroup and help face your troubles. If you can regularly plan out some future regrouping time, it can brighten things by giving you a 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. 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 or when you feel overwhelmed.  You might feel like there’s simply not enough hours in the day to take a little “me” time. We’re all busy up to our eyeballs, so even taking a few moments before bed or when you wake up can do the trick. It will either end or start your day on a lighter note. As an added bonus, the better you feel, the better you can care for those who might depend on you.
  5. Vent and then let it go. Some people struggle by circling back to 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. Don’t have instant access to someone close? Talk to yourself! Just saying things out loud can get your thoughts out of your head and may give you some clarity. If you’re speaking to a friend, remind them you’re not asking for advice or help; you just need to unload some stuff. Like talking to yourself, it can just make things a little more tangible, open, and clear.

When you unload the things that are taking up 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 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.

And remember the old saying, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” It may help you keep things in perspective.

Adapted from happierdaily.com.

Jeff Bellomo

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