10 years ago, I decided to choose happiness. I was so miserable at the time, that this meant making lots of changes. The major change was my marriage. I knew in my gut I had to go. After divorce, I also changed my job, my lifestyle, and my perspective. Oh, and where I lived.
This was a very good start to the beautiful life I am now honored to live.
Many of my clients have also chosen happiness and I want you to choose happiness too. Do you find yourself in a relationship that isn’t making you happy? If so, it’s time to be bold, stop waiting for someone else to make you happy and choose happiness for yourself. This might mean that you leave the relationship, but I’m not asking you to make that decision right now. What I’m requesting is that you begin implementing some of the habits below to increase your personal happiness – independent of your relationship. When you take a stand for yourself and your happiness, more meaning, direction, and fun will grace your life!
12 Habits of Happy Women:
1. Keep Swimming
Giving up on what you want in life is not an option. Sacrificing your happiness to make someone else happy will end up serving no one in the long run. It’s easy to sink when things get swirling. Swimming can be strenuous. But you have a purpose to bring to the world. Without you, there’s something missing for all eternity. Find your grit. Tell yourself ‘this too shall pass’. Because it will.
2. Curiosity Didn’t Really Kill the Cat
If you are a visionary with big hopes and dreams, it can be tough when your colleagues, family, and friends can’t see what you see. To stop feeling frustrated that they don’t “get” you, try something different: try to “get” them. Get curious. You don’t have to agree with them, you just have to respect them enough to ‘see’ them. Once there, you can gently switch directions and lead them to your direction. You’ll feel happier if you choose to drop judgment and instead stay curious
3. Light Up
How often do you smile and laugh? You know, what makes you tic, what gives you the Labrador retriever reflex – “This is fun. I want more. This is great. Let’s play. Let’s play”. I have no cares in the world when I play ultimate Frisbee and when I sing in a choir. Women who choose happiness know what lights them up and make sure to get lots of that thing in their lives. What lights you up? How can you get more if it?
What does your body want? To spend hours planted at the computer or in front of the TV? NO! Your body wants to flow the blood, the energy, the lymph from head to toe and toe to head. Yoga inversions are my favorite for this. Dancing when no one is watching (or even if they are) is also a great way to choose happiness. Move the emotion through you. Misery can’t stay for long when you move your body.
5. Enhance the Calm
Did you take my recent quiz to see how possible it is for you to return to center? The next step is that when you’re in center, it’s time to turn up the volume. Take that centeredness and breathe deeply into it. Expand it for one minute. It’s like you’re blowing up a hot air balloon, expanding your life force from your center, outward. Practice this by imagining you are blowing up a balloon that is you, each time you feel centered and calm.
6. The weather IS nice
One of my clients has committed not to complain about the hot or the rain. She decided not to make “misery” her habit and instead choose happiness. It’s easy to complain, but it doesn’t increase happiness or help create healthy connections with the people in your life. A healthy connection with others leads to more happiness.
7. Get Away
Alone. I traveled in my last job A LOT. Through that alone time, I learned to fall in love with myself, to read books and keep myself engaged with life. Like a curious and innocent child, I wandered to hot springs, farmers markets, fairs, and health food stores. Where will you wander for the sake of choosing to be happy while you get to know yourself even more during the process.
8. Stay Home
Have you noticed in our culture, how we are always hurried and late, rushing all around town? Those who choose happiness stay at home and give up their chores for a moment to hang out in their environment, drink a cup of tea, and slow down to take some inventory of their life.
9. Let Your Inner Child Play
When you let your inner child play, your happiness will increase. These 3 traits are exactly what a child will show you: 1. Present – Notice what is happening in your life right now. 2. Open – Accept things that you normally judge in a harsh way. 3. Flexible – Happy to go in any direction. Play with these and see what delights you find.
10. Life Long Learning
When was the last time you learned something new? Yesterday? A year ago? Either way, learn some more. Learn what you are called to learn, not what you think you should learn. You’ll be more motivated to retain and relish in your learning if it’s something your heart desires.
11. Vulnerably Courageous
Oh, the heaviness of this one. All you have to do here, is admit you’re wrong every once in a while. Feel it. Learn from it. (check off #10 also), and move on as a better person. Don’t let your ego make you wallow in it. Just be who you are and see how you can love yourself even more when you’re honest (and present, open, flexible).
12. Authentically Yours
Last but not least, you don’t need to pretend that “it’s all good” when it’s not. That’s not the message here. Allow yourself to be real. Honor what’s going on for you in the moment. Authenticity is an important habit for women who choose happiness.